A Marine recruit died Friday during a 54-hour-long training exercise called “The Crucible” in Parris Island, South Carolina, according to an official statement on Facebook.
The Marine recruit, Dalton Beals, 18, was from Pennsville, New Jersey. He was set to graduate on June 18, according to The Daily Voice.
“Private First Class Dalton Beals passed away during the conduct of The Crucible with the new Marines of Echo Company,” the official statement read. “Our deepest condolences go out to Dalton’s family and to the Marines and staff of Echo Company.”
The cause of death was not immediately revealed and remained under investigation.
More than $20,000 has been raised for the marine’s family on a GoFundMe page which described the marine as “a son, a brother, a friend of many an incredible athlete and a … Marine.”
His mother described him as “the most sincere, kindhearted, sweet and amazing young man.”
Beals’s high school, Pennsville Memorial, announced that their flags “will be flown at half staff in honor of the memory” of the Marine recruit. (RELATED: Supreme Court Won’t Hear Case About Male-Only Military Draft)
“The Crucible” is a final boot camp 54-hour-long exercise, where participants are limited in food, sleep, and are rigorously tested, according to the U.S. Marine Corps website.
“The Crucible” exercise ends with a 9-mile hike at the end in which the recruits receive their Eagle, Globe and Anchor pin, symbolizing their official new status as U.S. Marines, according to the page.