Marine Corps Recruit Depot

Updated: October 19, 2023
In this Article

    The Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) in San Diego, California, is an initial training facility for those newly enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. It is the primary training location for more than 21,000 male and female recruits annually, west of the Mississippi River.

    Base Operator:

    38990 Midway Avenue
    San Diego, CA 92140

    What Kind of Base is Marine Corps Recruit Depot?

    MCRD hosts the Marine Corps Recruiter School and Drill Instructors School, which are essential in training sergeants to recruit and transform civilians into Basic Marines.

    Marine Corps Recruit Depot History

    MCRD has a rich history intertwined with the city of San Diego, dating back to an 1846 amphibious landing. The facility was initially the Marine Advanced Expeditionary Base San Diego, later renamed the Marine Corps Base San Diego in 1924. It transitioned into a recruit training center for the western United States and was designated MCRD San Diego in 1948.


    Marine Corps Recruit Depot Housing

    This installment is primarily a training location for newly enlisted men and women. Living quarters consist of halls for privates going through boot camp training.

    Military housing options are available across the San Diego region, to find out more about those options reach out to the Commander, Navy Region Southwest Family Housing Welcome Center at Naval Base San Diego. Despite being a naval installation, it also coordinates housing options for other branches including the Marine Corps. The contact number for CNRSW Family Housing Welcome Center is at 619-556-8443.

    PCS and TDY Lodging

    At MCRD San Diego, temporary lodging options are available for both Temporary Duty (TDY) and Permanent Change of Station (PCS) personnel. Reservations can be made at the Temporary Officer Quarters (MCRD) by calling 619-524-4401.


    What is the BAH for Marine Corps Recruit Depot?

    The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego varies depending on rank, years of service and dependency status. Visit the California state BAH page or see the chart below for more information.



    Military Housing Area: CA038

    Grade With Dependents Without Dependents
    E01 $3,579 $2,684
    E02 $3,579 $2,684
    E03 $3,579 $2,684
    E04 $3,579 $2,684
    E05 $3,882 $2,964
    E06 $4,320 $3,240
    E07 $4,344 $3,534
    E08 $4,353 $3,972
    E09 $4,491 $4,101
    W01 $4,341 $3,396
    W02 $4,350 $3,969
    W03 $4,362 $4,119
    W04 $4,545 $4,320
    W05 $4,785 $4,332
    O01E $4,347 $3,879
    O02E $4,356 $4,071
    O03E $4,581 $4,314
    O01 $3,939 $3,153
    O02 $4,317 $3,759
    O03 $4,359 $4,161
    O04 $4,869 $4,323
    O05 $5,244 $4,335
    O06 $5,289 $4,338
    O07 $5,334 $4,404

    For more information, look at BAH rates by state or calculate your exact BAH rate.

    Marine Corps Recruit Depot Surrounding Area

    The Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) is adjacent to San Diego International Airport. The base is in close proximity to several large Navy and Marine Corps installations, making San Diego a significant military town. The surrounding area is rich in Spanish heritage, with picturesque architecture echoing the Spanish Colonial Revival style. The base is also near Balboa Park, a cultural hub with museums, gardens, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

    Outdoor and recreational attractions abound in the area, with the Pacific Ocean offering opportunities for water sports and beach activities. The installment is also a stone’s throw away from the vibrant downtown area, known for its dining, shopping, and entertainment options.


    Branch Medical and Dental Clinics at MCRD San Diego offer health care services to Marine recruits, active-duty Marines, sailors, and Coast Guardsmen. The Naval Medical Center San Diego caters to the broader active-duty population, featuring nine primary care sites for families and eight clinics for active-duty personnel. The NMCSD hospital houses four family primary care clinics offering services in primary care, internal medicine, pediatrics, and adolescent care.


    The base offers childcare options, and there is one Child Development Center at MCRD San Diego. It is a full-day care service for preschool and toddler-aged children. There are other childcare options in the region.


    There are no schools on the installation for children.

    Written by Team