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San Diego Marines | USMC | Camp Pendleton

The long tradition of the military in San Diego is well represented by the large presence of US Marines. Several Marine installations, including nearby Camp Pendleton, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, and Miramar Air Station, give San Diego one of the largest Marine populations of any US city, and it’s always a stirring sight to see the Marines march in to their place in the left field stands for a Padres game, or watch maneuvers at Camp Pendleton, or see the Blue Angels fly over the Miramar Air Show. And the Marines are also valued members of the community who contribute to emergency response teams and aid firefighting efforts.

The Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) is a Marine installation near Lindbergh Field and the former Naval Training Center. MCRD San Diego's main mission is the training of the more than 21,000 enlisted Marine Corps recruits west of the Mississippi River. The Depot is also home to the Marine Corps' Recruiter School and Western Recruiting Region's Drill Instructors School.

Camp Pendleton, located between the towns of Oceanside and San Clemente in the North County, was established in 1942 to train US Marines. The base is named after Marine General Joseph Henry Pendleton, who advocated establishing a West Coast training base during World War II. Today Camp Pendleton is the home of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and various training commands. The base includes over 125,000 acres and nearly seventeen miles of coastline. Recruits from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego spend a month on Pendleton's Edson Range receiving field training. The Camp is also one of the least developed areas in Southern California and is home to many protected species of plant and animal, which is a source of pride and responsibility to the Marines.

The Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (MCAS) is one of the most used Marine air bases in the country, and they have a big public outreach program that includes a popular air show every year, as well as a bimonthly tour program for all community members. The tour is free of charge and takes place on the first and third Thursdays of each month, weather and operational commitments permitting.  It runs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and children over the age of 10 are allowed to take the tour. The tours include a military working dog demonstration provided by the military police Provost Marshal’s Office, an air station windshield tour, a flight line windshield tour of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing, and a tour of the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum. 

The San Diego region is home to a large contingent of military personnel and families. They are a welcome and important part of the economy and social life of Southern California. The Marines, with their proud tradition, are a valued part of the larger San Diego community in every way, from putting on local triathlons to helping out with emergency fire fighting. San Diego residents understand the truth behind the Marine’s motto: Semper Fidelis.




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