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Base Access at MCRD San Diego
Travel Planning
All military installations, including the Depot, have rules that must be followed for security and to maintain an organized community and lifestyle while on the base. It's all part of the new military lifestyle your son or daughter is learning. While at the Depot (MCRD San Diego) you are a guest on a military installation as well as a guest of your future Marine. Your actions on the depot are a direct reflection on your son or daughter. Please be courteous and respectful. Please note the following:

We STRONGLY DISCOURAGE anyone with a new Marine graduating from being on the base for any reason prior to Family Day, except in the instance when they are staying in on-base housing or overnight lodging.

Photos and Videos

Photos and video can be taken on MCRD San Diego, except in recruit training areas. Recruit training areas are, as follows,: the close combat training area, the Confidence Course, the site of Basic Warrior Training and inside the recruit training barracks.

Shopping at MCRD San Deigo

There are several places on MCRD San Diego to purchase souvenirs and other Marine Corps memorabilia.
  • The Marine Corps Exchange (department store) has a large selection of items for civilians to browse through. Without a Department of Defense ID card, however, civilians are limited to that section. The Exchange is located across the street from the Command Museum.
  • The 7-Day Store is a gas station and convenience store. Civilians may shop but may NOT purchase tobacco products or alcoholic beverages.
  • The Museum Gift Shop is located inside the Command Museum.

Gates, Security and Accessing the Depot

At MCRD San Diego, you do not need a gate pass to enter the Depot for Family Day and Graduation. If you are driving a vehicle, you must present three documents to the MP (Military Policeman/Policewoman) to be allowed on the Depot:
  • A valid driver's license
  • Vehicle registration (for rental cars, a copy of the contract you signed at the rental agency)
  • Proof of automobile insurance

All driving rules and regulations are strictly enforced!

  • The speed limit on base is 20 miles per hour; do not exceed it.
  • Turn signals must be used 100 feet before turning.
  • Seatbelts must be worn at all times.
  • All children 5 years of age or younger must be secured in a child safety seat.
  • Cell phone use while driving is prohibited unless phone is a hands-free device.
  • Do not park on grass or in any reserved parking space, including curbs painted yellow.
  • Do not move or circumvent barricades.
  • Keep out of all restricted areas.

After you have checked in at the gate, the MP will direct you to the appropriate depot facilities.

There are some basic security precautions and rules that will apply. Please review the following prior to your arrival:

  • On Thursday and Friday all visitor vehicles MUST enter through Gate #5 (Washington Street Exit off I-5). Vehicle inspections and ID checks will take place. All packages, handbags and luggage are subject to search prior to being admitted to the Depot. For quicker entry to MCRD, please keep those items at a minimum. Leave luggage and other bags at your hotel.
  • Weapons of any type, alcohol, glass bottles and illegal drugs or paraphernalia are strictly prohibited on base.
  • Shuttles from hotels and motels MUST use Gate #5 ONLY. Shuttles will be inspected each time they enter the Depot. You should be prepared to show a photo ID when entering the Depot. Keep your ID with you at all times.
  • Any occupant of a vehicle attempting to enter MCRD San Diego must be restrained by his/her own seatbelt.
  • Due to possible long lines at Gate #5, it is recommended that you arrive early each day at the Depot.
  • MCRD San Diego is an active military base. Due to national security concerns, any jokes or references will be treated seriously and will result in eviction from the base and possible arrest.

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