Home Career and Education Marine recruit dies during the ‘Crucible’ exercise at boot camp

Marine recruit dies during the ‘Crucible’ exercise at boot camp

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Dalton Beals, 18, of Pennsville, New Jersey died during the final phase of US Marine Corps boot camp. (GoFundME)

Karl Puckett and Sofia Sanchez

The Island Packet (Hilton Head Island, S.C.)

A Marine recruit died Friday at Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island during The Crucible, an intense exercise that caps 13 weeks of training, the U.S. Marines said.

Pfc. Dalton Beals’ death came during the The Crucible with the new Marines of Echo Company, the Marines said on Facebook.

“Our deepest condolences go out to Dalton’s family and to the Marines and staff of Echo Company,” the post said.

The cause of death is under investigation, Staff Sgt. Anne Henry said.

This marks at least the seventh trainee death on Parris Island since 2000.

The Crucible is a rigorous 54-hour training exercise that recruits undertake at the close of their 13 weeks of training. The final stage of the crucible training involves a 9-mile hike that marks the end of their training to become a Marine.

The Marine Corps Recruit Depot recently celebrated the reopening of its boot camp graduation ceremonies in May after 14 months of closed graduations due to COVID-19.

Most weeks throughout the year, an average of 350 new Marines graduate from the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island.

What many might not know, though, is that these young men and women actually became Marines nearly a week earlier at sunrise in a private and emotional ceremony with their fellow platoon members, drill instructors and company leaders by their sides.

In this ceremony, recruits are awarded their Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblem and, for the first time, are referred to as “Marine.”

The emblem — which they consider sacred — marks the completion of their final test.

That test is called the Crucible.

In a GoFundMe page established for Beals’ family, his mother, Stacie Beveridge Beals, described her son as “the most sincere, kindhearted, sweet and amazing young man.”

Beals, of Pennsville, N.J., graduated form Pennsville Memorial High School in 2020.

He wore number 81 and played defensive end and tight end on the football team, according to hudl.com.

Flags will be flown at half staff in honor of Beals, the school announced on Facebook.

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