Marine Recruit's Death During Grueling 54-Hour Boot Camp Prompts Probe

An investigation has been launched after a Marine recruit died during a Crucible training exercise.

Private First Class Dalton Beals died while he took part in the 54-hour training exercise known as "The Crucible" at Parris Island, South Carolina, on Friday June 4, according to a Marine Corps statement.

Pfc. Beals had been with other Marines of the Echo Company when the tragedy happened.

In a statement posted on its Parris Island Facebook page on Monday, the Marine Corps said: "On Friday, June 4th Private First Class Dalton Beals passed away during the conduct of The Crucible with the new Marines of Echo Company.

"Our deepest condolences go out to Dalton's family and to the Marines and Marines and staff of Echo Company. The cause of death is currently under investigation."

It was unclear at what stage of the training exercise called The Crucible Beals died.

According to the Marines' official website, The Crucible is the final challenge of a Marine recruit's training.

It is a grueling 54-hour training exercise that "validates the physical, mental and moral training they've endured throughout recruit training."

During the training, recruits are separated into groups and test their physical strength, skills and values that they learned throughout their time in the military.

They are "only allowed a limited amount of food and sleep."

In the final stage, recruits hike 9 miles from the training grounds to the Iwo Jima flag-raising statue at Peatross Parade Deck.

If they complete The Crucible, the recruits are then handed their Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblems that symbolize the completion of their journey to join the Marines.

While rare, there have been other cases where recruits have died during the training exercises.

The greatest loss of life at Parris Island happened in 1956 when six recruits drowned.

They had been led by a junior drill instructor into a swampy body of water at a depot called Ribbon Creek. The drill instructor was eventually court-martialed but was still allowed to stay within the Marine Corps' ranks.

In 1976, Private Lynn E. McClure died while training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego after he was beaten during a mock bayonet drill.

Newsweek has contacted the Marines for comment.

U.S., Middle East, Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, Embassy
This file photo shows U.S. Marines reinforcing the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, on January 1, 2020. A Marine recruit has died during a training exercise. Sgt. Kyle C. Talbot/U.S. Marine Corps