Though your recruit may move from one location for training to another during boot camp, you will always use the same mailing address for him/her (see the text box below and to the right for exceptions).
The first letter you receive from your recruit will be a form letter. This letter should arrive in your mail box in approximately 10-14 days after they leave. The form letter should include your recruit's mailing address.
MCRD San Diego Museum display, the "rack" in recruit barracks
For security reasons, we do not publish MCRD addresses online. Click Here to see a sample boot camp address from an official USMC website. The published addresses are subject to change and are intended as a guide only. Please use the address that your recruit sends you.
If you do not get the form letter in 10-14 days of your recruit's departure, contact his/her recruiter. The recruiter should be able to provide you with your recruit's mailing address and platoon number. If you have to contact the recruiter, ask him to pull up your recruit on the MOL Locator.
NOTE: Recruits can ask that mailing addresses not be given out, including to family members. Though this is rare, the recruiter, as your son or daughter's employer, MUST honor the request.
NO CARE PACKAGES
Please, resist sending anything but letters. I know, it's a mom's nature, but your Recruit will thank you for NOT sending anything.
MCRD San Diego Museum display, the "rack" and "foot lockers" in recruit barracks
Unless you are specifically asked to send something to your Recruit, don't do it.
Addressing your Letters
Address your letters to Rct Lastname, Firstname. Your son or daughter is NOT a Marine yet. DO NOT put any other rank other than Rct which means "Recruit"—refer to him/her as such when you address the envelope. Doing otherwise will cause unnecessary attention at mail call and you don't want to do that. Do NOT put your recruit's social security number on the envelope.
Mail from Your Recruit
For information regarding mail and letters from recruits, Click here...
Mail arrives at the Depot (MCRD) Monday through Saturday. Depending on the training schedule, there may be a few days delay getting the mail into you recruit's hand and posssibly a further delay having an opportunity to open mail to read the letters from home. Don't despair; training comes first. Your recruit's mail will never be held for disciplinary reasons.
Write Motivational Letters to Your Recruit
Your Recruit may be homesick. Very, very homesick. Write lots of letters and then write some more. Keep them upbeat. Send a small photo or two. DO NOT decorate the outside of the envelope with drawings, stickers, or write any text other than the address and your return address (and no spritz of perfume either). This will cause unnecessary attention from the DI and your Recruit does not want to draw the attention of the DI during mail call.
Getting ready to write your recruit? See what “Gunny Says…” about letters to recruits below. He has critical tidbits to share and you’ll be glad you had the opportunity to absorb his input before you pick up the pen.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We have been a nation at war for almost eight years; most of your sons and daughters were in elementary school during the September 11th attacks. With that being said, I commend you as parents for supporting your son's (or daughter’s) decision to become a United States Marine.
But, after all, it is HIS decision that brought him here. As parents, the "support" you give is often counterproductive to your recruit. Recruit training is an institution with rules, structure, and discipline. COMMITMENT is what it takes to complete recruit training. Intestinal fortitude. Drive. And focus.
Letters are the best way to show support for your recruit. Not junk food, not birthday presents, not gag gifts. But in those letters please ensure you convey the right message: You support his decision, he CAN and WILL get through it, and, as a man, must accomplish his goal of becoming a United States Marine.
Do NOT emphasize that "you always have a home to come back to" or "we'll still love you even if you don't make it" because failure is NOT an option. Am I saying to kick them out of house and home if they don't succeed? No. I'm saying redirection is a better support tool than empathy.
The focus of your letters should be about his training, his challenges, the friends he's made, his goals in training, etc. Do NOT ramble on about everything he's missing. It will only make him miss it more. Do NOT dwell on the "hardship" he's going through. Focus on the quantifiable aspects of recruit training. You can pick those up in his letters.
Emotions will run high. He will have his ups and downs. Simply take note, redirect, and carry on smartly.
Your sons are the next generation of war fighters VOLUNTEERING to defend our nation, and others, in this age of terrorism and oppression across the world. They will become tougher, both in body and mind, as training progresses. Expect it. Welcome it. Revel in it.
Marines are Marines because we are ALL basic rifleman, regardless of our contracts, religious beliefs, or upbringing, capable of fighting in every clime and place where we can take a gun. It's our legacy as warriors first that separates us from every other branch of service in the world.
Make no mistake about it; your sons and daughters are the future of this nation. Treat every letter you write like communist propaganda. Think very carefully what you WANT to convey, then proof read to make sure it's the message you ARE conveying.
-United States Marine and Series Gunnery Sergeant, 2009