Charleston WV Marine Corps Recruit Station (RS)

3198 State Route 60
Ona, WV, 25545
Marine Recruiting Station Charleston on Facebook

    Recruit Sub Stations of RS Charleston

  • RSS Beckley
    411 Beckley Crossing
    Shopping Center
    Beckley, WV 25801
    Phone: (800) 682-4630
  • RSS Bristol
    2940 Oaulena Dr
    Old Bakery Ctr.
    Bristol, VA 24202
    Phone:(276) 669-1842
    1000 Parkway Rd. Suite C
    Southridge Center
    Charleston, WV 25309
    Phone: (304) 720-0400
    1224 North Court Street
    Circleville, OH 43113
    Phone: (740) 474-1984
    17 E. 4th Street
    Dayton, OH 45402
    Phone: (937) 643-4094
    4476 Glen Este Withansville Rd. Suite 150
    Cincinnati, OH 45245
    Phone: (800) 421-5801
    721 Third Ave
    Huntington, WV 25701
    Phone:(800) 824-0881
    5871 Sawmill Rd
    Dublin, OH 43017
    Phone: (614) 408-0086
    PO BOX 6067
    100 Grand Central Mall STE 370
    Vienna, WV 26105
    Phone: (304) 422-1521
    120 Pike Street
    Pikeville, KY 41501
    Phone: (606) 432-2175
    3479-C South High St
    Columbus, OH 43207
    Phone: (614) 409-1862
    1804 N. Limestone St
    Springfield, OH 45503
    Phone: (937) 399-8520
  • RSS Xenia
    52 Xenia Towne Square
    Xenia, OH 45385
    Phone: (937) 376-1411
    1335 Dublin Rd STE D-209-2
    Columbus, OH 43215
    Phone: (614) 486-0389

Marine Corps Ranks

A Marine’s rank determines their status and power. Don’t confuse this with a Marine’s “grade”, which is more of a pay grade. Every branch of the military pays the same base rates for various ranks, but they do have different names for the ranks.

In the Marine Corps, the lowest enlisted rank is called “Private”. That’s the rank of all newly enlisted Marines entering boot camp. The “grade”, however, is called E1. In the army, an E1 is also called a private. In the navy, an E1 is called a seaman recruit, and so on. Some privates will move on to pay grade E2 upon graduating boot camp. The highest pay grades is E9.

There are three categories of rank. They are: enlisted personnel, Warrant Officers, and Commissioned Officers. All Commissioned Officers outrank all Warrant Officers and all Warrant Officers outrank all enlisted Marines. This means that a E9 Warrant Officer would be outranked by an E1 Commissioned Officer.

You can tell what a Marine’s rank is by the stripes and bars on their uniform. These stripes and bars are referred to as their “insignia”.

Marine Corps Ranks Structure

MCRD San Diego Address & Driving Directions

Directions to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego Address

The San Diego Recruit Depot’s address is slightly northwest of downtown San Diego and north of the Airport, Lindbergh Field. There are two entrances gates. Gate 4 (the “Main Gate”) and Gate 2.

Entering USMC Recruit Depot San Diego from the North

To MCRD’s Gate 2: Drive south on Interstate 5. Take the Rosecrans exit. Continue on Rosecrans to Midway Drive (third light). Turn left onto Midway Drive and continue to the second traffic light (Barnett Street). Turn right onto Barnett – go to the first traffic light and turn left into Gate 2. To MCRD’s Gate 4: Take Interstate 5 South to the Old Town Avenue exit (the second exit after Rosecrans exit). At the stop sign, continue straight 1/2 block to yield sign, turn right onto Witherby Street. Follow signs another 1/2 block to Gate 4.

Driving Directions to USMC Recruit Depot San Diego from the South

To MCRD’s Gate 2: Take Pacific Highway exit; stay in the left lane. Take Barnett Street turnoff and travel west past the Midway Drive intersection. At the next traffic light, turn left to enter Gate 2. To MCRD’s Gate 4: Take I-5 North to Pacific Highway; stay in the right lane for 1/8 mile, exit right at large MCRD sign (caution: tight circular turn), go under Pacific Highway. Follow signs 1/2 block to Gate 4.

Driving Directions to the Marine Recruit Depot San Diego from the East

To MCRD’s Gate 2: Drive Interstate 8 West to Rosecrans exit. Turn left at Midway Drive. Follow directions above (from the North). To MCRD’s Gate 4: Drive Interstate 8 to Interstate 5 South. Take the Old Town Avenue exit (first exit after entering I-5 South). Follow directions above (from the North).

Get to the USMC Recruit Depot San Diego Address From the West (Point Loma)

To MCRD’s Gate 2: From Rosecrans Street in Point Loma, travel east on Lytton Street. At second traffic light, turn right into Gate 2. To MCRD’s Gate 4: From Rosecrans Street in Point Loma, use the directions above. Drive past Gate 2 and continue east on Barnett. Stay in right lane and watch for immediate right turn exit (caution: quick exit) which will take you to Gate 4.

