Politicians Are Now Involved

| September 28, 2020

The Marines are thinking, as reported earlier, of closing two bases currently used for recruit training. (Yes, as we all know quite well, Dave Hardin will tell you that Marines do engage in thinking, no matter how many headaches it gives them.)

Anyway, now that politicians have found out about it, those in whose state (NC) Parris Island is located are gnashing their teeth and pawing the ground over this unexpected proposal and are vowing to stop it in its tracks.


From the article:  25 Sep 2020: By Gina Harkins

The mere possibility of the Marine Corps shaking up where it trains new recruits has drawn swift backlash — at least in one state.

Political leaders in South Carolina are “activating” a task force to meet next week following Military.com’s exclusive Thursday report that the Marine Corps is weighing the option of opening a new boot camp site. Such a move would mean a big change for the service, which has historically sent new enlistees to its legendary recruit depots in San Diego and Parris Island, South Carolina.

“It ain’t gonna happen!” Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, tweeted on Friday. “If you’re looking to save money — let’s start with cutting those people who think closing Parris Island is a good idea.

“Anyone in the Navy or Marine Corps thinking about closing Parris Island has limited growth potential,” Graham, a retired Air Force Reserve colonel, added. – article

Prior article: Marines Weigh Closing Parris Island and San Diego to Open New Coed Boot Camp

It’s not that the Marines can’t think for themselves, either.

But such decisions usually do come from politicians who manage to screw up the national budget on a recurring basis. This decision by some people high up in the Marine Corps’ birch trees platform must have cooked up this idea, since warfare on a generalized basis seems to be slowing down. But then, why wasn’t this done when the Navy closed Bainbridge and Orlando (gag me!!!) and the RTC section at San Diego?

Perhaps I missed something, but I was under the impression that Marines already have co-ed training at Parris Island, just as sailors do at Great Mistakes. What did I miss?

Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Marine Corps

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Parris Island is the only location where female Marines go through basic training, but it is absolutely NOT co-ed. They have an entirely separate training battalion (4th Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment). They may share some of the same training facilities as male Marines but not usually at the same time. Their living quarters and drill instructors are separate. Female Marines have female DI’s; male Marines have male DI’s.


Co-Ed companies, as mentioned in the article means the companies shared, simultaneously, some of the classes and facilities; they still stayed in separate quarters, though possibly only separate squadbays and heads in the same building (those of you thinking “Starship Troopers,” forget it).
By the way, PH… politicians were already involved – they passed the law mandating gender-neutral basic training in the first place.


Good article.
1 (minor) misprint, near the top…
[those in whose state (NC) Parris Island is located].


Say it ain’t so! I was OIC of the dental clinic there awhile back. My family and I lived on the Island. It was the best, most meaningful assignment I had.

E4 Mafia '83-'87

The Navy closed NTC San Diego (I went there) and sold it to real estate interests. The MCRD is adjacent to the old complex, so if they close one my bet would be San Diego. Is PI big enough to train all future Marines? Closing both and creating a new MCRD or refitting an existing USMC facility would cost prohibitive in my opinion.

A Proud Infidel®™

Just think of the cost of shipping ALL USMC Recruits to only one place!

MI Ranger

It seems that South Carolina had already activated its Military Base Task Force, as they are trying to attract AFRICOM to Charleston. Is Parris Island so small that they can’t build new facilities? If they claim it cannot currently integrate classes all year round, where do they think they should go?
I would think that San Diego would have more problems than Parris Island expanding!


Parris Island is very small. Look at it on Google Earth. 2 1/2 miles east to west, 3 1/3 miles north to south, and much of that swamp land. I’ve been on Army land nav courses bigger than that. There’s just so much you can do with the abandoned airfield taking up most of the dry ground, and rifle ranges taking up the other.

USMC Steve

And we have been turning out the best warriors in America there on that tiny little place for over a century. We always do more with less, since we don’t have all the resources to waste, like the other services do.


In addition to Page Field and the rifle ranges you could always convert the 18 hole golf course to reining area if needed. I’m sure the gators won’t mind.

Over the summer they did something interesting with the boots. They brought them into the barracks at The Citadel for two weeks of prequarantine and indoctrination and then they hauled them to the yellow footprints.


Golf courses, Pizza Huts, and air conditioning are not a “waste.” 😉


I remember the talking heads pushing the “close P.I/close San Diego and open a joint training base centralized in Texas” some twenty five years ago even before I joined the delayed entry program…..

I get the feeling this is going to die a protracted death in the halls of Congress. Of course, when the ‘good idea fairy’ gets ahold of something….

If it ain’t broke….break it trying to ‘fix it’

5th/77th FA

“If it ain’t broke….break it trying to ‘fix it'” Hadn’t heard that one is a good while. Consider it stolen!

m r ducks(?) took to that water ok. M R Marines will NOT take to this idea that doesn’t hold water.

