San Diego Family Day and Graduation USMC Bootcamp Recruit Training MCRD

Family Day

Proud Marine parents wearing official EGA Shop recruit battalion t-shirts at their Marine's graduation. (Images used with permission).
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Family and friends are strongly encouraged to attend the graduation events to celebrate their recruit's having earned the title of United States Marine. Thursday is Family Day and Friday is Graduation Day. The Marine Corps will have activities planned for both days.

There is no limit to the number of family members and friends that can attend Family Day or Graduation. You'll want to arrive at the Depot early to avoid long lines at the gate. Dress is casual but please remember that this is an important time in your Marine's life and you do not want to put him in an uncomfortable position with his command and fellow Marines, so dress accordingly. Comfortable walking shoes are suggested for both days.

MCRD SD has mobility equipment rentals available, including strollers, wheelchairs, and electric convenience vehicles. Equipment is available on a first-come first-served basis from MCCS Guest Services (MCX Mall, B.16), beginning at 0700 Family Day and Graduation Day. Visit for more information.

On Family Day, you'll learn what to do and what not to do during your time at MCRDSD before being led to the Motivational Run, where you'll get your first glimpse of your new Marine! Following the Liberty Formation, your new Marine will have Depot Liberty and be able to spend time with you.

Graduation Day includes the Color Ceremony, an optional event where you will see the raising of the flags and enjoy hearing the Marine Band, and the Graduation Ceremony, which is the culmination of your new Marine's time at boot camp and the beginning of a new stage of his or her career.

Important Note: Due to some holiday schedules, a handful of recruit classes might graduate on a Wednesday, with family day on Tuesday. The same schedule will apply, just substitute Tuesday for Thursday and Wednesday for Friday in the schedule provided on this page.

Changes in the levels of security alerts could alter scheduled events. Maps of the Depot and a schedule of events will be provided to you on Family Day.

Download the MCCS PDF Graduation Brochure and Depot map by clicking here: MCCS Grad Brochure & Map Revised Aug 2023 for MCRD SD.

Depot, Family Day, and Graduation Information

Family Day

The day prior to graduation with activities planned for families of graduating Marines. Your new Marine will escort you with his left arm to reserve his right hand for saluting higher-ranking Marines.

Parade Deck

The Parade Deck is the large area of asphalt where recruits practice drills and marching. Formal ceremonies are held on the Parade Deck. While visiting the Depot, please make sure to watch your step and respect the Marine Corps grounds by not walking across the Parade Deck under any circumstances.

Reviewing Stands

Bleachers setup next to the Parade Deck for family members to view emblem ceremony and graduation ceremony.

Motivational Run

The final run for the company of recruits. A milestone in your Recruit's training. Many of the commanding officers run with the recruits for the Motivational Run.


Time-off from training for graduating Marines. Recruits must remain on the Depot during Liberty. From 12:20 until 5:00 p.m. on Family Day for the recruit to visit with family and friends.

Shopping Services on the Depot

  • Main Marine Corps Exchange
    Hours: 9:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. Monday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Sunday.
  • Marine Mart
    Hours: 6:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. Saturday & Sunday.
  • GNC (Located at Building 10)
    Hours: 9:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m., Monday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Sunday.
  • Mini Mart Gas Lanes*
    Hours: 6:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Monday–Friday, Closed - Saturday, Sunday, and holidays.
*Gas Lanes open 24 hours a day with use of a credit/debit card

Dining Services on the Depot

  • The Bayview Restaurant (B.132)
    Family Day 1100-1500 Liberty Lunch
    Regular Lunch Service M-F 1100-1400
  • Curbside Bites Food Trucks (located at MCX Mall, B.11)
    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 1030-1330
  • Bay View Express Food Truck
    Family Day 0830-1100 (outside Depot Theater, B.30)
    Graduation Day 0830-1000 (Viewing Stands)
  • Bulldog Tavern (Inside MCCS Community Center, B.590)
    Monday-Tuesday, 1600-2100
    Wednesday, 1600-2300
    Thursday Family Day, 1300-2300
    Friday-Saturday, 1300-0100
    Sunday, CLOSED football off-season, 1000-2100 football season
  • Domino's Pizza (Inside MCCS Community Center, B.590)
    Monday-Tuesday, 1000-2100
    Wednesday-Thursday, 1000-2300
    Friday, 1000-0100
    Saturday, 1000-0100
    Sunday, 1100-1700
    Order in advance online at
  • Family Day food vendors (located at MCX Mall, B.11)
    Family Day, 1000-1700

Below are the schedules of events for Family Orientation Day, Family Day, and Graduation Day:

Wednesday Night–Meet & Greet

5:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m:
Marine Family Meet & Greet at the Bay View Restaurant

Thursday–Family Day

6:30 a.m.:
MCRD San Diego opens for graduation visitor access. Gate 5 (Washington St.)
8:15 a.m:
Warm Up at Shepherd Field (Parade Deck).
8:30 a.m:
Motivational Run at Shepherd Field (Parade Deck).
9:30 a.m:
Welcome Orientation at the Dpot Theater.
9:45 a.m:
Marine Corps 101 at the Depot Theater.
10:30 a.m:
Company Commander's Brief at the Depot Theater.
10:45 a.m:
Beyond the Yellow Footprints at the Depot Theater.
11:20 a.m:
Liberty Formation and Dismissal at Shepherd Field (Parade Deck).
11:45 p.m.–5:30 p.m:
Depot Liberty.
11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m:
Liberty Lunch at the Bayview Restaurant.

Friday–Graduation Day

6:30 a.m.:
MCRD San Diego opens for graduation visitor access, Gate 5 (Washington St.).
6:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m:
Color's Ceremony at the Commanding General's Building. Please be seated no later than 7:30 a.m.
8:30 a.m.–9:45 a.m:
Graduation seating at Shepherd Field Parade Deck. Please be seated no later than 9:45 a.m.
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m:
Graduation ceremony at Shepherd Field Parade Deck.
11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m:
Lunch Menu Service at the Bayview Restaurant.

American Sign Language (ASL) services

To request American Sign Language (ASL) services, please contact MCRD Protocol Office at Requests should be made as soon as possible but at least 3-4 weeks prior to arrival for Family Day and Graduation Events.
**NOTE** This e-mail is for ASL service requests only, not graduation inquiries.

Website page last updated September 15, 2023.

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