COVID-19 Impact on Boot Camp and Graduations

Please be aware, the Marine Corps doesn't have a road-map for the COVID-19 pandemic either, but they have to keep our troops safe. When the USMC provides answers and additional information, we will publish it on these pages of our website. Our take on this will be that the military will exercise more caution and keep civilians off the bases longer than what other populations and communities do in our country.

COVID-19 Impact on Boot Camp and Graduations

COVID-19 Impact on USMC, Marines, and Family Members


Question from Family Members: What if I've received a note from my recruits recruiter about the two week quarantine? Response: We understand that some parents have received notes from the recruiter and this note includes information about the schedule while new recruits are under the two week quarantine. The Recruit Training Regiment has announced they have built a training plan for recruits while they're in quarantine. This plan includes some of the normal activities they would do during recruit training such as cleaning of living spaces and educational classes. This time will not include any training that requires close contact with others such as physical conditioning and MCMAP. Additionally, they will also be checked by medical professionals twice daily.


Question from Family Members: Can I send a cell phone to my recruit before Graduation? Response: Thus far, Parris Island is allowing cell phones to be shipped to the recruits the week before graduation. At this time, there is no official word from San Diego. We will update you as we learn more.


Question from Family Members: Has the Depot stopped passing out mail? Some mail is being sent home. Response: About a week ago we heard from the Depots that the mail was operating as normal. We have not heard anything that contradicts that previous information. We will update you if we hear anything new on this.


Question from Family Members: Will the Depot do a live stream of graduation this Friday? Response: We understand that the intention of the USMC is to live stream the graduations. Parris Island announced that for the 4/10 graduation, they will be unable to stream the graduation live. They are still testing the equipment to stream the outdoor ceremonies. We will update you as you learn more.


Question from Family Members: Is there an additional two weeks added to boot camp due to the 14-Day holding period for new recruits shipping to boot camp to check for COVID-19? Response: Both Depots have announced that recruits will undergo a 14-day quarantine period before officially beginning boot camp. This means they will spend 15 weeks at boot camp instead of 13. During this time, they will be monitored and medically screened in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

U.S. Marine Corps and Navy Conduct COVID Study at The Citadel

Recruit Training (Boot Camp)

Parris Island Restrictions

On October 31, Parris Island will allow access for retirees and appropriately credentialed veterans on Saturdays and Sundays each week to access the Commissary, Marine Corps Exchange, Legends Golf Course, Traditions, boat ramps and other activities. The depot will remain closed on Fridays. For more details, click here.

Both Depots Limiting the Number of Recruits

MCRD Parris Island and San Diego are both limiting the number of recruits per company to ensure social distancing is maintained. MCRD San Diego is limiting each company to 325 recruits. Parris Island is limiting each company to 454 male recruits and 120 female recruits due to the different styles of barracks.

Parris Island Poolees Now Ship to Atlanta

Previously, poolees who shipped to Parris Island would conduct a 14-day quarantine period at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Now those poolees will ship to a hotel in Atlanta, Georgia to conduct their 14-day quarantine.

While in staging, each poolee will be screened and observed by medical care providers for the duration of the two-week period. Additionally, poolees will receive virtual classes to increase their general military knowledge.

Poolees will be transported to MCRD Parris Island following the two week period, as long as they don't test positive for COVID-19, to begin their journey toward becoming a United States Marine.

Parris Island Now Open to Specific Groups

Parris Island on June 5 that Parris Island will now be open, Monday-Thursday from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm to the following groups of people:

  • Approved veterans and dependents/care-givers
  • Retired DoD civilians
  • Retired Non-Appropriated Funds (NAF) employees and their dependents
  • Those with current vetting through the "Friends of Parris Island" program

Face masks are still required in the Commissary and in all medical/dental facilities aboard MCRD Parris Island. Face masks are not required in all other MCCS retail and service activities as long as social distancing is maintained. If social distancing is not possible, face masks are required.

Parents of recruits at MCRD San Diego have been informed that they can begin sending their recruits cell phones and chargers on T-54, the day before the Crucible begins. They will be given their cell phones on M-3 and will have limited access to the device. Families can only use U.S. Postal Services to send the phone without additional insurance that requires the recruit to sign for it. Recruits are unable to receive packages that they must sign for. For more information, click here.

