CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Hundreds of potential Marines will soon be at the Citadel in downtown Charleston. The college is playing an important role in making sure the military is prepared for what they may face in the future.
These future recruits for the Marines will be coming to the college for a two-week quarantine period prior to going to Parris Island.
“We found an opportunity, a mutually beneficial opportunity, I think, from the Marine Corps perspective and the Citadel’s perspective,” said Col. Sean Killeen with the US Marine Corps.
The Marines call this a staging process.
Future recruits will self-quarantine for 14 days prior to coming to The Citadel.
They will be tested for COVID-19 when they arrive, and they will then spend 14 days at the Citadel isolated in groups of 25. On the 15th day, they will be bussed to 13 weeks of basic training at Parris Island.
“The Marine Corps has a paramount mission to continue to make marines for the broader Marine Corps, so that we have a steady supply of Marines going into the broader force so that we can respond when the nation calls.”
They had been separating future recruits in 25 person tents at Parris Island.
Several future recruits had tested positive there. The Marines will now bring future Parris Island recruits to the Citadel’s Padgett-Thomas Barracks.
About 300 future recruits will begin the process. Eventually, 600 as well as 300 instructors at any given time will be involved. Even if a future recruit tests positive for Coronavirus, they can still move on to Parris Island once they recover.
“We can identify those individuals in advance who may be symptomatic of COVID-19, coronavirus, and we can treat them and get them necessary care before they go down and start a very rigorous training program at recruit training.”
Those first future recruits are expected here on campus Monday.