MCRD San Diego, CA Image 1
    MCRD San Diego, CA Image 2

    MCRD San Diego, CA History

    The first Marine Corps establishment in San Diego was the Marine Corps Barracks Balboa Park, a temporary arrangement until the MCRD was properly built. At the time it was named the Marine Advanced Expeditionary Base, until redesignated in 1948. The MCRD San Diego training center started, under determined leadership of Colonel Joseph Henry Pendleton, in 1919, as a training center to fit with the increase Navy presence in San Diego and California. The only other Marine training center, Parris Island, is on the extreme far side of the continental USA.

    In World War Two the base expanded quickly as the Marine Corps (along with all other armed forces) expanded to fight the Japanese. Camp facilities had been improved in the late 1930s, including warehouses, new barracks, bachelor officer's quarters, a new mess, an Officer's mess, hut-tents for recruits, a post exchange, dental and medical dispensaries, a recruit training parade ground, a railroad, new surface roads, athletic and training facilities, a communications school, a new administration building, and an auditorium. At one point in the early war 18,000 recruits arrived in one month to begin training.

    Since the war, the MCRD SD has largely remained the same as ever, with moderate shifts as required. San Diego, on the other hand, has grown considerably, and shifted from undeveloped land, to industrial land, to retail zone.