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The Parris Island Recruit Graduation Guide

Traveling to Parris Island to attend your recruit’s graduation can be stressful, but we’ve got all the information you need to keep the travel stress at bay so you can focus on supporting the new Marine in your life.

Covid-19 Protocol:

Parris Island has officially re-opened to the public and places no limits on visitors or attendees at graduation. However, the installation could require masks in certain locations. It would be best to bring a mask along just in case.

Family Day and Graduation Schedule

Family day and graduation take place on the last two days of recruit training. Family Day occurs Thursday and gives new Marines a chance to see family and friends for the first time during on-base liberty. Graduation is conducted Friday in a formal ceremony, attended by family and friends.

All recruits are issued a graduation packet with the battalion commander’s graduation invitation letter sometime around week 9 of their 12-week training cycle. But please note, it is the recruits themselves who decide who they mail their graduation packets.

Visitors are requested to stop by the Douglas Visitors’ Center upon arrival to check in. In order to allow time to identify which recruits have family or visitors waiting to see them, please sign in before 9:50 a.m. on Family Day.

Wednesday – Family Orientation Day at Parris Island
TIME EVENT​
6 A.M. – 10 P.M. ​MARINE CORPS EXCHANGE (MCX) OPEN
6 A.M. – 6 P.M.​ ​MARINE CORPS EXCHANGE (MCX) FOOD COURT OPEN
7 A.M. – 5 P.M. ​ENGRAVING SHOP OPEN
7:30 A.M. – 4 P.M. ​FAMILY CHECK-IN AT THE DOUGLAS VISITORS’ CENTER
​JAVA CAFÉ IS OPEN (9 – 11:30 A.M.)
VISITORS’ CENTER GIFT SHOP OPEN (8 A.M. – 4 P.M.)
10 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. MARINE CORPS 101, INCLUDING A “BEHIND THE SCENES” TOUR, AT DOUGLAS VISITOR’S CENTER.*
PLEASE CHECK IN BY 9:30 A.M. SO WE CAN BEGIN SEATING THE WAITLIST AT 9:45 A.M.
​1:30 – 3 P.M.

​FAMILY ORIENTATION BRIEF AT THE ALL-WEATHER FACILITY 

Thursday — Family Liberty Day at Parris Island
TIME EVENT​
6 A.M. – 4 P.M. DOUGLAS VISITORS’ CENTER IS OPEN. PLEASE REGISTER UPON ARRIVAL.
JAVA CAFÉ (6 A.M. – 2 P.M.)
VISITORS’ CENTER GIFT SHOP OPEN (6 A.M. – 4 P.M.)
6 A.M. – 10 P.M. MARINE CORPS EXCHANGE (MCX) IS OPEN.
​6 A.M. – 6 P.M. MARINE CORPS EXCHANGE (MCX) FOOD COURT IS OPEN.
​7 A.M. – 5 P.M. ENGRAVING SHOP OPEN.
7 A.M. MOTIVATIONAL RUN – PEATROSS PARADE DECK AND BOULEVARD DE FRANCE.
​8 A.M. DEPOT MUSEUM OPENS.
8:15 A.M. ALL-WEATHER TRAINING FACILITY (AWTF) OPENS.
9:30 – 10 A.M. BATTALION COMMANDER’S BRIEF TO FAMILIES & LIBERTY CEREMONY (AWTF).
10 A.M. LIBERTY BEGINS.
​10 A.M. – 2 P.M. MARKSMANSHIP TRAINING UNIT OPEN HOUSE.
​2 P.M. ​WARRIOR’S PRAYER AT THE RECRUIT CHAPEL.
3 P.M. ​LIBERTY ENDS.
4 P.M. ​MEET & GREET WITH DEPOT COMMAND AT THE LYCEUM.
4:30 P.M. ​FAMILY NIGHT DINNER WITH DEPOT COMMAND AT THE LYCEUM.*
Friday — Graduation Day at Parris Island
TIME EVENT​
6 A.M. – 2 P.M. DOUGLAS VISITORS’ CENTER IS OPEN.
JAVA CAFÉ (6 A.M. – NOON)
GRADUATION STATION (6 A.M.- NOON)
6 A.M. – 10 P.M. MARINE CORPS EXCHANGE (MCX) IS OPEN.
7 A.M. – 7 P.M. MARINE CORPS EXCHANGE (MCX) FOOD COURT IS OPEN.
7 A.M. – 5 P.M. ENGRAVING SHOP OPEN.
7:45 A.M. MORNING COLORS FLAG-RAISING CEREMONY AT BARROW HALL.
9 A.M. – 10 A.M. GRADUATION AT PEATROSS PARADE DECK.
10 A.M. LIBERTY BEGINS
11 A.M. – 1 P.M. LUNCH BUFFET AT TRADITIONS RESTAURANT.
4 P.M. LIBERTY ENDS

***All times and locations are subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedules, click here.***

Booking Your Flight

When traveling to Beaufort, SC, you have three airports to choose from. There is not a specific Parris Island airport, but the nearest airports are:

SAV – Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport

CHS – Charleston International Airport

HHH – Hilton Head Airport

The airport you choose to fly to is up to you. The Hilton Head Airport will be the nearest airport to Parris Island, but depending on flight times and prices, Charleston International Airport (CHS) or Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) might be a better option. CHS is about an hour and a half drive to Parris Island, and SAV is just about an hour's drive.

Families often wait until the 8th week of training to book travel in order to ensure their recruit is going to graduate. You may want to invest in travel insurance in case your recruit experiences a delay during training.

2022 Graduation Schedule.

***The local hotels may not offer shuttle service to and from the airport, as well as to Parris Island. Look into renting a car while visiting for graduation.***

Where to Stay

Beaufort offers a variety of hotels, bed & breakfasts, and vacation rentals for families to stay in while visiting the area. Click the button below to view all of our places to stay.

Things to Do

Though there is an entire schedule of events for Marine Corps boot camp graduation, you may have some time to do things on base at Parris Island and in Beaufort, Port Royal & Sea Islands. From the beach to downtown historical tours, you’ll be sure to find something for the entire family! Click the links below to help plan your visit.

Questions? Please Fill Out the Form Below.

Contact Information

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