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United States Marine Corps
4025 Tripoli Avenue
Personal & Professional Development
San Diego, CA 92140
The cost of living in San Diego area is high in part due to the flourishing tourist industry as well as the limited capacity for the expansion of housing. The median home price is $860,000 and the median household income is $93,700.
As part of the efforts to protect the health and welfare of the force, it is essential to support measures to reduce occupancy of various public spaces aboard Marine Corps Installations. In furtherance of this goal, the Depot Command Museum, is opened only to personnel who are authorized to access the military installation. We appreciate your support as we work to balance our critical military training mission with our obligations to ensure the safety of all who transit through this installation.
Effective immediately, MCRD Gate Hours of Operation will shift to:
Gate 2 (Pedestrian Traffic for Inbound and Outbound; Vehicular Outbound Only)
Monday – Friday: 6 a.m.-9 p.m.
Weekends and Holidays: Closed
Gate 4 (Vehicle and Pedestrian Traffic)
Monday – Friday: 6 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Weekends and Holidays: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Gate 5 (Washington Street) 24/7
Marine Corps Community Services departments has expanded patronage to all authorized personnel. Counseling services at Marine And Family Programs are available by appointment. All updated information on status of business operation is posted on: www.mccsmcrd.com and on MCCS MCRD Facebook.
Defense Service Network (DSN) Dialing Instructions
The DSN is the provider of long-distance communications service for the Department of Defense (DoD). Every installation has a special DSN number and the numbers vary by world-wide location. In order to place a call using DSN, the caller must be using a military phone on an installation. Cellphones cannot dial DSN numbers. When dialing a DSN number from a United States installation to another United States installation, it is unnecessary to dial the DSN 312 area code. When dialing a DSN number to/from overseas locations, the DSN area code must be included.
MCRD and MCCS Facilities Information
In response to updated CDC guidance, and in accordance with Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel & Readiness) Memo dated 1 March 2022, CG MCRD San Diego has authorized personnel to be unmasked while aboard MCRD San Diego with the following exceptions:
- All personnel must wear a mask while indoors at the Branch Medical Clinic and the Branch Dental Clinic.
- All Recruits must wear masks during Phase 1 of Recruit Training.
Visit www.mccsmcrd.com for updates.
The mission of the Recruit Depot and the Western Recruiting Region is to exercise operational control of enlisted recruiting operations in the 8th, 9th, and 12th Marine Corps Recruiting Districts; to provide reception, processing, and recruit training for enlisted personnel following initial entry into the United States Marine Corps; and to produce a basically trained United States Marine embodied with the fighting spirit, core values and esprit de corps which have ensured our Corps' success for over 240 years.
The unique relationship between the Marine Corps Recruit Depot and San Diego is the result of almost 150 years of mutual support, assistance and growth. This relationship is reflected in the history of the Marine Corps in San Diego, the Depot as a post of the Corps, and the heritage of San Diego itself.
The Depot's primary function is to take quality young men and women from the western two-thirds of the United States and transform them through the foundations of rigorous basic training, our shared legacy, and a commitment to our Core Values, preparing them to win our Nation's battles in service to the country.
The Depot is also home to Drill Instructor School which teaches Sergeants, Staff Sergeants and Gunnery Sergeants what it takes to make Basic Marines; and Recruiters School which teaches noncommissioned officers and Staff NCO's how to find America's best and brightest and bring them into our ranks.
The Marine Corps Base at San Diego is surrounded by evidences of the Spanish heritage of southern California. The picturesque architecture may be seen, not only in the city, but also in the permanent buildings of today’s Marine Corps Recruit Depot. This is a natural consequence of the fact that California was a Spanish possession for nearly three centuries.
Westward expansion of the United States brought the Marines into their first contact with San Diego. The town was seized by a landing party of seamen and Marines from the USS CYANE on July 29, 1846, shortly after war had broken out between the United States and Mexico. It was in this operation that the U.S. flag was first raised in southern California. Sixty years later, on December 19, 1914, Colonel Joseph H. Pendleton reported by telegram to Marine Corps Headquarters that the Marine Barracks, San Diego, had been established that day.
After World War II, the principal activity on the Marine Corps Base proper was that of the recruit depot. Official cognizance was taken of this fact in the form of re-designation of the base, effective January 1, 1948, as the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego.
The MCRD Command Museum, located in Building 26, boasts one of the most extensive and comprehensive displays of Marine Corps historical items in the United States. Please call 619-524-4426 for hours of operation and special program information. For more information on MCRD, visit our homepage.
