BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) – Eighty years ago, some of the First African Americans were able to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps.

The Beaufort County Council took time Monday to recognize the Montford Point Marines, issuing a proclamation for their courage and bravery.

In 1942, the group became the first Black Marine basic training group at Parris Island.

“We thank you for this and we look forward to carrying on their legacy,” said Tyrone Jackson, a former Marine.

By 1989, there were nearly 20,000 African American Marines who came through and trained at the Marine training facility.

The council also paid tribute to Lady’s Island’s Stoney Tommer, a member of the Montford Point Marines.

Tommer and the first basic training group were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal back in 2012. The award is Congress’s highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.