PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – SC Governor Henry McMaster on Friday announced that the SC Military Base Task Force has been activated and will meet with local, state, and federal officials next week to discuss the future of Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Parris Island.
Parris Island, since the 1890’s, has been the hub for all recruits east of the Mississippi River. It is one of two boot camp locations, the other being in San Diego.
With the goal of integration at both locations on the horizon, officials are evaluating whether to invest funds into updating the infrastructure at the existing locations, or building a new location altogether, leaving the future of Parris Island in jeopardy.
Military.com was first to report the development, with Major Eric Flanagan, a spokesperson for Commandant General David Berger, posing the question “if you have to update a lot anyway, do you save manpower, resources, and personnel by just combining the two into one?”
Flanagan added that it is unclear whether the addition of a new boot camp would certainly result in the closure of the two existing camps.
He also said that “no decisions have been made. [The Marines are] not investing any money anywhere else. It’s just an option [they’re] talking about.”
South Carolina leaders have taken to social media to voice opinions on the matter, with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tweeting “It ain’t gonna happen!”
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) said that “the heart of the United States Marine Corps beats on Parris Island.”
Representative Joe Cunningham (D-SC) promised he’ll “fight like hell to keep Parris Island.”