The Marine Corps has cut the number of recruits it is shipping to its two recruit training depots in half while asking recruits to self-isolate for 14 days before arriving at boot camp, the Corps announced in a video posted Wednesday.
They are latest changes to Marine Corps recruit training in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
A Corps official confirmed to Marine Corps Times that the Parris Island, South Carolina, depot has resumed taking incoming recruits following a temporary hiatus due to an outbreak of COVID-19 aboard the base.
“It’s imperative to preserve the training pipeline to make sure that we can get all of these recruits through without any illness,” Capt. Michael Termini, the medical and public health emergency officer said in the Marine Corps video posted Wednesday.
Both depots are receiving incoming recruits with various safety measures put in place to help stymie the spread of the virus.
Master Sgt. Alistair D’Avilar, the Marine Corps recruiting school operations chief, said in the video that recruits scheduled to ship to boot camp are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California, has already implemented a 14-day staging period before recruit training even commences.
Termini said the Corps is checking for fevers in the morning and afternoon to look for symptoms of the virus.
The Corps has also reduced the number of recruits it is sending to the depots.
“For the time being shipping numbers have been cut in half,” Col. Matthew J. Palma, the commanding officer of Recruit Training Regiment at the San Diego depot, said in the video. “This is not business as usual.”
The video posted by Marine Corps Recruiting Command video highlighted steps that Marine Corps recruiters, personnel and training cadre are implementing to abide by health guidelines in the wake of COVID-19.
“We are experiencing challenging and unprecedented times,” Gen. David Berger, commandant of the Marine Corps, said in the video.
“There are things we simply must continue to do,” Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Troy Black said in the video.
The recruit depots have implemented other health precautions to include face masks and social distancing when feasible.
Public graduation events at boot camp have been canceled.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.