MCRD San Diego Info

USMC Recruit Depot San Diego (MCRD San Diego) is one of two training locations for enlisted Marines entering boot camp. The San Diego training facility is where most men who live west of the Mississippi attend boot camp. All enlisted female Marines are trained at the Parris Island Depot in South Carolina.

Drill Instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

Photo credit: Randy

The San Diego Recruit Depot is 388 acres shared by Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Gaurd personnel.

MCRD is northwest of downtown San Diego and north of the San Diego International Airport, Lindbergh Field. There are two entrances (gates) to MCRD, Gate 2 and Gate 4 (Main Gate) (The Marine Corps Exchange is nearest to Gate 4.)

Recruit training between Parris Island and San Diego is nearly identical except for a few minor differences. One of those differences is that San Diego Marines must leave the depot to complete field training at Camp Pendleton. They’ll complete field training, the rifle range, and the Crucible at Pendleton and will go back to the San Diego Depot for graduation.

Around 2005, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego was under consideration for closure with the idea that recruit training could all be completed at the Parris Island, South Carolina recruit depot. This idea did not pass for several reasons, including the fact that it would cost too much to renovate Parris Island, it would pose a major problem if Parris Island suffered from a Hurricane or other disaster, and the parade deck of the San Diego Depot serves as a memorial to veterans of previous wars.

Marine Corps Recruiting Districts

Western and Eastern Recruiting Regions

All enlisted recruits begin their journey in the Corps by coming into contact with one of the Marine Corps Recruiting Districts. The Corps manages the recruiting districts by dividing the country in half using the Mississippi River as a marker. Generally, all areas west of the Mississippi River are covered by the Western Recruiting Region, and all areas east are covered by the Eastern Recruiting Region.

USMC Recruiting District and Recruiting Stations

Each recruiting region is divided into three districts. Then, each district is divided yet again into multiple recruiting stations in cities or populated areas and recruiting sub-stations in smaller less populated areas.

There are estimates that there about 48 recruiting stations in the nation and about 575 recruiting sub-stations. The USMC must cover all areas of the continental US, Hawaii, Alaska, and various US republics like Puerto Rico and Guam.

Check out this Marine Corps Recruiting District Map to see which area of the map your recruiting district is in:

USMC Recruit District Map

San Diego Training Schedule

This training schedule is based largely on the training schedule posted at the Parris Island recruit depot web site. The training is almost exactly the same, except the days themselves may change slightly. At both recruit training facilities, Parris Island and San Diego, future Marines undergo some of the country’s most strenuous military training over 3 months. USMC recruits are challenged and grow through a training process that is divided into three training phases.

The first few days are reserved for what is called “processing”. Processing consists of a Welcome Aboard speech, recruits are issued uniform clothing and gear, they complete a medical screening, perform an Initial Strength Test (IST) and meet the Drill Instructors that will challenge and guide them throughout their training.

Phase 1

weeks 1-4

Topics for training in this phase include:

  • Military & Marine Corps history
  • Military & Marine Corps Customs and Courtesies
  • Basic First Aid
  • Marine Corps Uniform Standards and Care
  • Marine Corps Leadership
  • USMC Core Values
  • Hand-to-Hand Combat Techniques through the Marine Corps Marts Arts Program (MCMAP)

Phase 2

weeks 5-8

  • Water Survival
  • Swim Qualification
  • Initial Written Test
  • Initial Drill
  • Marine Corps Rappel Tower
  • Boot Camp Gas Chamber Training
  • Marine Corps Recruit Marksmanship with the standard M16 A2 Service Rifle
  • Team Week
  • Final Drill

Phase 3

weeks 9-12

  • A-Line / Basic Warrior Training
  • Basic Field Training and USMC Recruit Combat Skills
  • Boot Camp Day / Movement Course
  • Marine Target Training
  • Combat Endurance Course
  • Training Practical Application Evalutaion
  • Final Drill
  • Written Testing
  • Ceremony Practices
  • Marine Corps Recruit Graduation

If there are any current or former Marines who have gone through any of this, please leave a comment! What week was your favorite? Which week was the hardest to get through?

Parris Island Training Schedule

The training schedule for a Parris Island recruit is a three-month long period where the recruit will progress through three distinct training phases. The training schedule for the Parris Island Recruit Depot is very similar to the schedule of the recruits training at Recruit Depot San Diego.

Before the three phases begin, recruits go through a processing period that takes up the first few days.

Phase 1

weeks 1-4

Recruits are trained in military & Marine Corps history, customs and courtesies, basic first aid, uniforms, and leadership and core values. The recruits will be trained in hand-to-hand combat skills through the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP), which is comprised of several martial arts styles.

