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Parris Island continues to adapt to changes from the COVID-19 pandemic

Throughout the pandemic, the Marine Recruit Depot at Parris Island has had to adapt as they...
Throughout the pandemic, the Marine Recruit Depot at Parris Island has had to adapt as they trained recruits, so everyone could stay safe.(WTOC)
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 6:52 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - Throughout the pandemic, the Marine Recruit Depot at Parris Island has had to adapt as they trained recruits, so everyone could stay safe.

Friday’s public graduation was a first step in getting back to normal.

“We had to adjust some of our practices, but thankfully the Marine Corps is known for its adaptability,” said Captain Bryan McDonnell, Director of Communication Strategy and Operations at Parris Island.

Bryan McDonnell is the Director of Communication Strategy and Operations. He says early on, the base established a task force commitment process to make sure all of the recruits could train safely.

“All the recruits that are here have done two weeks of restriction and movement, or ROM. During that time we’re assessing them with medical personnel to make sure that they don’t have COVID-19. If they were to develop a case then we would put them in isolation and monitor them until they were well.”

Once assessed, it made it easier for them to ease up on some restrictions.

“That way we can kind of reduce some of the restrictions a little bit because they are in that same isolated group together for the entirety of recruit training.”

Captain McDonnell says luckily the senior leadership on base stepped up to make sure the correct choices were made. He says the recruiting process was one of their biggest challenges.

“Our recruiting efforts cover the breadth of the nation, so kind of looking at how we do that, how we get that face-to-face contact and find the best and the brightest to become United States Marines.”

Making the decision to host a public graduation was what folks at the Marine Corps at Parris Island say was a step in the right direction.

“We just are thankful for folks’ continued patience as we work on a slow reopening.”

During the pandemic Captain McDonnell says the downtime allowed them to do renovations like resurfacing the roads and the sidewalks.

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