MCRD Command Museum, San Diego

Photos courtesy of MCRD San Diego Comman Museum, 2018. Used with permission.

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Museum Overview

On November 10th, 1987, The MCRD San Diego Command Museum opened its doors due to the hard work of Marine veterans, their families, and friends of the Marine Corps. Since its opening, the MCRD Museum has continued to expand its galleries and exhibits to cover the history of the Marine Corps in the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as the history of the Marines in Southern California.

In addition to its many galleries, the Museum also maintains a Reference Center that includes an Archives and Research Library, a theater, a Visitor Reception Center, and a gift shop. The Museum is open to the public and admission is always free. During your time at MCRD San Diego, stop by today to learn the history of the United State Marine Corps. An Information Booth is located in the Museum courtyard to answer any questions you may have.

The museum located at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego is one of three designated Command Museums in the nation and is accompanied by museums in Quantico, VA and Parris Island, NC. Our museum focuses on the eras from WWI to present and the geographical focus of Marines in Southern California. Since the museum's founding, exhibits have been changed and upgraded but our commitment to portray Marine Corps history and the values of honor, courage, and commitment has remained steadfast.


The mission of the Command Museum is to provide an educational setting that portrays the legacy of the Marine Corps for the training of recruits, continuing education of Marines, and serve as a supporting arm to the recruiting effort and a bridge to the community. Over the past three years, the Command Museum with the support of the MCRD Museum Foundation, has expanded its reach by growing and expanding its outreach programs. These programs are designed to enhance the Museum's overall mission by accomplishing three objectives:

  1. Educate recruits and Marines
  2. Support the recruiting effort, and
  3. Serve as a bridge to the community.

If you are interested in more information about the museum, please visit our website or call us at 619-524-4426.

mcrd museum


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the museum at MCRD San Diego is NOT currently offering Wednesday guided tours. When more information becomes available we will update this page.

Afternoon Family Tour (Wednesday)

Every Wednesday, during graduation weeks, the MCRD Command Museum offers a special tour at 1430 (2:30PM) led by our best combat veteran docents. If you are not familiar with the term docent, it essentially means a tour guide that is a volunteer. On training day M-5, our docents gave your Marine an in depth tour of the museum and reinforced not only the history of the Marine Corps, but perhaps more importantly, the values of honor, courage, and commitment. They are extremely knowledgeable about the history of the Marine Corps and their passion truly brings the galleries to life. If you are available Wednesday afternoon, do not miss out on this unique opportunity to receive a guided tour of the museum. This will be your only opportunity to receive a guided tour instead of a self-guided visit. The tour begins at 2:30PM and perfectly coincides with the Wednesday Night Family Meet & Greet at the Bayview Restaurant. Additionally, after the tour there is a shuttle from the museum courtyard to the restaurant.

You can reserve a spot on the tour by contacting the museum through the RSVP email: RSVP tours need to be submitted at least 5 business days in advance.

Family Meet & Greet (Wednesday Evening)

An evening hosted at the Bay View Restaurant every Wednesday prior to Boot Camp Graduation. This is a great chance to mingle with other new Marine families, meet your son's Drill Instructors and relax on the beautiful bay on MCRD.

  • Social Hour: 1700-1755
  • Seated for Dinner & Welcome Announcements: 1800
  • Welcome Announcements and Introduction of Drill Instructors: 1800-1830
  • Dinner Buffet: 1830-2000

A three entree buffet to include pasta, chicken and beef with dessert. Formal introduction of the Senior Drill Instructors of the graduating company, an insiders insight to the graduation events and expectations, running slideshow of the graduating class sweating out the crucible, and the "Salty Dog Award."

Visitors should reserve their seat for the dinner in advance at

Ticket Prices:

  • Adult Dinner Ticket: $23.95
  • Child Dinner Ticket (ages 5-11): $16.95
  • Children under 5 are free
mcrd museum

Family Day (Thursday)

On Family Day, you'll spend the morning preparing to meet your new Marine. You will learn what to do and what not to do during your time at MCRD San Diego during the Drill Instructor Brief outside the Command Museum. Following the brief, the drill instructors will lead you to the Motivational Run, where you will get your first glimpse of your new Marine! At noon, family members gather outside the Depot Theater for the Liberty Formation, where your new Marine will be granted Depot Liberty and will spend the afternoon with you until it is time for him to return to the barracks one more time prior to graduation the next morning.

The afternoon is a great time to visit the Museum and learn your new Marine's role in history, as you catch up and learn more about his time in bootcamp! The museum is ADA compliant and features an elevator at the Eastern end of the building (near the gift shop). We kindly ask that you do not bring food or drinks into the museum.There are limited places to use the restroom aboard MCRD and the museum is one of the best places to go. If you have any questions on Family Day, stop by our information booth in the museum courtyard, to grab a map or pamphlet, ask questions, and learn more about our special that we only offer to families on Family Day.

Family Day Events at the Museum:

Drill Instructor Brief: 9:00 AM
Location: Museum Courtyard
This will be the meeting place for families just prior to the motivational run. A Marine will give a welcome and preliminary information for family members.

Motivational Run: 9:30 AM
Location: Near Museum Courtyard
The final run for the company of recruits. A milestone in their training. Many of the commanding officers run with the recruits for the Motivational Run.

Depot Liberty: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM* (6:00PM DST)
Location: Throughout the Depot
During Liberty, your Marine must remain on the Depot. Certain recruit training areas are off-limits to visitors. This is a great time to check out the museum & gift shop!

EGA Shop, purchase Marine Corps Clothing and Support Our Troops at the same time!
Marine Parents and the Marine Corps
Recruit Parents
Whats After Boot Camp
After The Corps