Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot Parris Island is a sacred place that shapes everyday citizens into United States Marines. The journey from recruit in training to United States Marine is unforgettable and some even describe it as the best worst time of their life. Once a Marine leaves the island, most may never return.

U.S. Marines with 2nd Transportation Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, were given the opportunity to visit MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina during a professional military education trip on June 14, 2019.

The day started off with the Marines visiting the famous yellow footprints, the place where the training begins. They then made their way to the receiving bay where all recruits are allotted one phone call home to let their families know they arrived safely, followed by a tour of a recruit living quarters.

“Going back to MCRD Parris Island was an overwhelming feeling,” said Pfc. Johnny Francis, who graduated from Parris Island on November 23, 2019, now a motor vehicle operator with 2nd TSB. “It is the place that broke me, made me want to give up, but also gave me the courage to keep going and in turn allowed me to become a United States Marine.”

Marines pride themselves on being the best, and it all starts at recruit training. The Marine Corps has the longest entry level training of any of the four branches.

Recruits endure 13 weeks of rigorous physical, mental, and spiritual challenges. Under 24/7 watch and care of the Marine Corps Drill Instructor, recruits are completely stripped of their civilian habits and relearn everything the Marine Corps way.

“Getting to see recruit training as a Marine made me understand why we are held to such a high standard,” said Lance Cpl. Charlene Yabut, who graduated from Parris Island on November 29, 2018, now a landing support specialist with 2nd TSB. “Those recruits don’t know it yet but they will remember everything that was drilled into their head. Being a Marine takes everything you have to offer every day and without the foundation that is laid here, we wouldn’t be the U.S. Marines.”

2nd TSB ended their trip on the island with witnessing 570 new Marines from P and M Company march and graduate on the Pete Ross Parade Deck.

Graduation day marks the end of recruit training; it is the culminating and most awaited day by all new Marines.

“We wanted to bring the Marines from our unit here to allow them to reflect and remind them that we all stepped foot on those yellow footprints for a reason; we all wanted to become Marines,” said Capt. Brian Hassett, Alpha Company Commander, 2nd TSB, CLR 2, 2nd MLG. “We have earned the title, but it doesn’t end there. We have to keep working hard, stay dedicated and be prepared for when America calls.”


  1. Today is my 50th anniversary since i stood on the yellow footsteps. Never forget it.
    Plt. 3005. Parris Island

  2. JDI @ MCRD PARRIS ISLAND 1952. Never been back since. Too hot for me! Much better than Korea. Savannah Georgia good place for Liberty.


  4. I went back to Parris Island in March, 2018, 43 years after I graduated (Plt 1020). It was a very emotional visit, I spent the whole day on the island, lost in thoughts. I really enjoyed the visit, I was there for the day when families get to visit with their new Marines, and came back the following day for the graduation ceremonies.

  5. Larry, I was in 3006 in 1969 so we were in the same series.

    I believe it’s called the PEATROSS PARADE deck since it was named after General Peatross. (MOH WWII) CG of PISC in 1969.

    1. Semper Fi Mac i believe our Barracks were next to the mess hall you must have been right above me. Then we must have been at Camp Geiger together also. I was with Zulu Co. for ITR and Victor Co. for BST.

    1. mcrd san diego,sept. 59,sept. 63,made gitmo with a 4 duece battery in oct. 62,missed vietnam,never a day passes i don,t think about the corps,
      DON R. ZELL

  6. Semper Fi! MCRD PI ! 1979 June 7 – Aug 31! PLT 3037 3rd BLT I COMP. OOHRAH!!! Did 22 years retired as a GySgt!

  7. got off the bus at 2300 hours on April 6 1961 and graduated with Platoon 119 on July 6 1961. Remembering laying in the rack that first night and wondering how in the “heck” I was going to survive the next 3 years and 364 days. Our DIs told us that P I was the toughest Boot Camp in the world and that the First Bn was the toughest one on the Island. To this day I still believe that since our D Is told us that and we all know they would never lie.

  8. Feb. 14 1956 arrived at MCRD Parris Island with the Third Battalion Platoon 63 and still laugh to this day at some of the antics they put up through. As with most, the Marine Corps made me into a better person with purpose in life. Semper-Fi.

  9. Forgot to mention….Going thru DI School @ PI was like going to Boot Camp for a second time. So, I guess I can say I went to Boot Camp twice. Once at MCRDSAN and Once at MCRDPI. A lot of Boot Camp. Must be why I have made it to age 88 and still going! Semper Fi.

