Good news for parents and lonely significant others, bad news for Jody.
Ten days of Marine boot leave has finally returned.
The traditional 10 days of leave granted to newly minted Marines after they graduate the grueling three months of boot camp was canceled as the Corps tried to fight COVID-19 during the pandemic.
New Marines who graduate from Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego on Oct. 22 will be the first allowed to take the leave since it was suspended in early 2020, said Capt. Sam Stephenson, spokesman for Marine Corps Training and Education Command.
At Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, the new policy will take effect on Oct. 29, according to a post on the depot’s Facebook page.
The renewal of boot leave marks a closer return to normalcy as the Corps, and the Department of Defense as whole, increase the vaccination rates within the ranks.
As of Friday, 76.5 percent of active duty Marines have been fully vaccinated with 90 percent of the active duty force being at least partially vaccinated.
Vaccination rates for the reserves are behind the norm with only 46.4 percent of reserve Marines reporting that they are partially or fully vaccinated.
During the summer both recruit depots ended the pre-boot camp two-week quarantine period that the Corps had been using throughout the pandemic to keep recruits healthy once training began.
Once the ten days of leave are up the Marines will be expected to report to either the East or West coast Schools of Infantry with a fresh haircut and squared away service alpha uniform.
“This decision falls in-line with the latest DOD and service-level force protection measures and COVID-19 initiatives,” said Capt. Philip Kulczewski, a Parris Island spokesman.
“Our Marines are the bedrock on which the success of the organization depends and families play an important role in their welfare and readiness,” he added. “Leave between recruit training and the School of Infantry increases morale for both the Marine and their family.”