Marine recruit from New Jersey dies in final test of Parris Island training

Dalton Beals- Marine Corps

19-year-old Marine Corps recruit Dalton Beals died during a strenuous exercise that caps a 13-week training course at South Carolina’s Parris Island. (U.S. Marine Corps)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Authorities launched an investigation into the death of a 19-year-old Marine Corps recruit from New Jersey during a strenuous exercise that caps a 13-week training course at South Carolina’s Parris Island. 

Installation officials said Pfc. Dalton Beals died Friday during an exercise known as “The Crucible,” the final test of recruit training. 

Beals graduated in 2020 from Pennsville Memorial High School in Pennsville, New Jersey. The high school honored Beals by flying flags at half-staff.

Several days before Beals began The Crucible, his mother posted on Facebook about the grueling, 54-hour exercise.

Beals’ mother described the 19-year-old as “the most sincere, kindhearted, sweet and amazing young man.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy started his Wednesday press briefing honoring Beals. 

“There is no doubt PFC Beals was made of the stuff of which all great Marines are made, and I know he would have served with distinction, honor, and bravery. In his honor and memory, our state flags have been lowered to half-staff for today. We send our condolences to his family and friends. His loss is a loss for our entire state and, indeed, our nation. May he rest in peace and honor,” he said.

A GoFundMe set up to help Beals’ family with funeral expenses noted that he had been set to graduate from training on June 18.

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