Every male recruit east of the Mississippi River and every female recruit will attend MCRD Parris Island for boot camp.
The Marine Corps has trained recruits at Parris Island, a small coastal island approximately two miles from the Georgia-South Carolina border, since 1915. It is hot, humid, and swampy. Recruits will not leave the island until they graduate as Marines.
The biggest challenges recruits face on Parris Island are the humidity, heat, and the sand fleas. Sand fleas are small gnats that live in the marsh grass that crawl on and bite at recruits. Recruits in formation are not allowed to move and unable to swat at the annoying sand fleas while being bitten. Undisciplined recruits always make the mistake of moving - a terrible idea that incurs the wrath of their drill instructors.
Every male recruit west of the Mississippi River will attend MCRD San Diego for boot camp.
Known as the "Hollywood Marines," recruits have trained at the San Diego depot since 1919. It is flat, temperate, and balmy.
The biggest challenges recruits face on San Diego are the mountainous training hikes they'll perform during the Crucible and other training events. Recruits will be bused to nearby Camp Pendleton for training events like the Crucible and the rifle range. In the same way Parris Island Marines will always remember the sand fleas, a west coast Marine will never forget hiking Cardiac Hill, or any of the other hills which changed their lives.