A recent article published by Military.com indicated that the Marine Corps is considering closing its two iconic recruit-training bases, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. Several factors have been cited as reasons for the potential move including the cost of continual maintenance on the historic buildings, climate concerns, and a new regulation requiring mixed, male/female squad bays and gender-neutral recruit training.
The plot of land where MCRD San Diego lies has been utilized by the Marine Corps to train all west-of-the-Mississippi Marine Corps recruits since 1923. The depot adopted its current name, “Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego” on Jan. 1, 1948.
Similarly, men who enlisted in the Marine Corps east of the Mississippi have called MCRD Parris Island their training home since Oct. 25, 1915. All females who have attended Marine recruit training have done so at Parris Island since Feb. 28, 1949 courtesy of the passage of The Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948. The base’s current name, “Parris Island” was coined on May 3, 1919.
Through many generations, men and women from all walks of life and for many reasons have stood on the iconic yellow footprints at each base. Many new recruits stood there because they had volunteered to serve their country, some in times of peace and others in times of great wars. Others were drafted into the service and quickly found themselves at one of the two bases for recruit training.