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Welcome To

Parris Island

Marine Recruit Depot 

 

 

 Marine Training Family Support Page.

This page will answer most questions that arise.

Graduation Information

Family day and graduation take place on the last two days of recruit training. Family Day occurs Thursday and gives new Marines a chance to see family and friends for the first time during on-base liberty. Graduation is conducted Friday in a formal ceremony and parade, attended by family and friends.

All recruits are issued a Graduation Packet with the battalion commanderís graduation invitation letter, and an entry/parking placard (vehicle pass) sometime around week 9 of their 12 week training cycle. But please note, it is the recruits themselves who decide who they mail their graduation packets.

Parris Island personnel cannot inform you of the mailing status of a Grad Packet, or re-issue one.

Please be sure to confirm the graduation date of your recruit.

In order to be authorized access to the Depot, guests of family day and graduation must have entry/parking placards (vehicle passes) to properly identify their vehicles. Additional vehicle passes will be made available at the front gate. Please review the Graduation Vehicle Pass policy.

Visitors are requested to stop by the Douglas Visitor Center upon arrival to check in. In order to allow time to identify which recruits have family or visitors waiting to see them, please sign in before 12:30 p.m. on Family Day. Depot bus tours are also available for visitors on family day at 9:00 and 10:00 a.m.

Family Day

Please register before noon at the Douglas Visitor Center.

 

  • 6:30 am- Java Cafť open in Visitor Center

  • 8 am- Museum opens

  • 10 am - 7 pm Marine Corps Exchange open

  • 10 am Bus Tours depart Douglas Visitor Center (limited seating available)

  • 11 am Q & A with company staff about recruit training in the All-Weather Training Facility

  • 1 pm - Liberty Brief

  • 1:30 pm - 6:30 pm Barracks Open House

  • 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm Observation of events at Leatherneck Square

  • 1:30 pm - 5 pm Combat Water Survival training at indoor pool and static weapons display at Weapons and     Field Training Battalion ISMT. (Rifle Range)

  • 2:30 - 6:30 Buffet dinner available at Traditions and Brig-n-Brew

  • 7 pm Family Day ends

 

Graduation Day

The Morning Colors Ceremony (flag raising) with musical accompaniment by the Parris Island Marine Band is held Friday at 7:45 a.m. in front of Barrow Hall.

Graduation is held Friday mornings at 9 a.m. on the Depotís Peatross Parade Deck and lasts about an hour. In the event of inclement weather, graduation ceremonies will be held in two or three indoor locations, which will be announced on the morning of graduation at the Visitors Center.

Please call the Douglas Visitorís Center at 843-228-3650 for last minute information.

 

Directions to Graduation

Driving from the north
  • Take I-95 until you reach South Carolina Exit 33. This will take you to Route 17.

  • Take it until you reach Route 21 South toward Beaufort.

  • From Route 21 South, you will make a right turn onto Route 280 shortly after passing
        Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

  • Continue traveling for approximately 6 miles. Route 280 eventually turns into Route 802.
        You will see a sign for Parris Island.


The off-ramp to Parris Island is on the right side of the road and it will take you to the front gate. 

Driving from the south

  • Take Exit 8 from I-95, this is US-278 E (going toward Bluffton/Beaufort/Hilton Head Island)

  • Turn LEFT onto SC-141. (almost 4 miles)

  • Turn LEFT onto SC-170 N/ Okatie Hwy and continue driving on this road for about 10 miles.

  • Turn RIGHT onto Savannah Hwy / SC-802.

  • Continue to follow SC-802, bearing right. (about 4 miles)

  • You will see a sign for Parris Island.

The off-ramp to Parris Island is on the right side of the road and it will take you to the front gate. 


Driving Tips

Pay close attention --Many of the signs toward Beaufort and/or Parris Island are small or obstructed.

Getting onto the base on a Family Day Thursday or Graduation Friday can take up to 45 minutes,
please prepare for delays. 