Phase 2

weeks 5-8

Weeks 5-8 include water survival and swim qualification recruit training. Historically, the Marine Corps has been an amphibious service “on land and sea”. These weeks also focus on initial written testing and initial drill. If you’ve watched any videos about recruit training, you’ll see recruits scaling down a rappel tower or filing out of a gas chamber. Recruits also begin training on the fundamentals of Marine Corps marksmanship with the standard M16 A2 service rifle. Phase 2 ends with Team Week where recruits perform various maintenance tasks around the recruit depot and work on final drill.

Phase 3

weeks 9-12

Phase 3 starts out with A-Line/Basic Warrior Training. Training will focus on basic field and combat skills through various exercises including a day/movement course, target exercises, a combat endurance course, a practical application evaluation, final drill, written testing, ceremony practices and graduation.


Marine Corps Physical

When a recruit prepares to join the Marine Corps, they are required to make a trip to a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). There are 65 MEPS in the US and a recruit will go to the processing station that it closest to wherever they live. It is part of the initial processing of joining the Marines. Recruits may visit MEPS for a second time on the day they ship out for basic training.

At MEPS, military personnel from any military service and civilians are staffed to test a potential recruit’s physical health and aptitude required by each branch of the military, the Department of Defense, and the federal government.

Marine Recruit Pre-screening

The first step to complete at MEPS is a pre-screening with your recruiter. Your Marine Corps recruiter will help you complete a DD (Department of Defense) Form 2807-2. Your recruiter will send this form to MEPS and medical personnel will determine if any of your listed medical conditions automatically disqualify you from enlisting in the Marine Corps. Your recruiter will also make sure that you bring any required medical records with you to MEPS.

You’ll probably want to bring records describing any surgeries, hospitalizations, counseling, heart conditions, or any other major health services you’ve needed.

When you go to MEPS, you’ll want to bring your social security card, birth certificate and driver’s license or state id. If you wear contacts, bring along glasses and a contact case.

Don’t bring inappropriate clothing (clothing with vulgar images, profanity, etc). Don’t bring a hat. Don’t bring a lot of money or valuables, there are a lot of folks around and you’ll be busy being shuffled from one station to another.

Recruit Arrival at MEPS

MEPS Military Entrance Processing Station

A potentional Marine Corps Recruit enters a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)

Recruits will need to take the ASVAB test if they haven’t already. The ASVAB test is an aptitude test that makes sure you have the mental aptitude required for Marine Corps life and it helps determine what kind of job you qualify for once you finish recruit training. If you have already taken the test within the last two years and you passed it, you will not have to retake it at MEPS.

You may have to stay in a nearby hotel while you go through MEPS processing (usually it takes one to two days to complete). The military will cover your hotel and food expenses. You’ll probably be roomed with another person who is also at MEPS; it is possible that they’ll be enlisting in a different branch of the military than you.

You’ll spend most of your time at MEPS waiting to be seen at whichever station you are told to report to next. You’ll undergo various tests and evaluations to make sure that you qualify to join the Marine Corps and some tests to target what job in the Marine Corps will best suit you.

USMC MEPS Medical Evaluation

At MEPS, a potential Marine Corps recruit will have to take a blood and urine test. Tests will check for HIV, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, RPR, the presence of alcohol/drugs. You’ll be tested for the pH, blood, protein, and specific gravity in your urine and female recruits will be tested to see if they are pregnant.

You will take a hearing test and a vision test. You’ll have your weight checked. You’ll meet with several different doctors to evaluate your overall health.

MEPS Pre-Enlistment Recruit Interview

Once a potential Marine Corps recruit has successfully completed all of the physical and aptitude testing, they have to meet with a MEPS Military Processing Clerk for a one-on-one interview. You’ll be fingerprinted and asked questions regarding possible law violations, past drug/alcohol abuse, and other issues that are relevant to your service in the Marine Corps. You’ll be briefed on the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), Fraudulent Enlistment Policy and restrictions on personal conduct while in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP).

US Marine Corps MEPS Enlistment Oath Ceremony for New Recruits

After the evaluations, pre-enlistment interview and you have signed your pre-enlistment contract, you will be ready for the Marine Corps recruit enlistment oath ceremony. You’ll be taught how to properly stand at attention. You’ll take the oath and sign an enlistment contract that enlists you into the Delayed Entry Program. Family and friends are allowed at the ceremony if you wish. You’ll then be able to check-out and go home.

Parris Island History

A History of Parris Island Recruit Depot

Marines first landed on Parris Island in 1891 when First Sergeant Richard Donovan led a security detachment in the area. The town that Parris Island is now a part of, called Port Royal, was a Naval Station that his unit was attached to.

There are still some military structures and homes from that era standing. They formed the center of the Parris Island Historic District and include the commanding general’s home. All of these building in the Historic District are on the National Register of Historic Places.

It didn’t become an official Marine recruit depot for a good 20+ years. It wasn’t officially designated until 1915, but Marine training has continued ever since. Back then (prior to 1929), there were no roads leading into the island. Recruits had to take a ferry from the Port Royal docks to the Parris Island docks. In 1929, a bridge and a causeway were built over Archer Creek and provided Parris Island with a road connection.

USMC Recruit Info for Boot Camp