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Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) – San Diego, California

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MCRD – San Diego, CA. Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot

Every Marine knows what these yellow footprints mean

Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego is one of two recruit training bases in the United States. It is home to the Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard personnel, though the depot in San Diego has just 388 acres. MCCS supports all active duty personnel, their family members, reservists, and retired military personnel. Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego is one of the birthplaces of basically trained Marines. It is here where America’s young men are transformed into Marines. Marines are forged in a furnace of shared hardship and tough training. This shared, intense experience creates bonds of comradeship and standards of conduct so strong that Marines will let nothing stand in their way.

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The base’s main mission is to train new United States Marine Corps recruits, specificallymales recruited from west of the Mississippi River, but also from some areas east of the river, such as Wisconsin, Michigan, the Chicago metropolitan area and New Orleans. All women are trained at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. 

Recruit training for those enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, includes a thirteen week process during which the recruit becomes cut off from the civilian world and must adapt to a Marine Corps lifestyle. During training, drill instructors train recruits in a wide variety of subjects including weapons training, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, personal hygiene and cleanliness, close order drill, and Marine Corps history. The training emphasizes physical fitness, and recruits must attain a minimum standard of fitness to graduate by passing a Physical Fitness Test. Recruits must also meet minimum combat-oriented swimming qualifications, qualify in rifle marksmanship with the M16A4 service rifle, and pass a 54-hour simulated combat exercise known as “The Crucible”. 

Unlike training at Parris Island, recruits must leave the depot to conduct field training. The final three-week phase is spent at Edson Range aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, where recruits fire on the rifle range, conduct field training, and undergo the Crucible. At the conclusion, recruits return to MCRD San Diego for graduation.


Interested in a DVD of the Marine Corps Crucible?
Order your copy of “The Crucible” Marine video today!

The Crucible

The Marine Crucible, the final test to becoming a US Marine.

This should help answer the questions:

Why are recruits graduating from MCRD San Diego called “Hollywood Marines”?
Where do Marine recruits from the west coast go to Marine Boot Camp?

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