Slow Joe

Ex-PH2 is amazing. She took a funny shot at the Marines and nobody even noticed.

This article begins “The Marines are thinking”.


Yeah, I know the Marines do think, but regardless, it is funny to play with the stereotypes.


So I retire last year and all hell breaks loose. Getting rid of tanks (2d Tanks alum) and getting rid of arty (once a 2/10 arty guy and 10th Marines, S-6)? Sacking the infantry? What’s going to be left? IPAC? Now they want to close the recruit depots? Where is the sense of history? I think we should at least be given one of the Iowa class battleships to compensate for everything we’re loosing!!


Well, if training was moved to Chicago there would be a lot of opportunity for combat training. . .

As for co-ed training. I can tell you that boot camp would have been very distracting with co-eds about. In OCS in 1999, we had 3 platoons of males and 1 of females. Events were held together, like classes, but small unit events were not. An example of this would be squad to team sized tactical problems. I wasn’t distracted then in any case because I was married and wanted to stay that way. (Having about 21 hours of liberty on the weekends after the fourth week gave lots of opportunity to cross pollinate.) Having them all around at boot camp (like I saw the army do when I was going through NBC school at Ft. MacClellan in ’95) would have been very distracting as a much younger (and less married) buck.
Leftists can wish away the differences in the sexes and say that men and women are interchangeable and have no differences just by claiming it to be so. That doesn’t make them right. (As a matter of fact, the more ardent a leftist someone is, the less credence I put in anything they say.)


Too many massive lake front mansions between the water and the golf course. Gunfire noise from ranges would cause many complaints such as “we moved away from Chicago to get away from all the gun noise!”


Don’t want to play one-upmanship on ya, Ex, but the winter of 1984-85 sucked balls as well.

Think -70 windchill, pipes in the galley (the one by 22nd Street Gate) froze, burst, and turned the whole galley into a hockey rink.


Closing a base or even changing the units.number of troops stationed there ALWAYS involves politicians. The services have to notify Congress through the state delegations as well as the Armed Services Committees, usually through the Professional Staff.

That said, this really has more to do with infrastructure- the physical layout of the barracks- than anything else. Federal law requires that female troops live in barracks only accessible to females, and male troops live in barracks accessible only to males. Yes, cadre (Drills and the chain of command) can enter to inspect, but it’s not like Stripes where the company commander can look into the female showers through his binos.

I’ll just say this- The Army figured this out with roughly 4 times the throughput as the Marines. It really seems to me that the Marines are throwing this out knowing that guys like Lindsey Graham will swoop in and stop it.

As far as equality between the sexes, other than PT scores male and female Marines have to meet the same standards in order to graduate. It would seem to me that a competent Drill Instructor could keep the recruits busy enough to not be distracted by having members of the opposite sex around- although my guess is that most sexual assaults are male-male…

Dave Hardin

Marines find training men and women together a pain in the ass.

What will the women do while the men all line up to do 20 pull ups during PT? I guess the men can watch the gals hang from the bar for a few seconds after they carry the steps over to it so the can reach the damn thing.

Now they have them sitting in some class rooms together. Big deal. The only way they can train together is if we LOWER the physical standards of the men.

But, most states already have a State Guard of some kind. What would be the point?

Oh, and move PI to some swanky new condo haven on dry land? Fine, but don’t call what graduates from Glamor Camp… Marines.


Logistically the logical choice to keep would be Parris Island. It is 763 miles to Forks Township, PA versus 2,793 miles to the Navy Training Center, San Diego, CA.

Think of the savings in shipping. Forks Township, PA is the home of Crayola.

Ok, I know I’ve been bad. Time for me to drop and do push-up’s until you get tired.


A story from a fellow HM years ago when he was assigned to the clinic there. He’s coming out of the Chow Hall at Parris Island one day and walks by a group of Female Marines on the other side of a chain link fence… the Females Marines are eyeballing both of them HARD as they walk by. All of a sudden, their DI walks up to them and gives them the ass chewing from Hell and drops the following line on them

“Thousands of miles of dick on the other side of that fence, and you can’t have one inch of it!”


I wouldn’t worry about a change anytime soon. The environmental impact statements & public hearings/appeals alone may take years.

USMC Steve

True dat. Marines are a messy bunch.


Here goes nothing. Do we really even need the Marine Corps anymore? Are we going to be making amphibious assaults? Seems like the tactic sort of lost its advantage now that drones and planes and satellites etc can spot an invading force out on the water fairly easily? Doesn’t take much more than a ton of anti ship missiles to sink those poor souls. Maybe this is a good spot to start getting our military budget down from 500B more than the next guy?