COVID-19 Impact on Boot Camp and Graduations
COVID-19 Impact on USMC, Marines, and Family Members
RED ALERT BOX UPDATED 3/16/2020 5:15 PM
Information on this page is subject to ongoing and continual updates. Please use resource links provided for the most up-to-date information.
We will only share information that comes directly from the Department of Defense or US Marine Corps. Our sources for information will be Official Marine Corps social media pages, websites, and Base Public Affairs Offices. Visit the following links or pages for information:
See the FULL PAGE of details using the 2nd Gold Button in this red alert section for press releases from the DOD.
Travel restrictions from the DOD are changing continually during the pandemic. Please see 3rd Gold Button for travel FAQ from the DOD.
Recruit Training (Boot Camp)
More Confirmed Cases at Parris Island
A spokesman at MCRD Parris Island has announced there are now more than 20 confirmed cases of Covid-19 at Parris Island. That includes cases among drill instructors and recruits. Parris Island will not accept new recruits until at least mid-April. Parris Island will have a 14-day staging period while medical personnel monitors the new recruits to ensure they are healthy before they begin training. For more information read this article from military.com.
Recruits Will Not Ship March 30th
In a message to MCRD Parris Island from the Commanding General and Sergeant Major from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot/Eastern Recruiting Region, it was announced that new recruits will not ship to Parris Island on March 30th, as previously scheduled. They will use this time to expand the facilities available to screen incoming recruits and personnel, as well as care for those in quarantine and isolation. Click here to read the full message to Parris Island.
Confirmed Cases at Parris Island
As of March 26, the Acting Secretary of the Navy confirmed there were two confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving recruits at MCRD Parris Island. Click here to watch the video announcement.
MCRD Parris Island announced on their Facebook page on March 24 that two Marines at Parris Island have tested positive for COVID-19. Both Marines work separate from recruit training locations and there are no confirmed cases among drill instructors or recruits at this time. Also, both Marines followed CDC guidelines and notified medical personnel upon showing symptoms. They were quickly screened and isolated and any personnel they came in contact with were notified, self-quarantined, and will receive a follow-on medical assessment.
The Marine Corps will continue all recruit training and shipping poolees to boot camp will continue as scheduled by the Marine Corps.
All Marines who graduated on or before March 13, 2020 are still expected to check in to SOI (ITB or MCT) by the designated date and time on their orders. Any Marines experiencing delays or changes to their travel that would affect their check in date need to contact the number listed on their orders.
Announced by USMC at 5:54 PM March 16, effective immediately Marine Corps entry-level training (boot camp) will temporarily suspend the standard 10-day leave period granted to new Marines following graduation from recruit training.
Following graduation, all new Marines will report to the appropriate School of Infantry via government provided transportation, where the next phase of their entry-level training will begin. Upon completion of that phase they will continue on to their assigned unit or additional formal training as required.
This policy is effective thru May 11, 2020, and will be reviewed based on conditions at that time.
Marine Parents Travel Assistance
Applications and processing applications for the MarineParents.com Travel Assistance Program (MPTA) to help families with financial need to attend graduations have been temporarily suspended. When the Secretary of Defense lifts the mandate for no public attendance at graduations, the program will resume. All donations received to date for graduations that have been impacted will be redirected to other companies for graduations when the situation resolves.
Shipping Packages to Recruits
During this pandemic, we urge family and friends of recruits to refrain from sending any packages to their recruit or new Marine. This includes items such as clothing, cell phones, shoes, etc. The Marines who work in the mail room are already overwhelmed and it can be difficult to safely move mail and packages during a pandemic. New Marines have the option of shopping at the Exchange on the Depot if they need anything. We recommend only sending letters to the Depots until further notice.
Effective March 13, 2020, the Secretary of Defense has provided direction that public attendance at graduation ceremonies and related activities is prohibited, with no exceptions. This is across the board, and includes all graduations: Recruit Training (boot camp), SOI, MCT, WAB, and OCS.
LIVE Graduations on Facebook
For graduations that will be held and shown LIVE, MarineParents.com will create a WATCH PARTY in that Facebook group to share the event with members. At this time, there are no graduations scheduled with a LIVE feed. If you are not a member of our Facebook groups, click here to join one of our groups. (NOTE: You must answer all three questions to be approved as a group member.)
LIVE Parris Island Graduations
MCRD Parris Island will livestream all graduations during this period, which will be available on www.facebook.com/parrisisland during livestream and on www.mcrdpi.marines.mil and www.dvidshub.net/unit/MCRD-PI after the conclusion of graduation.
Pentagon Orders Bases to Not Release Specific Covid-19 Numbers
Due to OPSEC concerns, the Pentagon has ordered military bases to stop releasing specific Covid-19 numbers.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said last week, "What we want to do is give you aggregated numbers. But we're not going to disaggregate numbers because it could reveal information about where we may be affected at a higher rate than maybe some other places." As of Monday March 30, 569 active-duty service members, 220 civilian personnel, 190 family members, and 64 contractors have tested positive for Covid-19. For more information on the order from the Pentagon, click here.
From US Marine Corps
- UPDATE #4: U.S MARINE CORPS DISEASE CONTAINMENT PREPAREDNESS PLANNING GUIDANCE FOR 2019 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19): DOD OCONUS STOP MOVEMENT
Date Signed: 3/26/2020 | MARADMINS Number: 193/20
From Defense.gov Website
DOD Press Releases COVID-19
- MARCH 25, 2020:
Overseas Stop Movement Order in Response to COVID-19
- MARCH 14, 2020:
Statement by the DOD on COVID-19 Response Measures on the Pentagon Reservation
- MARCH 13, 2020:
Statement by the Department of Defense on Domestic Travel Restrictions
- MARCH 11, 2020:
Update on DOD COVID-19 Measures
- MARCH 10, 2020:
Transcript: Defense Department Press Briefing
- MARCH 7, 2020:
Marine in Virginia Tests Positive
- MARCH 3, 2020:
Statement Regarding New York Times Article
- JAN. 31, 2020:
DOD Issues Guidelines to Personnel on Coronavirus
USO Airport Operations
Per the Department of Defense: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all USO Airport locations in the United States will temporarily suspend operations until further notice in order to maintain safe environments and avoid unnecessary risks of exposure.
OPSEC AND COVID-19:
Reporting COVID-19 Testing and Results Among Military
As part of our POSTING RULE 2: OPSEC and PERSEC, discussion or speculation on the numbers of troops or location of troops being tested or having tested for COVID-19 will not be permitted. Posting COVID-19 testing results of military members will not be permitted. There are no exceptions to this rule.
For obvious reasons, specific information about the health of our military forces is a direct violation of OPSEC.
Stating information about any Marine or recruit, your own or otherwise, testing for COVID-19 as it relates to their job duties as a military member (whether the results are positive or negative) is a violation of PERSEC and will not be permitted. Discussions of COVID-19 within your family are permitted as long as you do not identify the individual and do not state military affiliation.
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
Monday, March 30, 2020: Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said in a statement on Monday "As we continue to grapple with the novel nature of COVID19, we are constantly assessing and adapting not only how we respond to combatting the virus, but also how we share critical public health information with our communities." Farah also said "We will not report the aggregate number of individual service member cases at individual unit, base or Combatant Commands. We will continue to do our best to balance transparency in this crisis with operational security."