COVID 19 - Receiving at MCRD

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BEFORE the Yellow Footprints: Medical screening begins upon arrival at MCRD to prevent the spread of COVID-19 between poolees and recruits. Note the procedures between the two Depots, Parris Island and San Diego, may differ and are subject to ongoing changes as the pandemic evolves. Read more below.

Recruit Receiving at MCRD During COVID-19
Receiving at MCRD San Diego, June 1, 2020 During COVID-19 Pandemic.
—(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Brooke C. Woods)


There has been some inconsistency in the message from the Marine Corps in whether those in quarantine are poolees or recruits. After speaking with the CWO2 Yarbrough at the Communication Strategy and Operations (CSO) office at MCRD Parris Island, we will be referring to those in quarantine as POOLEES. CWO2 Yarbrough told us the Marine Corps wants a clear distinction between those in quarantine and those in training. Poolees in quarantine are in a more relaxed environment without Drill Instructors. Poolees will become recruits after stepping on the Yellow Footprints. We are currently updating the pages on our websites that refer to poolees in quarantine to ensure the message is consistent.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in procedure, all poolees will be screened and tested for COVID-19 prior to beginning recruit training. Current planning and execution remain fluid as the situation continues to evolve. Quote from the Marine Corps: The health and well-being of our recruits, recruiting and training personnel, and their families remain our primary concerns.

AT MCRD SAN DIEGO: As poolees arrive to the depot, they will enter a staging period of 14 days during which they will be medically screened, monitored, and provided classes to prepare and orient them to begin recruit training. Poolees will also be given instruction and information to perform calisthenics and body weight exercises to maintain their fitness level while in quarantine. All of this will occur before they step onto our iconic yellow footprints and make that memorable move toward earning the title Marine. The poolees will be allowed to make phone calls from 0800 to 2000 PST on weekends. If they're in an odd numbered room, they will make/receive their phone calls on Saturday. If they're in an even numbered room, they will make/receive their phone calls on Sunday. Recruiters may call anytime to help maintain the motivation of the poolee while they're in quarantine.

AT MCRD PARRIS ISLAND: Poolees will ship first to a hotel in Jacksonville, FL for a two-week period, then be transported from to Parris Island.

At both locations, they will be given an opportunity to "call home" to let you know they've arrived.

For additional information on the impact of Covid-19 on recruit training, please visit

Recruit Staging for Eastern Recruiting Region

As an additional measure against COVID-19, the Marine Corps implemented a 14-day staging period for every poolee arriving at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. Poolees who arrive at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island will enter a staging period of 14 days at a hotel in Jacksonville, FL. During this period, they will be medically screened, monitored, and provided classes to prepare them before beginning the 13 weeks of recruit training.

While in staging, each poolee will be screened and observed by medical care providers twice daily for the duration of the two-week period. Additionally, poolees will conduct light physical training and receive classes to increase their general military knowledge.

Following the two-week staging period, poolees will be transported to MCRD Parris Island to officially begin recruit training and their journey to earn the title of United States Marine.

Upon Arrival in Jacksonville

Upon arriving in Jacksonville, FL, poolees will:

  • Undergo an initial medical screening.
  • Call home.
  • Receive clothing, equipment, and necessary supplies for use during the two-week period.
  • Be assigned to four-person living quarters.
  • Receive guidebooks to study military knowledge.

Physical Training

Poolees will exercise near-daily to ensure they maintain their fitness while in staging. Poolees will receive information and instruction on calisthenics and bodyweight exercises.

Medical Screening

Each poolee will be observed by medical personnel, with daily screening. Poolees will have access to Navy medical testing if they begin to show symptoms of COVID-19.

Click here view the new procedure; it's an image from the Marine Corps about how it works for a newly-shipped poolee/recruit now. Or see image below from the USMC website June 8, 2020.

Parris Island Receiving at the Citadel During COVID-19
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