 

Visitation hours

Parris Island is open to all visitors daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m Visitors who wish to come on base between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. must have a military sponsor
on base, i.e. the person you wish to visit must notify the MPs at the gate of your arrival. If you are coming to visit a recruit who is planning to graduate, you will not be allowed on base
after hours unless you have a reservation at the Depot's temporary lodging facility or BEQ / BOQ. 

 

Air Travel

The nearest major airports to Parris Island are theSavannah International Airport (SAV)and the
Hilton Head Airport (HHH). The next closest airport is theCharleston International Airport (CHS).
Transportation from these airports is not provided; both airports have rental car agencies. 

 

 Vehicle Pass

All recruits are issued a graduation packet with a vehicle pass week nine of their 12-week training.

It is the recruits who decide who will receive their graduation packets. If you do not receive a packet from your recruit, you can obtain a graduation vehicle pass at the main gate.

If you have any questions regarding the graduation day vehicle pass, please review the
Vehicle Pass FAQ List. For those traveling by car, please refer to our Driving Directions.

Vehicle operators must possess:

  1. a valid driverís license

  2. vehicle registration

  3. proof of automobile insurance

Vehicle operators failing to present these items will be denied entry to the Depot.

All vehicles coming aboard the Depot are subject to search by military police.

Persons other than the invited guests of the graduating Marines who use, or attempt to use, the battalion commanderís graduation invitation letter, or unauthorized reproductions of it or the vehicle pass to gain entry to the Depot will be guilty of trespassing aboard a military installation.

Local Hotel Accommodations

Due to the heavy training demands placed on your recruit, please make your own transportation and Lodging Arrangements  

I need a room at Parris Island!
 
Beaufort & Port Royal South Carolina join the main gate of Parris Island.
Parris Island is a Military Base not a City, and doesn't have Hotels and Motels. Due to this fact we have given you this link to Beuaufort & Port Royal SC area hotels.
 

 

Contacting recruits.

Because of the structured nature of recruit training, your recruit will not be able to contact you regularly. Your recruit is given a short phone call upon arrival to let you know that he or she arrived safely. Your recruit will also be given phone calls from time to time throughout training as a reward for outstanding performance. Your recruit's primary means of communicating with family and friends is via the US mail. We highly encourage you to write your recruit as often as you like. Recruits will receive your letters throughout the week but can only respond to them during "holiday routine," on Sunday mornings and non-training days.
 

I need to contact my recruit because of a family emergency. How do I do it? 

American Red Cross communication services keep military personnel in touch with their families following the death or serious illness of a family member or other important events, such as the birth of a child. The Red Cross quickly sends these communications on behalf of the family to members of the U.S. Armed Forces serving anywhere in the world, including ships at sea, embassies and isolated military units. The information or verification in a message assists the service member's commanding officer with making a decision regarding emergency leave.

How to Contact the Red Cross to Send an Emergency Message

Active duty service members stationed in the United States and their immediate family members may call the Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Service Centers for help 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The toll-free telephone number is available through base or installation operators and from local on-base Red Cross offices. See the "Contact Your Recruit" page (link above) for more information.

Other family members who do not reside in the service members' household, members of the National Guard and Reserves, retirees and civilians may access Red Cross services through their local Red Cross chapter, which is listed in local telephone books and at http://www.redcross.org/where/where.html

When calling the Red Cross to send an emergency message to a family member, it is helpful to have the following information:

Service memberís:

  • Full Name

  • Rank/Rating

  • Branch of Service

  • Social Security Number

  • Military Address

  • Information about the deployed unit and the home base unit (for deployed service members only)

 

Relevant abbreviations, variants, misspellings: Marine Corps Recruit Depot Marine Corps Air Station USMC marine base camp s.c. United States usa us u.s. u.s.a. America American s.c. southcarolina port royall portroyal bufort paris island parrisisland parisisland island,sc islandsc islands near nearby nearest close closest next around hoteles moteles hotels/motels accomodation accomodations accomadation accomadations
 

 

 

Marines Training

Making Marines Since 1775

Semper Fi

 

Parris Island Map

 

Local Hotel Accommodations

Due to the heavy training demands placed on your recruit, please make your own transportation and Lodging Arrangements  

I need a room at Parris Island!
 
