WASHINGTON — A U.S. Marine recruit died during training on Friday in Parris Island, South Carolina, sparking an investigation.
In a Facebook post, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot said Private First Class Dalton Beals died during "The Crucible" training with the new Marines of Echo Company.
"Our deepest condolences go out to Dalton’s family and to the Marines and staff of Echo Company," Marine Corps Recruit Depot said in a statement. "The cause of death is currently under investigation."
"The Crucible" is a 54-hour training exercise that tests Marine recruit's physical and mental strengths. The exercise includes a 9-mile hike from the training grounds to the Iwo Jima statue at the Peatross Parade Deck.
The U.S. Marines said throughout the event "recruits are only allowed a limited amount of food and sleep."
Once the challenge is completed, the recruits receive their Eagle, Globe and Anchors which symbolizes the completion of their journey of becoming U.S. Marines.
According to a GoFundMe for his mother, Beals was described him as a "wonderful Marine who left us far too soon." He was slated to graduate on June 18.
"His amazing mother described him as 'the most sincere, kindhearted, sweet and amazing young man,'" said the GoFundMe, which raised more than $31,000 as of Wednesday morning.
Pennsville Memorial High School in New Jersey, where Beals graduated from in 2020, mourned his loss on Facebook.
"The flags at the Pennsville High School Memorial and Stadium Complex will be flown at half staff in honor of the memory and service of PMHS 2020 Graduate and United States Marine Dalton Beals," the Facebook post read. "As Pennsville High School is a Memorial School, his sacrifice to his country will forever be memorialized along with those who have gone before him, George Callan (Class of 62), and William Keeler (Class of 66). "
NJ.com reported that Beals will be referred to as a Marine.
There have been a number of recruit deaths through the years at Parris Island, which has been training Marines since 1915 on the island off South Carolina’s coast.
In 2018, a judge dismissed a lawsuit from the family of Raheel Siddiqui, a 20-year-old recruit from Michigan who killed himself in 2016 after a confrontation with a Parris Island drill instructor.
Siddiqui's family disputed his suicide, saying he was targeted because of his Islamic faith. Several Marines were ultimately convicted for abuse, following evidence that drill instructors beat, choked and kicked recruits.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.