Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

Recruit Training Regiment
First Recruit Training Battalion, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment Headquarters, Second Recruit Training Battalion, Support Battalion, Third Recruit Training Battalion, Weapons & Field Training Battalion
4025 Tripoli Avenue, San Diego, CA 92140
Marine Corps logo


Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego is located in the southernmost major metropolitan area of California, approximately 125 miles south of Los Angeles and 20 miles north of the Mexico border. The mission of MCRD San Diego is to provide reception, processing, and recruit training for male enlisted personnel following initial entry into the Marine Corps. In addition, it provides training for Drill Instructors and officers entrusted with recruit training responsibilities.

The Marine Corps Base at San Diego is surrounded by evidence 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.

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 Depot’s primary function is to take quality young men 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.

Home to Drill Instructor School, which teaches sergeants, staff sergeants and gunnery sergeants what it takes to make a Marine, the MCRD is also home to Recruiters School, which teaches noncommissioned officers and staff NCOs how to find America’s best and brightest and bring them into our ranks.

There are over 7,700 active duty, military families, DoD personnel, civilians, and retirees assigned to MCRD San Diego.



The San Diego International Airport (SAN) is only about 4 miles from MCRD San Diego. MCRD San Diego 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 Old Town Avenue exit, then turn right at the stop sign onto Witherby. Then, proceed for approximately 2 blocks (under Pacific Highway overpass) until you arrive at the main gate.

There are designated exits ramps on Pacific Highway – north and southbound – which will take you directly to Gate 4, which is the main gate of the Main Gate of the Depot. It is advised that you reduce speed, move over to the right-most traffic lane, and watch for the MCRD and Command Museum signs as you approach the exit ramps to the base. On Thursdays and Fridays, which are Graduation Activities Days, access to the base is structured. Service members and civilian employees are encouraged to enter through Gate 4 (Pacific Highway) or Gate 2 (Barnett Avenue), and the general public will be directed to enter via Gate 5 (Washington Street).

All personnel checking in to MCRD San Diego must report to the Installation Personnel Administration Center (IPAC), Building 622, Room 129. All check-ins must be in the Service “A” uniform throughout the check-in process. If you arrive after working hours or on the weekend, report to the Staff Duty Office, Building 31 (lower level across from Room 117). The Staff Duty Office phone number is (619) 524-8700.


TRICARE Information and News


For a full list of community health centers, visit the Health Center Program at


Check the US News Health directory online at to find the best doctor for your family.


The American Dental Association provides a list of dentists near you on their website


School districts in California must admit children at the beginning of the school year (or whenever they move into a district) if they will be five years of age on or before September 1. Children who are age-eligible for kindergarten may attend any pre-kindergarten summer program maintained by the school district.

In 2010, the majority of states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity adopted Common Core State Standards that provide a consistent set of educational expectations for students, regardless of ZIP code. When a family moves, a student’s education is often disrupted because the student may be forced to repeat material or learn at a different level at the new school. With common standards across states, this disruption will be reduced — of particular interest to military families. For more information, visit 

There are no Department of Defense schools aboard MCAS Miramar or any of the San Diego Naval bases. The closest school districts are the San Diego Unified and Poway Unified School districts. Students residing aboard MCAS Miramar will attend school in Mira Mesa from kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information, call San Diego Unified at (619) 725-5578 or Poway Unified Learning Support Service at (858) 521-2800.

There are a variety of religious and nonsectarian private schools in all communities. For a list of private schools, call the Office of Education at (858) 292-3500 or write to:

Office of Education
San Diego County
6401 Linda Vista Road
San Diego, CA 92111-7399

The majority of the public schools in the city are served by the San Diego Unified School District, the second-largest school district in California, which includes 11 K–8 schools, 107 elementary schools, 24 middle schools, 13 atypical and alternative schools, 28 high schools, and 45 charter schools.

Several adjacent school districts which are headquartered outside the city limits serve some schools within the city; these include the Poway Unified School DistrictDel Mar Union School DistrictSan Dieguito Union High School District, and Sweetwater Union High School District. In addition, there are a number of private schools in the city.

California Content Standards

If your child is preparing to attend college, this information on scholarships may be helpful.


Current service members can attend college in their off-duty time and have their military branch pay the tuition. Learn about the Military Tuition Assistance Program. Use the Tuition Assistance (TA) DECIDE tool to help you make the best use of your tuition assistance dollars. 

If you were or are in the military, you may be eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) education benefits. If you are a spouse or dependent, you may be eligible too. 

Online course options: edX – Founded by Harvard University and MIT, offers high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere. Whether you are interested in computer science, languages, engineering, psychology, writing, electronics, biology, or marketing. Enroll today!

When moving to a new location, it is important to know who to call when you have an emergency or you need help. Below are some organizations you will find useful. 

Child Care Aware

Under the site’s “Child Care 101” tab you’ll find information related to locating quality child care, the types of child care available to you and how to evaluate the child care providers you visit. There’s also a special section for the military child on the website covering topics such as military fee assistance, payments and provider services. 

Military Children and Teens Resource Guide

San Diego County

San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency

San Diego County Department of Human Resources (619) 236-2191
We are committed to provide and retain a skilled, adaptable, and diverse workforce for County departments so they may deliver superior services to the residents and visitors of the County of San Diego.

Child and Family Services (877) 792-KIDS (5437)

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department

California State Highway Patrol (760) 255-5900

San Diego Humane Society (619) 299-7012

San Diego County Library

DMV Office in San Diego, California (800) 777-0133

Utility Services in the area:

Water is supplied to residents by the Water Department of the City of San Diego. The city receives most of its water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Gas and electric utilities are provided by San Diego Gas & Electric, a division of Sempra Energy.