Beaufort & Port Royal South Carolina are the closest towns to the main gate of Parris Island.
Parris Island is a Military Base not a City, and doesn't have Hotels and Motels. Due to this fact we have given you this link to Beaufort & Port Royal SC area hotels.
 
 
 

Visitor's - Frequently Asked Questions

Every effort has been made to answer the questions asked most often by the family members of recruits. Please carefully read each answer. For those traveling by car, please refer to our Driving Directions.

1. WHEN WILL I RECEIVE THE VEHICLE PASS FOR GRADUATION?
All recruits are issued a graduation packet with a vehicle pass week nine of their 12-week training.
It is the recruits themselves who decide who will receive their packets.
The staff of the MCRD Parris Island does not mail vehicle passes.

2. CAN WE GET A VEHICLE PASS AT THE GATE?
Yes. Vehicle passes to the Visitor's Center are issued at the gate. 
However, you must have a valid driverís license, vehicle registration and insurance documentation.
 Also, vehicles are subject to inspection.

3. CAN WE RECEIVE A VEHICLE PASS PRIOR TO ARRIVAL?
Vehicle passes are mailed to immediate family members attending recruit graduation by the recruits only. The staff of the MCRD Parris Island does not mail vehicle passes.

Please Remember!
All recruits are issued a graduation packet with a vehicle pass week nine of their 12-week training.
But, it is the recruits themselves who decide who will receive their packets.
The offices of the MCRD Parris Island do not mail vehicle passes.

4. WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A VEHICLE PASS? 
A visitorís pass may be issued to visitors attending any special event to which the public is invited. 
This pass will be valid from the place of entry to the location of the special event and the return trip. 

5. WE HAVE MULTIPLE FAMILY MEMBERS COMING TO GRADUATION, BUT WE RECEIVED ONLY ONE PASS FROM OUR RECRUIT. CAN WE OBTAIN MORE PASSES?
Yes. Friends and family members may be admitted. Each vehicle operator can enter the base after presenting a driver's license, car registration, and proof of insurance. Also, your vehicles are subject to inspection.

6. WE HAVE NOT RECEIVED A GRADUATION PACKET WITH A VEHICLE PASS FOR THE FAMILY DAY/GRADUATION CEREMONY; CAN WE STILL GET A VEHICLE PASS?
Yes. If you are a family member of a graduating recruit, you can receive a replacement pass. Also, your vehicles are subject to inspection.

7. WE HAVE LOST OUR VEHICLE PASS. CAN WE GET ANOTHER?
Yes. You may enter the base after presenting your driver's license, car registration, and proof of insurance. Also, your vehicles are subject to inspection

8. WHAT IS THE POLICY REGARDING RENTAL VEHICLES?
Upon entry you must present a valid operatorís license, valid proof of liability insurance and a copy of the rental agreement.

9. WE ARE JUST VISITING THE AREA. CAN WE TAKE A TOUR OF THE BASE?
Yes. Vehicle passes to the Visitor's Center are issued at the gate. However, you must have a valid driverís license, vehicle registration and insurance documentation. Also, your vehicles are subject to inspection

10. IS VISITOR PARKING AVAILABLE?
On and off street parking spaces will be used on a first come, first served basis. The parking lot adjacent to Peatross Parade Deck is the main visitor parking area.

