Who was Dalton Beals? NJ Marine recruit, 19, dies after 54-hour training without food or sleep

Dalton Beals, who died during 'Crucible' training, was the seventh young Marine recruit to die at Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot since 2000

                            Who was Dalton Beals? NJ Marine recruit, 19, dies after 54-hour training without food or sleep
Marine recruit Dalton Beals was 19 years old at the time of his tragic death (US Marine Corps)

A 19-year-old Marine Corps recruit suffered a tragic death while participating in a grueling training exercise named 'The Crucible'. The 54-hour-long intense training claimed the life of young enlistee (Pfc) Dalton Beals, at the Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Port Royal, South Carolina. He was a part of the Echo Company in the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion — a 13-week boot camp which ended with 'The Crucible'. The Marines issued an official statement mourning Beals' death. "Our deepest condolences go out to Dalton's family and to the Marines and staff of Echo Company," they wrote.

According to The Marines website, The Crucible is an exercise that attempts to test a recruit's "physical strength, skills, and the Marine Corps values they have learned throughout training". The exercise presents a series of difficult challenges, including an intense 9-mile hike, after which one is bestowed with the title of a Marine. The entire exercise lasts for 54 hours during which a trainee is prohibited from sleeping or eating properly. The website description specifies that recruits are "only allowed a limited amount of food and sleep". However, the Marine authorities at Parris Island have not revealed exactly at which stage of 'The Crucible' Beals died.


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Since 2000, Dalton Beals is the 7th Marine trainee to succumb to the intense pressure on Parris Island. In 2016, a female recruit died by suicide after she faced severe verbal abuse from her commander. The Marine Corps has now launched a probe into Beals' death. 

Who was Dalton Beals?

A native of Pennsville, New Jersey, Beals graduated last year from Pennsville Memorial High School. He was a recipient of the 2020 Glendon W Lodge Scholarship at his school and was recognized as a star athlete. 


He followed his dream to join the Marine Corps after graduating from school and was posted at the MCRD Parris Island. After his tragic death, his mother Stacie remembered him as "the most sincere, kindhearted, sweet and amazing young man". A GoFundMe page has been set up by Haley McMenamin in memory of Beals, to support his mother Stacie Beals with the funeral expenses. According to the organizer of the fundraiser, "Dalton Beals was a son, a brother, a friend of many an incredible athlete and a United States Marine."

They further wrote - "Dalton was part of Echo Company, PLT 2040 at Parris Island, SC and was set to graduate on 6/18/2021. His amazing mother described him as “the most sincere, kindhearted, sweet and amazing young man”. 100% of the proceeds will go to the family during their time of need to make further arrangements and take the very much needed time to be together as a family during this difficult time. Please feel free to share any memories you have with Dalton in the comments. Til Valhalla, Brother. Once a Marine, Always a Marine."

The Pfc Dalton Beals Memorial and Family Fund has already crossed its target of $25,000 and raised contributions of $31,205 at the time of writing this. Meanwhile, Marines spokesperson Bobby Yarbrough announced that Beals would be honored with the title of a Marine posthumously. "The Drill instructors and Company staff made the determination that based on his resolve and dedication throughout recruit training and the Crucible, Pfc. Beals earned the title Marine," Yarbrough shared with Task & Purpose.

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