  10. I will never forget standing on those yellow footprints at 0230 saying….what the hell did I do!!! Never regretted joining & never will, once a Marine always a Marine, Semper Fi….Platoon 3008, January 1980.

    1. I was thinking the same on February 1960.Semper Fi
      Once A Marine Always A Marine.

      Not As Lean
      Not As Mean
      Still A Marine

  11. February 1967. Platoon 345. From the college frat house to the Island. Best decision I ever made. Nothing compares with it. Semper Fi.

  12. At this time in 1963 I was at PI in Plt. 339, Sgt. G.W.Carr, what a hell of a ride that was….I’ll never forget it. It’s still ingrained in my demeanor today, these 56 years passed by fast SEMPER FI

  13. Graduated 7/2767, Platoon 177 MCRD, PI. Never has anything changed my life as that did. Never more proud to be able to say US Marine. Have not forgotten SSGT D. Washington
    Semper Fidelis

  14. This November 2019 will be 55 years since Parris Island. Sgt. Wells, Sgt. Riker, Plt 379 of the 376 series right on the edge of the swamp. Then ITR, Camp Geiger, and 1965 & 66 Viet Nam.
    Haven’t made it back to visit yet, but looking to retire with in next year or so ( will be 73 this August ), and it is on my list of places to re-visit.
    Not one regret of my time spent on “The Island”

  15. “WE don’t promise you a rose garden”. PLT. 341-JUNE1974-PI. EAGLE, GLOBE AND ANCHOR, MARINE CORPS TANKER ! [74-78 ] SEMPER FI ! SGT. R G STONE [WVA]

    1. Sgt RG Stone (WVa) “We never promised you a rose garden” I remember that recruiting slogan. I’m from WVa too. I joined up right before you, Oct 73 – Oct 77.
      Platoon 395, India Co. 3rd Bn, RTR Parris Island, and the WVa State Motto, “Mountaineers are Always Free” Semper Fi Sgt CP Baker

  16. Platoon 127, May 5, 1964, S/Sgt Ermish, Cpl. Vavaio, I was Dress Blues Award, one of the proudest. Oments of my life! Semper Fi M F! dp

    1. Don, I had Sgt. Ermish with Plt . 156, July 63-Nov 63, he was EOD, met him in 66 in VN, he cleared a booby trap for us. Found him maybe 15 years ago, living in Fl. He died a couple years ago. He retired a Capt. with 27 years in the Corps.

  17. “…proudest moments” – woulda been bends-and-thrusts forfreakinever for a mistake like that! dp

  18. This July 19th it will be 58 years that my platoon #343 started our 13 weeks of basic training at Parris Island. Then it was off to Camp Geiger, Camp LeJeune ,N.C. for ITR training. So much fun for a young man of 18. I have always been extremely prod to be able to call myself a Marine (1961-1965). Semper Fi!
    In 1977, I returned to PI with my family and was able to watch my nephew graduate after basic training. He retired as a SSgt after 21 years in the U.S. Marines.

  19. “There seems to be ONE Marine who doesn’t get the WORD.” The Sgt.Maj. said NO SMILING for the pic. Yet, near the top center, sticking out like a sore thumb is Pvt. Smiling. Grinning like the cat who ate all the tuna fish.
    S/F. PISC, 1976, F Co., 2ndBlt

  20. I went to an 4 day Educators Workshop there this summer. Amazing Experience! The making of a Marine is a tried and true process.

  21. I was in Platoon 68 getting my butte kicked in July 1950 at Parris Island ,and the training was well worth it. I have never been back , iv’e always wanted to. I don’t remember any of my DI’s
    names. I’ve tried contacting other marines with no success. hoping for some contact from this
    post. Semper Fi Marines

  22. I’m still looking for any Marine that was born, raised, and trained on Parris Island, or any variation thereof. I just have a hard time believing I’m the only one in, or was in the Corps, to have this distinction. Some of my memories include riding on my bike around the 3rd RTB’S quonset huts, hunting raccoons off of Scout Island, going to the swimming pool at the officer’s club, attending Parris Island Elementary School (3rd – 5th grades), fishing at the yacht basin, and spending a dime to see movies at the Lyceum theater. Graduating from Plt. 3060, Co. K, 3rd RTBn. was a highlight on Sept. 16th, 1966. Those were some good days in my old life(I’m 72).

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