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Married Marines graduate from Parris Island boot camp together

Marine Corps privates JuliMarie Winston and Jamil Winston Jr. attended boot camp at Marine Recruit Training Depot Parris Island at the same time.
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Marine Corps privates JuliMarie Winston and Jamil Winston Jr. attended boot camp at Marine Recruit Training Depot Parris Island at the same time.
Marine Pvt. Jamil Winston Jr. (left) and his wife Marine Pfc. JuliMarie Winston (right) graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot on May 17, 2024 after going through boot camp together. (Photo courtesy of Jamil C. Winston)

Marine Corps privates Jamil Winston Jr. and JuliMarie Winston are a husband and wife who prove that the couple that trains together can stay together. Both graduated on May 17 from boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, just in time for their first wedding anniversary in June.

“I’m very thankful for this experience,” Jamil said in a recent Marine video. “I’ll never trade it for anything else in my life. Being a Marine with my wife as well has been the best experience so far.”

Earlier this year, they both shipped out to Parris Island, where they were assigned to Golf Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion.

“We had a lot of influence on each other enlisting,” JuliMarie said in the video. “We are very motivated with each other, so just pushing each other a lot and never giving up was a big part.”

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Because they were assigned to separate platoons, boot camp marked the first time since they were married that they would spend a significant amount of time away from each other.

“Saying goodbye to each other when we got to boot camp was very hard, just knowing that I’m not going to be able to be around him and talk to him every day like how we’re used to really sucked.,” JuliMarie said.

In the video released by the Marines that chronicles the pair’s experience, JuliMarie said getting used to the screaming and chaos of recruit training was quite a challenge, but she was able to adjust. Jamil said both he and his wife were able to stick it out and stay highly motivated because they knew that “failure was not an option.”

The couple also enjoyed a healthy competition to see which of them could excel further during recruit training.

“It was to see who could score higher, shoot better on the range; who runs faster; who can do pull-ups, push-ups – it’s always a competition,” JuliMarie said, “I’m winning the competition, of course.”

Even though they were physically apart, the couple thought of each other during the rigors of recruit training. During many difficult moments, Jamil said, he thought about how he needed to keep going for his wife.

“Whenever I saw my wife in passing, it really boosted my motivation and got me through any bad thought or negativity that was in my mind,” said Jamil, whose parents both served in the Marine Corps.

JuliMarie also thought about her husband during every second of The Crucible, the 54-hour capstone event of recruit training during which recruits face sleep deprivation, physical and mental exhaustion, and hunger as they face realistic combat training scenarios.

The Crucible was the toughest part of recruit training for JuliMarie, especially when she had to drag herself through the mud and carry ammo cans and water jugs.

“Every time I felt like I was going to give up, I just thought of him and how we need to make it to the end together,” she said.

Jamil also said The Crucible was the most physically taxing part of boot camp. “We just had to embrace the suck because you’re going through all what the Marine Corps did in the history of its life,” he said.

In mid-May, both  JuliMarie and Jamil  earned their Eagle, Globe and Anchor. Both said they now are looking forward to learning their military occupational specialty and joining an operational unit. Jamil said he also plans to use tuition assistance to attend college and he ultimately hopes to become an officer.

The couple said that their time in boot camp has drawn them closer together.

“I definitely do feel that our relationship is stronger now that we both share the title of U.S. Marine,”  JuliMarie said. “I can definitely see that we both can understand each other now that we’ve gone through the same thing for the last three months.”

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