Marine poolees quarantine on campus

The Citadel campus looked a little different in the late spring and summer months, but not just because campus closed for cadets and students due to the pandemic. Instead of cadets being issued gear on the red-and-white-checkered quads, it was Marine recruits, called poolees, who occupied the barracks.

On May 4, the U.S. Marine Corps began bringing its Eastern Region recruits to The Citadel campus for two weeks of observation before transporting them to the recruit depot at Parris Island where they would begin Marine Corps boot camp.

Medical screenings with systematic temperature checks were used to monitor for COVID-19 to assist in keeping the virus from spreading at Parris Island. About 300 poolees arrived and departed every two weeks for 12 weeks, with approximately 300 Marine personnel also on campus to facilitate the operation.

The Marine Corps Times reported that The Citadel was chosen for staging because it is “uniquely postured to support the type of supervision and training we were looking to conduct based on the layout of their barracks and proximity to the Depot and major airports.” In a letter written to The Citadel and retired U.S. Marine Corps General Glenn M. Walters, ’79, after the Marine Corps mission concluded in July, Brig. Gen. Julie L. Nethercot wrote, “Our support agreement allowed the Marine Corps to provide critically important safety measures for incoming Marine recruits in order to continue our mission of transforming the finest young Americans into Marines. The agreement we formed and executed over these past several months in the fight