No person shall stop, stand, or park a motor vehicle, except when necessary to avoid interference with other traffic, in compliance with law or the direction of a military policeman or traffic control device or when otherwise authorized, in any of the following places:

  1. No person shall park a vehicle or permit it to stand, attended or unattended, upon a roadway in front of a private driveway or within 15 feet in either direction of a fire hydrant or the entrance to a fire station, nor within 25 feet from the intersection of curb lines or if none, within 25 feet of the intersection of property lines at an intersection of highways.
  2. At any curb which is painted yellow.
  3. On the hard surface of any paved road or area except where marked parking lanes or parking signs indicate that parking is permitted. The driver shall not drive to the left side of the roadway and park unless the road is designated for one-way traffic.
  4. Within an intersection or on a crosswalk.
  5. On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge of the curb of a road.
  6. Within fire lanes.
  7. Upon a landing field or site except on official business.
  8. Within 50 feet of the rear loading ramp of any dining facility.
  9. Upon any bridge or in any moving lane of traffic.
  10. Except for emergency stops, parking is prohibited on either side of the causeway from the main gate to Depot Maintenance, building 450.
  11. Parking on the grass or seeded area is prohibited and no person shall stop, stand, or park a vehicle, whether attended or unattended, except when directed by military police.

11. IS HANDICAP PARKING AVAILABLE?
Yes. Parking designated for vehicles bearing handicap decals, plates, or placards is available.

12. WHAT IS THE POLICY FOR RECREATIONAL VEHICLES, TRAILERS, AND MOTORCYCLES?
The Peatross Parade Deck parking lot does have parking designated for recreational vehicles; however, there are no hook ups or accommodations available for designated over night parking on the Depot. 

MOTORCYCLES

  1. No person shall operate a motorcycle upon any road on the Depot not equipped to meet the mechanical and safety requirements of the state of South Carolina.
  2. Motorcycle operators and passengers will wear the following personal protective equipment and clothing: Snell Institute (SNELL) approved motorcycle helmet is required to be properly worn for all motorcycle operators and passengers on the Depot, and all military personnel off the Depot. 
  3. Eye Protection. Eye protection will consist of goggles or a face shield attached to the helmet.
  4. Footwear. Boots or shoes are required and should be constructed of leather or other sturdy material with non-skid soles. Athletic, recreational, sandals, and open-toe shoes are not considered adequate footwear.
  5. Clothing. Clothing must cover the upper torso and legs and conform with Depot clothing regulations.
  6. High visibility vests (international orange; reflective silver; bright green or yellow) that cover the upper torso shall be worn by all motorcycle operators and passengers on the Depot, and all military personnel off the Depot while in uniform. When civilian attire is worn, and approved, high visibility jacket or other approved upper torso garment may be worn in lieu of the vest. 

13. WHAT IS THE POLICY FOR DOGS?
Pets will not be permitted to run free. When not penned, pets will be leashed or under the positive control of their owner or a responsible representative of the owner. Positive control means that the pet must be under the immediate physical control or voice command of its owner or the ownerís representative and that the owner or their representative is in the vicinity of the animal. 

Except for guide dogs or other handicapped assistance animals, pets are not permitted at any military ceremony, in the medical or dental clinic, barracks, BOQ, temporary lodging facility, officerís guest house, club facilities, exchange activities, other public facilities or any place where food is sold, stored, prepared or served. 

14. ARE THE TRAFFIC LAWS ON THE BASE DIFFERENT FROM THE S.C. STATE LAWS?
Not substantially. However, vehicle drivers aboard the Depot must observe posted speed limits and parking restrictions. The use of a cell phone while driving is strictly prohibited. Also, all vehicles aboard the Depot are subject to search.

15. MY VEHICLE ALREADY HAS A MILITARY INSTALLATION DECAL, DO I STILL NEED A VEHICLE PASS?
All motor vehicles bearing a valid DOD decal with an installation tab from other military posts or stations shall be granted access without restriction.

16. WHAT IS THE VEHICLE PASS POLICY FOR RETIRED OR FORMER MARINES
AND OTHER SERVICE MEMBERS?

Active duty military personnel, depot civilian employees, retired and former military personnel, survivors of deceased active duty and retired military members, and bona fide dependents whose military sponsors are assigned elsewhere may be issued a temporary pass valid for up to 30 days. 

Our Sister Site

Marine Corps Depot San Diego

 

 

 

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