A teenager training to join the Marine Corps has died during a 54-hour-long exercise known as the “Crucible”.
Private first class (Pfc) Dalton Beals, 19, was reportedly partway through the exercise when he passed away on Friday, June 4.
The Crucible, which is designed to test the trainees’ “strength and skills”, challenges the recruits while participating on limited food and sleep.
The exercise took place on Parris Island in South Carolina and was the culmination a 13-week boot camp in which Pfc Beals was hoping to successfully join the Echo Company in the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion.
In a statement on Facebook the Marine Corps wrote: “Our deepest condolences go out to Dalton’s family and to the Marines and staff of Echo Company.”
The Crucible includes a nine-mile hike with those successful receiving a badge marking they are now a Marine, reports Mail Online.
It is understood that Dalton will receive the title post posthumously after a spokesperson for the Marines confirmed this to Task & Purpose, a military publication.
Chief Warrant Officer Bobby Yarbrough said: “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.”
Due to an investigation, no comment has been made on what stage of the training Dalton was on when he died but it is understood that he is now the 7th trainee to die on Parris Island since 2000.
Dalton, from Pennsville, New Jersey only graduated from high school last year. His mother, Stacie Beals, described him as “the most sincere, kindhearted, sweet and amazing young man”.
A GoFundMe page has been setup for the family to help with costs for the funeral, so far raising over $30,000.
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In the comments for the fundraiser, people have been leaving messages of condolences to Dalton’s family.
One person wrote: “Sending the Beals family our thoughts and prayers. I am deeply saddened for your loss of Dalton. From one Pennsville Marine family to another. He will forever be a hero.
Annother added: “I am at a loss for words to say. Please know that we have you and your family in our prayers our deepest condolences.”
A third commented: “We are one Marine family, our prayers and love are with you. Rest In peace Marine.”