Parris Island Family Days and Graduation USMC Bootcamp Recruit Training MCRD

AFamily Day
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Family and friends of Marine Corps Recruits are strongly encouraged to attend the graduation ceremonies for the announcement that your Recruit has earned the respected title of United States Marine. Graduation is three-part: Wednesday is Family Orientation Day, Thursday is Family Day and Graduation is Friday. The Marine Corps has activities planned for all three days.

Plan to arrive in Parris Island by Tuesday evening before Family Orientation Day. You and your new Marine can depart immediately after the graduation ceremony on Friday. The nearest major airports to Parris Island are the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) and the Click here for our Parris Island Base Access page

Family Orientation Day

  • 9:00 am-4:00 pm - Family Check-in at the Douglas Visitors' Center; Java Cafe open 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • 10:00 am-12:30 pm - Marine Corps 101, including a "Behind the Scenes" tour, at Douglas Visitors' Center (Tickets are not required. Arrive early, limited seating.)
  • Lunch - Traditions (Officer/SNCO Club), Food Court, Subway, Golf Course
  • 2:30 pm-4:30 pm - Family Orientation Brief at the Lyceum (Tickets are not required. Arrive early.)
  • 4:00 pm - Meet & Greet at Traditions (Officer/SNCO Club)
  • 5:00 pm-8:00 pm - Steak Night at Traditions (Officer/SNCO Club). Reservations required.

Family Day

Please register before 9:50 a.m. at the Douglas Visitor Center.

  • 6:30 a.m. - Java Cafe open in Visitor Center
  • 7:00 a.m. - Motivational Run
  • 9:30 a.m. - Battalion Commander's Brief describing Recruit Training in the All-Weather Training Facility
  • 9:50 a.m. - Liberty Ceremony (on base liberty commences upon conclusion of the ceremony)
  • 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. - Barracks Open House
  • 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. - Observation of events at Leatherneck Square
  • 3:00 p.m. - Liberty Ends

Graduation Day

The Morning Colors Ceremony (flag raising) with musical accompaniment by the Parris Island Marine Band is held Friday at 7:45 a.m. in front of Barrow Hall.

Graduation is held Friday mornings at 9:00 a.m. on the Depot's Peatross Parade Deck and lasts about an hour. In the event of inclement weather, graduation ceremonies will be held in two or three indoor locations, which will be announced on the morning of graduation at the Douglas Visitor's Center.

Click here for more information.

Dining Services on the Depot

Food Court

  • Primo's Express
  • Habanero
  • Java Cafe - Inside the MCX
  • Parris Island Food Court is open Monday-Saturday 6:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. & Sunday 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. -Serving Mexican food, pizza, and delicious hot and cold sandwiches - eat in or take out available.


  • Subway (open 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
  • Sand Trap Grill & Cafe (open 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
  • Four Winds Restaurant / Bar
    Family Day Lunch Buffet - all you can eat southern fried chicken, spaghetti, salad bar, cake and beverage. Adults $10, Children $5, Under 5 Free! Graduating Marines eat free! 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Brig & Brew (Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.)

Shopping Services on the Depot

  • Marine Corps Exchange open Monday-Saturday 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • 7 Day Store (gas & convenience store) open Monday-Saturday 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • 4th Battalion Weapons & Exchange open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Museum Gift Shop open daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • GNC open Monday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Recreation on the Depot

  • Movie Theatre
  • Bowling
  • Legends Golf Course

All photos below are courtesy of "Good to Go Video."

Watch Your Step!

Respect the Marine Corps grounds during your visit to the Depot. Please do not walk on the grass. Please do not walk across the Parade Deck.

Graduation DeckPlatoon Honormen

PrayingPI Recruits Praying

Pi Graduates PI Graduates

Pi Graduates Valor is a Virtue

Pi Graduates PI Graduates

Family Day

The day prior to graduation with activities planned for families of graduating Marines. Your new Marine will escort you with his left arm to reserve his right hand for saluting higher-ranking Marines.

Family at GraduationFamily at Graduation

Family at GraduationFamily at Graduation

Motivational Run

The final run for the company of recruits. A milestone in your Recruit's training. Many of the commanding officers run with the recruits for the Motivational Run.


Time-off from training for graduating Marines. Recruits must remain on the Depot during Liberty. From 12:00 noon until 5:00 p.m. on Family Day for the recruit to visit with family and friends.

Parade Deck

Huge area of asphalt where recruits practice drills and marching. Formal ceremonies are held on the Parade Deck. DO NOT walk across the Parade Deck under any circumstances.

Reviewing Stands

Bleachers setup next to the Parade Deck for family members to view emblem ceremony and graduation ceremony.

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