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Over a Century of Training Marines Began With Parris Island

On October 25, 1915, the first Marine recruits arrived at Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot in South Carolina to begin their basic training. From the beginning, the training was rigorous, a crucible that trained young Marines into a real brotherhood. It is there that those young Marine recruits learned the real meaning of the motto: Semper Fidelis.

Those who arrived there that day began a tradition of Marine Corps training that is now over 100 years old. Those Marines who arrived at Parris Island that day in 1915 did not know it, but the training they received there would prepare them to fight with great effect and honor in WWI. It was there that they would earn the respect of the German forces for their fierce determination and uncommon courage.

The Germans would give them a name that has stuck with the Marines as a moniker of pride: Devil Dogs. Those raw recruits were inculcated with Marine Corps culture and Marine Corps fighting methods.

Typically, their training would be tough, repetitive, and intense. They had the idea of, “Know or you will be killed,” pounded into their mental and physical memories. This video will bring back some of those memories to Marines who did their boot camp at Parris Island. They will rightfully take a certain pride in watching this video.

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Since that day, Parris Island has been known as the “cradle of the Marine Corps.” Marines have been trained to fight as a brotherhood of warriors and taken that training and that sense of brotherhood with them into every war of the 20th and 21st centuries. That training made them worthy to be the “first to fight” in those wars as well.


The Veterans Site wishes to honor the century-old tradition of Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot and for its long and respected history of training the best war fighters in the world.

Marines, We salute you — Semper Fidelis

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.