*** UPDATE: As of Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 2:07 PM, MCRD Parris Island has informed families of FOX and NOVEMBER 2 Company Marines that they may send a cell phone to their Marine beginning August 19. Please send them early this week if you choose to do so to ensure it arrives before they graduate and leave MCRD Parris Island. The Marines will not have unlimited access to their phones as they are still in a training environment. This is being allowed to ease the flow of communication as the new Marines transfer to SOI. MCRD Parris Island will continue to update their Facebook Page with notifications for when it is time for additional companies to have cell phones mailed.

10-Day Leave

All Marines who graduated on or before March 13, 2020 are still expected to check in to SOI (ITB or MCT) by the designated date and time on their orders. Any Marines experiencing delays or changes to their travel that would affect their check in date need to contact the number listed on their orders.

Announced by USMC at 5:54 PM March 16, effective immediately Marine Corps entry-level training (boot camp) will temporarily suspend the standard 10-day leave period granted to new Marines following graduation from recruit training.

Following graduation, all new Marines will report to the appropriate School of Infantry via government provided transportation, where the next phase of their entry-level training will begin. Upon completion of that phase they will continue on to their assigned unit or additional formal training as required.

This policy is effective thru June 30, 2020, and will be reviewed based on conditions at that time.

Marine Parents Travel Assistance

Applications and processing applications for the Travel Assistance Program (MPTA) to help families with financial need to attend graduations have been temporarily suspended. When the Secretary of Defense lifts the mandate for no public attendance at graduations, the program will resume. All donations received to date for graduations that have been impacted will be redirected to other companies for graduations when the situation resolves.

Shipping Packages to Recruits

During this pandemic, we urge family and friends of recruits to refrain from sending any packages to their recruit or new Marine. This includes items such as clothing, cell phones, shoes, etc. The Marines who work in the mail room are already overwhelmed and it can be difficult to safely move mail and packages during a pandemic. New Marines have the option of shopping at the Exchange on the Depot if they need anything. We recommend only sending letters to the Depots until further notice.

ALL Graduations

Effective March 13, 2020, the Secretary of Defense has provided direction that public attendance at graduation ceremonies and related activities is prohibited, with no exceptions. This is across the board, and includes all graduations: Recruit Training (boot camp), SOI, MCT, WAB, and OCS.

Graduations Videos on Facebook

Graduation videos are being made available on Facebook and the website shortly after the ceremony has ended. We will also add the graduation videos to our website, here. The links for Parris Island and San Diego are the following:

Pentagon Orders Bases to Not Release Specific Covid-19 Numbers

Due to OPSEC concerns, the Pentagon has ordered military bases to stop releasing specific Covid-19 numbers.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said last week, "What we want to do is give you aggregated numbers. But we're not going to disaggregate numbers because it could reveal information about where we may be affected at a higher rate than maybe some other places." As of Monday March 30, 569 active-duty service members, 220 civilian personnel, 190 family members, and 64 contractors have tested positive for Covid-19. For more information on the order from the Pentagon, click here.

From US Marine Corps

From Website

DOD Press Releases COVID-19


USO Airport Operations

Per the Department of Defense: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all USO Airport locations in the United States will temporarily suspend operations until further notice in order to maintain safe environments and avoid unnecessary risks of exposure.

Making Marines During Covid-19

How Recruit Training Has Changed

Reporting COVID-19 Testing and Results Among Military

As part of our POSTING RULE 2: OPSEC and PERSEC, discussion or speculation on the numbers of troops or location of troops being tested or having tested for COVID-19 will not be permitted. Posting COVID-19 testing results of military members will not be permitted. There are no exceptions to this rule.

For obvious reasons, specific information about the health of our military forces is a direct violation of OPSEC.

Stating information about any Marine or recruit, your own or otherwise, testing for COVID-19 as it relates to their job duties as a military member (whether the results are positive or negative) is a violation of PERSEC and will not be permitted. Discussions of COVID-19 within your family are permitted as long as you do not identify the individual and do not state military affiliation.


Monday, March 30, 2020: Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said in a statement on Monday "As we continue to grapple with the novel nature of COVID19, we are constantly assessing and adapting not only how we respond to combatting the virus, but also how we share critical public health information with our communities." Farah also said "We will not report the aggregate number of individual service member cases at individual unit, base or Combatant Commands. We will continue to do our best to balance transparency in this crisis with operational security."

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