Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, the storied boot camp that sits off the coasts of Beaufort and Hilton Head Island, could be closing, according to a report from Military.com.
According to the report, the Marine Corps is weighing a plan that would close its two boot camps — on Parris Island and in San Diego — and direct all future recruits to a new co-educational base.
The plan comes almost a year after Congress required the Marine Corps to fully gender-integrate its basic training with the passage of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.
Recruit Depot Parris Island was required to integrate boot camp at the platoon level within five years, according to the law passed in December of 2019.
In January, Parris Island announced it would place one female platoon into the previously all-male 3rd Recruit Training Battalion during boot camp.
Now, the Marine Corps is studying an option of creating a third training base in a new location to send all new recruits, according to Military.com. The report cited costs on construction projects at the aging bases.
The Marine Corps training base at Parris Island has a long and storied history.
In 1861, the first set of Marines near Parris Island sailed into Port Royal Sound as members of detachments during the Civil War.
On Oct. 25, 1915, it was dedicated as the main training barracks for the Marine Corps.
Women first began training at Parris Island in the 1940s, but it wasn’t until last year that the training base saw the first-ever coed company graduate.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
©2020 The Island Packet (Hilton Head, S.C.)
Visit The Island Packet (Hilton Head, S.C.) at www.islandpacket.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.