Thousands of visitors flooded Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris
Island to attend special events in celebration of the depot's
centennial Oct. 14-16, 2015.
The depot was transferred from
the Navy to the Marine Corps Nov. 1, 1915. The depot was known as
Marine Barracks, Port Royal, and later as Marine Barracks, Paris
Island, before becoming Parris Island in 1919.
New Marines from Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion,
and Oscar Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, graduated from
recruit training during the depot's centennial celebration Oct. 16,
2015, and were nicknamed centennial Marines.
Gen. Robert Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, speaks during a morning colors ceremony at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., Oct. 16, 2015. The depot is celebrating 100 years of making Marines. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Melissa Karnath)
“Being a Marine is something I always wanted to do but
never could,” said Dashell Tout, whose son, Pvt. Austin
Tout, from New Paris, Ohio, graduated with Platoon 1086.
“Austin being a centennial Marine just makes his graduation
and accomplishments even more special.”
three days of celebration, Marine veterans as well as family
members and friends of graduating Marines flocked to the
depot for the events. Leading off the special events Oct. 14
was a motivational run for permanent personnel of the depot
led by Brig. Gen. Terry Williams, commanding general of the
depot, and Sgt. Maj. Angela Maness, sergeant major of the
depot. A second run led by the leadership of the depot and
the Recruit Training Regiment took place the following
morning for the new Marines graduating from recruit training
Special events continued with the
rededication of monuments and statues around the depot. The
Iron Mike Monument, dedicated to Marines who died in World
War I, was rededicated Oct. 15 by Col. John Peck, commanding
officer of Headquarters and Service Battalion. The Drill
Instructor Monument was rededicated Oct. 16 by Sgt. Maj.
Nicholas A. Deabreu, sergeant major of Recruit Training
Regiment. The Molly Marine Statue was also rededicated Oct.
16 by Sgt. Maj. Donna Dunbar, the sergeant major of 4th
Recruit Training Battalion.
“Iron Mike embodies the
warrior ethos instilled in all Marines,” said Peck. “Our
illustrious heritage is preserved by passing on our traits,
customs, courtesies and traditions. We strengthen our legacy
for the next generation of Marines by rededicating this
monument and honoring the history Iron Mike represents.”
Events continued with a morning colors ceremony followed
by the graduation ceremony of the centennial Marines,
attended by Gen. Robert Neller, commandant of the Marine
Corps, and Sgt. Maj. Ronald Green, sergeant major of the
Marine Corps. Neller served as the parade reviewing official
at the graduation before a crowd who filled the bleachers
with red and burgundy attire representing 1st and 4th
Recruit Training Battalions respectively, cheering and
clapping throughout the ceremony.
“It feels amazing
to be a centennial Marine and a part of living history,”
said Pfc. Emily Harris, who graduated with Platoon 4034.
Special events continued with the dedication of new
exhibits at the Parris Island Museum and guest speakers at
the base theatre to teach visitors and Marines about Parris
The last day of celebration
concluded with a performance by the Parris Island Marine
Band before a crowd of hundreds of Marines, family members
and veterans. The crowd applauded and cheered during the
following performances by the Silent Drill Platoon and the
Commandant's Own United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.
“The centennial offers a rare opportunity to take a look
back [at our history],” said Sgt. Maj. Donna Dunbar,
sergeant major of 4th Recruit Training Battalion. “It's an
amazing celebration, and I'm happy to be a part of it.”
By U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Melissa Karnath
Marine Corps News
The U.S. Marines
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