About Parris Island

Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island

Welcome to the Lowcountry.

These pages are meant to help you with various links and information that can help you get to know the area.  This is by no means a comprehensive list and we encourage you to become a member so we can answer specific questions on our Facebook page.

Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island Official Website

Factual Information

MCRD Parris Island is an 8,095 acres military installation located within Port Royal, South Carolina, just south of Beaufort. It is part of the Tri-Command area which includes the Naval Hospital, a separate gated Naval Base located off Ribaut Road, and the Marine Corps Air Station, a separate gated Marine base located north of Beaufort. There is also a fourth gated housing base called Laurel Bay which contains the DOD schools for the area.

RecruitsMCRD Parris Island is used for the training of approximately 17,000 enlisted Marines a year. Male recruits living east of the Mississippi River form Battalions 1-3 and female recruits from all over the United States form the 4th Battalion. They report here to receive their initial 13 week training which culminates in the 54 hour simulated combat exercise known as “The Crucible”.

handThe graduation ceremony is held on Friday and their families are invited to tour the base during “Family Day,” which is actually three days, approximately Wednesday at noon through Friday at noon. For a complete schedule visit http://www.mcrdpi.marines.mil/GraduationInfo.aspx as well as the MCCS link http://www.mccs-sc.com/recruitfamilies/index.asp.

There are several unit commands on Parris Island:

      • The 6th Recruiting District
          • The Recruit Training Regiment
            • 1st Battalion (Color Red)
            • 2nd Battalion (Color Gold)
            • 3rd Battalion (Color Navy Blue)
            • 4th Battalion (Color Maroon)
            • Support Battalion
            • Drill Instructor School
          • The Weapons and Field Training Battalion
          • The Headquarters and Service Battalion
          • Parris Island Marine Band

        Return to Top

Insider infoInsider Information

Welcome signOn Family Days the base is inundated with families of recruits.  Therefore most full-time residents use the side entrance, the 3rd Battalion Causeway, (according to the road sign).  Most GPS will have difficulty correctly identifying roads on base, so it is helpful to have a map.  

Parris Island Map

It is generally advisable to not go anywhere near the MCX/Commissary, or the Museum/Subway area, especially on Thursday. The commissary and MCX parking lot are used by recruit families. 

There are tram services that run periodically throughout the day making a loop from the MCX parking lot to the Visitor center, Lyceum and the Marine Museum.  

BulldogLegend, the bulldog attends all the graduations and can even salute! 

You know which battalion is graduating by the color of the shirts the families are wearing.  The recruits can’t leave the base on Family Day or they will not graduate. 

Cabbie Cuisine is a company which will deliver food from any restaurant in Beaufort and even delivers to the parade deck for family days.  

If you are interested in volunteering to help at graduation, the MCCS Family Team Building would love to have you. 

Return to Top

Parris Island History

Factual Information

Parris-Island-elenaIn 1562, a French expedition led by naval officer Jean Ribault, was the first European to build an outpost named Charlesfort on Parris Island which was later abandoned. In 1566 the Spanish, led by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés founded a settlement named Santa Elena which became the capital of La Florida for the next decade.

England took control of the region by the 17th century, and Parris Island became home to British plantations growing indigo, then later cotton. During and after the Civil War, the island became home to freed slaves.

Union forces captured Port Royal Sound in 1861, and Parris Island became a coaling station for the Navy. Former slave turned Congressman Robert Smalls, fought for the creation of a new federal military installation on the island. For the Marine Corps history of Parris Island visit the Marine Corps Museum.

You will recognize the names of several streets in Beaufort after reading Parris Island’s history; Ribaut Road and Robert Smalls Parkway.

Pronunciation (Pro none see a shun!) Guide:

Ribaut (Ree bow) Road

Beaufort (Bew fort) South Carolina

Not the same pronunciation as Beaufort (bow fort) North Carolina

You all (y’all) If you are not Southern don’t attempt it!

Insider infoInsider Information

Historic Trails

IMG_1401Follow the golf course road till it dead ends into a marker for the Spanish settlement.

On the left you will find a trail to the old Santa Elena settlement. Further down the trail are gravestones for slaves from the later plantations.

On the right, there is a short boardwalk overlooking the marsh. A nature trail is next to it winding back a short way next to the marsh.


Return to Top

Other Parris Island Amenities

Legends Golf Course:

Beautiful 18 Hole Golf Course with the Sand Trap Grill which is open for breakfast and lunch.  There is often an alligator resting near the ponds in the golf course.

RV Campground and Elliot’s Beach:

View-Elliott-Beach-300x225The RV Campground is next to the entrance to the golf course.  Drive past the RV campground to continue on to Elliot’s beach.

The beach has a large open grass area, picnic tables, a large bench swing, bathrooms and a playground for young children.


This is not really a beach since there is a large steep bank of broken concrete used to prevent erosion.

There is a path to a large wide rock jetty that extends into the Broad River which you can safely walk/climb on.

Next to the large open grass area is a picturesque section of sandy beach which extends for a short way.

Parris Island Rod and Gun Club

Return to Top

MCCS Links:

The site below includes both the Air Station and Parris Island information.

Movie Theaters Link:

The Parris Island Movie Theater is normally open Friday night and Sunday.
The Air Station Movie Theater is normally open Saturday.

Activities for Children:

Youth Sports including Pool/Swimming Lessons

Outdoor Recreation  Information on renting boats, blow-ups, camping equipment and more

Bowling Alley/Subway on Parris Island


Child Development Centers:

Youth Centers are found on Parris Island and Laurel Bay.

Return to Top

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s