The force structure is comprised of approximately 1,200 active duty Marines at MCRD San Diego and 900 active duty military personnel at Western Recruiting Region.
The population of San Diego County in 2021 was 3.3 million and San Diego metro has a population of over 1.4 million. The City of San Diego accounts for 3.5% of the state population and ranks as the second most populous city in California.
Personnel assigned to MCRD San Diego
MCRD San Diego (Including WFTB)
U.S. Coast Guard – PACAREA TACLET
Military (Marines/Sailors)Approx. 6,500
MCRD San Diego, nestled on only 506 acres of the same territory as San Diego's Lindberg Field airport, is located in downtown San Diego. San Diego is indeed a military town - with several large Navy and Marine Corps installations calling San Diego County home. The cost of living is high in part due to the flourishing tourist industry as well as the limited capacity for the expansion of housing. If arriving by car from the I-5, take the clearly marked exits for the Depot. The main entrance is on Washington Street to the South, which crosses under Pacific Highway as it approaches the base from the East. Alternate gated entrance points are on Witherby Street to the Northeast, and Barnett Avenue to the Northwest. There is no base operator on the installation, however, Information & Referral Office line 619-524-5732 or 619-524-5298 is available between the hours of 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Western Recruiting Region, San Diego, California 92140-5023. The Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) is located in the southern-most major metropolitan area of California, approximately 125 miles south of Los Angeles and 20 miles north of the Mexico border.
The Marine Corps Recruit Depot is located just north of the perimeter of San Diego International Airport, about 2-3 miles when accessing by automobile. You can receive assistance from the Airport USO Center located at San Diego International Airport Terminal #2, which is the largest USO airport center in the world. You can also get directions from the Volunteer Airport Ambassadors during normal airport operating hours Monday through Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Visible in their green polo shirts with “Airport Information” emblazoned on the back, more than 350 highly trained ambassadors provide free airport information and terminal wayfinding assistance. Volunteers staff information centers in the baggage claim area of Terminals 1 and 2, roam the terminals providing mobile information, and drive a courtesy cart in Terminal 2 West to assist passengers who may require mobility assistance. The program is administered by Travelers Aid Society of San Diego and managed by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.
The United Services Organization (USO) Center is located outside of Terminal 2. For availability of discounted shuttles and San Diego information, visit the USO Center which is located in the Terminal Two Parking Lot, adjacent to the Eastern Skybridge on the ground floor. The USO is staffed 7 days/week 6:00 a.m. – midnight. Contact the USO office by calling (619) 296-3192 prior to arrival for information on discounted shuttle, advanced reservations may be required. MCRD San Diego does not sponsor a shuttle from the airport to the base. However, check with your command to see if your Sponsor can provide transportation.
Taxi rates from the airport to the base vary. It is important that you negotiate the rate for the total cost before you get into the taxi. Many companies provide taxicab service at San Diego International Airport. Simply follow the signs leading to the Transportation Plazas. A Customer Service Representative will place you with the first available taxi, unless you specify a particular taxicab company.
Local Bus or Trolley
The Metro Transit System (MTS) travels to and from the airport and downtown San Diego, which can connect you to the trolley, train, and other bus stops. If you choose, visit the San Diego commuter website https://www.sdmts.com/ or visit the San Diego Regional Trip Planning website http://www.san.org/Parking-Transportation/Public-Transportation to plan which methods of public transportation you will use from the airport to your destination.
Bus routes, fare and schedule information may be obtained by calling Metro Transit System (MTS) at 619-233-3004 on Mon-Fri 5:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. and Sat-Sun 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Arrival by Car
The Marine Corps Recruit Depot is located on the west side of Interstate 5 (I-5) and Pacific Highway (which parallels I-5) - both of which run North/South. Heading south, take the Washington Street exit, then turn right at the stop sign onto Washington Street - and proceed for approximately 2 blocks (under Pacific Highway overpass)until you arrive at Gate 5. Upon arriving at the Main Gate 5, be prepared to present identification and, depending upon security condition, vehicles may be subjected to search. Sentries may provide an installation map or verbal directions to those requiring assistance.
MCRD Gate Hours of Operation are as follows:
Gate 2 (Pedestrian Traffic (In and Outbound) and Vehicular Outbound Only)
Installation information and events is posted on: www.mccsmcrd.com and on MCCS MCRD Facebook.
Currently, there is no base transportation on this installation.
The installation base operator phone number 619-524-1011 is a pre-recorded listing of commonly called office phone numbers aboard the installation. The alternative information line phone number 619-524-5732 is answered live Mon-Fri from 7:30 a.m. -4 p.m.