Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island spreads over more than 30 square kilometers and is located in South Carolina, close to Port Royal. It is often associated with the larger nearby Beaufort, which is responsible for hosting multiple other military facilities. The facility is the main recruit depot in the United States Marine Corps. A similar installation is located in San Diego, California, but it is not as important. The site is operated by Lori Reynolds.
The primary mission of MCRD Parris Island is to deal with all the training missions the Marine Corps are supposed to go through. The installation is primarily used by the enlisted Marines. At the same time, it is also responsible for the aspirant Marines living in the eastern side of the Mississippi River. Finally, the female aspirants are welcomed from all over the country. The males living in the western side of Mississippi are usually taken to San Diego for the initial training. However, their choice is often taken in consideration. If they opt for this installation, they are immediately relocated.
Other than that, the depot officials do their best to provide great facilities for the units deployed on site and their families. If the military troops are used to live in a military installation, the civilian families have a hard time accommodating to this lifestyle, therefore the facilities on site aim to turn the place into a normal environment.
The history of MCRD Parris Island dates back to the 16-th century. The place was often used as a military installation by other cultures too, including the French and the Spanish. The installation was first used by the United States Navy in 1861, after the Union troops took it over. The Marines joined three decades later, in 1891, but under the command of the US Navy. The place saw an impressive round of improvements, as numerous buildings and facilities were raised. Most of the facilities built then are now part of the historical site of the installation.
The base was fully commissioned to the United States Marine Corps on November, 1-st, 1915. Its primary mission was to support training operations and it has not changed since then. Multiple battalions were sent there in 1941 and 1942, as more and more aspirants joined the base throughout World War II. During World War II, MCRD Parris trained more than 200,000 recruits. At the time the Japanese forces surrendered in front of the allied forces, 20,000 more recruits were looking forward to graduate.
The command for the female aspirants was established after World War II ended, in February, 1949. The Korean War brought in some extra activity, after it significantly dropped in the previous years. During the war, the training depot prepared almost 140,000 troops.
A severe accident took place in the spring of 1956, with six recruits drowned. Ever since that moment, the recruiting conditions have become way harsher, not to mention about the safety procedures. In 2002, the base was annexed by Port Royal, with the entire island it is located on.