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.

6 thoughts on “MCRD San Diego Info”

  1. Can someone tell me what the terrain and weather is like? Since I live in Colorado, will the terrain not be so different?

  2. Believe me, being first is no always fun and games. Sometimes it can be very embarassing. I was the first platoon member to learn what happens when you piss a DO off. On 17 April 1951 Platoon 251 was formed at MCRD San Diego. That evening I was chosen to stand the last two hour fire watch with instructions go into the DI’s hut and wake up one of the two DI at a particular time. I went into hunt and woke up the DI on the right and had been told to wake up the one on the left (or vis-a versa). I spent the rest of the day with one pant leg rolled up to the knee. I learned to tell my right from my left .

    Lou Mello
    USMC 1951-1960

  3. Have a lot of memories of MCRD. Was in Plt 1124 in November 1968. Still to this day remember my DI’s. S/Sgt Copeland, S/Sgt Hernandez, and Cpl. Sexton. I am sorry to have lost my graduation book when Medi-Vac out of Vietnam in 1970. Would love to look at the book and bring back some fond memories of my time as a recruit. Greg Fackler 2521600 USMC 1968 – 1970

  4. I was in plt. 205 in jan 1968. My sr.Drill Sgt was GnySgt Garza . I live in Andersonville Tenn. and im wondering if their is any way i could order a copy of my graduation book. My copy was distroyed years ago and it meant the world to me. I would love to have one to leave my sons as im a Viet Nam Vet ( 2 ) years and my health is not as good as it once was. They are very proud that i am a Marine and this would be something special to give them. Thank you Jessie Parker USMC 1968-1972

  5. Hi there- I met major Sullivan at the Vegas Glazier football clinic- I would like to bring the marines to do two fitness sessions for our high school football team up here in Berkeley Ca- NorCal- who can I call to set this up? i’d like to do two, a before and after thing… one on june, one in Aug..
    thanks for your help
    Jordan Winer
    510 332-1931

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