A 19-year-old Marine private first class recently died during the Crucible, the final excruciating event of Marine Corps boot camp.
Pfc. Dalton Beals passed away on Friday while conducting the event with new Marines of Echo Company, a Facebook post from Parris Island, South Carolina, first announced.
He was set to graduate June 18.
“Our deepest condolences go out to Dalton’s family and to the Marines and staff of Echo Company,” the Corps said in the post.
Beals was being paid as a private first class when he died, Marine spokesman Chief Warrant Officer Bobby Yarbrough told Task & Purpose.
“The Drill instructors and Company staff made the determination that based on his resolve and dedication throughout recruit training and the Crucible, Pfc. Beals earned the title Marine,” Yarbrough told the outlet.
Beals’ cause of death is currently under investigation, Marine officials told Marine Corps Times on Tuesday.
The Crucible is a grueling three-day capstone, which ends with a 9-mile hike, starting long before the sun is up, seeing Marines lug their rifles and up to 70-pound packs. It is at the completion of the event that recruits are given an Eagle, Globe and Anchor insignia and “made Marines.”
Beals had graduated from Pennsville Memorial High School in Pennsville, New Jersey, with the class of 2020, according to releasable information from Marine spokesman Capt. Bryan McDonnell.
The New Jersey native had completed some courses at Salem Community College in Carneys Point, New Jersey.
Beals was an “amazing athlete,” according to a GoFundMe page set up for the family, noting that his mother described him as “the most sincere, kindhearted, sweet and amazing young man.”
His awards include the National Defense Medal.
Recruit training deaths are not common.
A recruit drowned at the East Coast depot in 2005 and another died in 2009 after finishing his physical fitness test, Marine Corps Times previously reported. A drill instructor was found dead in base housing in 2014.
Another Parris Island, South Carolina, recruit death made headlines in March 2016 when Raheel Siddiqui leaped down a stairwell to his death after repeated abuse by a drill instructor. Drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix was later sentenced to 10 years in the brig for abusing recruits.
Andrea Scott is editor of Marine Corps Times. On Twitter: @_andreascott.
Andrea Scott is editor of Marine Corps Times.