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.
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.