Local Internet and service providers in the area:
Google Fiber

Base Operator (619) 524-1011  

Barracks (619) 524-1947  

Chaplain (619) 524-8820  

Civilian Personnel Office (619) 524-6918  

Dental Headquarters (619) 524-4009  

Education Center (619) 524-8158  

EFMP Family Support (619) 524-8030  

EFMP Enrollment (619) 524-8031  

Exchange (619) 297-2500  

Family Advocacy Program (619) 524-0465  

Family Center (619) 524-5732  

Family Child Care Homes (619) 556-7394  

Family Readiness Center (619) 524-5728  

Hospital Main (619) 524-1565  

Housing Services Office (619) 556-8443  

ID/CAC Card Processing (619) 524-8741  

Information and Referral (619) 524-5732  

Legal Services/JAG (619) 524-4110  

NAF Human Resources Officer (619) 725-6226  

School Liaison Program (619) 524-8032  

Staff Duty Office (619) 524-8700  

Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273-8255  

Temporary Lodging/Billeting (619) 524-4401  

Transition Readiness (619) 524-8440  

Welcome Center (619) 524-6038  


Military housing at MCRD San Diego consists of 9,135 homes within 48 communities in the San Diego area and serves several military facilities.

It is managed by Lincoln Military Housing, they can be reached at (858) 300-7493. In addition, you may contact the MCRD San Diego Housing office for relocation assistance at (619) 524-5298.

Mission Hills 
1.9 miles from MCRD

Mission Hills is centrally located between Hillcrest and Old Town. There are many dining, shopping, and amenties close by.

Canyon View
7.2 miles from MCRD

Canyon View is a beautiful community in the suburb of Tierrasanta with nice homes and plenty of shopping and schools nearby.

Submit information about your neighborhood

We vet for Vets

Report To Base is the #1 site for vetted military friendly realtors that work with active duty, are well versed in VA purchases and virtual tours. We feature mortgage brokers who specialize in VA loans with competitive rates so you do not have to shop for low rates we do it for you. All our home inspectors are VA friendly and are backed by our community. At Report To Base we do all the work for you. All you have to do is click and call.

Be sure to let our partners know you found them at Report to Base!

Report to Base is the #1 site for vetted, trustworthy realtors, mortgage brokers and home inspectors. Report To Base does all the hard work for you. All you have to do is click and call.

Be sure to let our partners know you found them at Report to Base!


San Diego is known for its year-round moderate climate characterized by war, dry summers and mild winters. Most of the annual precipitation occurs between December and March, bringing in about 11 inches of rain each year. On average, San Diego has 201 days, which are above 70° F, making it a comfortable place to live with low humidity.

Frequently, particularly during the “May gray/June gloom” period, a thick “marine layer” cloud cover keeps the air cool and damp within a few miles of the coast, but yields to bright cloudless sunshine approximately 5–10 miles inland. Sometimes the June gloom lasts into July, causing cloudy skies over most of San Diego for the entire day.

The average temperature varies between 46°F to 82°F and hardly ever goes below 39°F or above 91°F. The most comfortable months are from early June to early October. The warmest months are from June to September, with the average high being around 73° F. December is typically the coldest month of the year with an average temperature of 55° F. The average high temperatures range from 64 °F to 77 °F, while the average low temperatures range from 45 °F to 64 °F.

Compared to other cities in California and cities across the country, the cost of living index in San Diego, CA is 146, which is 6% higher than the California average and 46% higher than that for the entire country. The index is comprised of the following criteria: cost of retail goods and services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), cost of public/private transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). Everyday goods and services, along with housing account for 63 percent of the total cost of living index. Goods and services that are a necessity regardless of location provide an accurate general sense of the cost of living in one city versus another. As seen above, the cost of retail goods and services in San Diego, CA are 6% lower than the average for California and 3% higher than the U.S. average.

MCRD San Diego is located in the city of San Diego, CA in San Diego County. The base has recreational facilities and community centers available for service members and their families to enjoy. As California’s second largest city, San Diego is renowned for its ideal climate, miles of pristine beaches, a host of world-class golf courses and a dazzling array of family attractions.

The economy of San Diego is influenced by its deepwater port, which includes the only major submarine and shipbuilding yards on the West Coast. In addition, the city hosts the largest naval fleet in the world. There are also many military bases in San Diego and the surrounding areas, including: Naval Base San DiegoMCB Camp Pendleton, and MCRD San Diego.

Balboa Park is an area that plays home to 15 museums, several performing arts and international culture organizations, plus the San Diego Zoo. Balboa Park is renowned for the horticultural treasures abound full of brilliant displays of seasonal flowers, themed gardens, rare exotic plants species, and shady groves of trees. You can also see the architecture that was created for the 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition and the 1934-1936 California Pacific International Exposition and the classic carousel that was built in 1910 which still plays the brass ring game.

Some other points of interest in the area include: the USS Midway Museum, the San Diego Museum of Man, the San Diego Air and Space Museum, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the San Diego ZooLegoland, and SeaWorld San Diego.

There are also several beautiful parks in the area, including Torrey Pines State Natural PreserveLos Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, and Mission Trails Regional Park.

In addition, San Diego is home to several popular annual events, including the Miramar Air ShowComic-Con in San Diego, and the San Diego Black Film Festival.

Local Churches

Join our community

Receive great PCS tips and additional resources