Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego


Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

Welcome Aboard


When you arrive to check-in, come to the band hall first.  After a brief welcome, you will be escorted around the base to help your check-in process.

All single Marines, Sergeant and below, are housed in the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters.  SNCO's and married Marines may live off base and request BAH.  Married Marines may apply for base housing, but expect a waiting period of 8-10 months, as married housing in the San Diego area is limited.  Housing costs are very high as are the accompanying deposits, so be prepared.  Expect $1000 -$1200 per month for a two bedroom, one bath apartment.

If you plan on taking leave before check in, make sure to keep your level of musical proficiency up.  Sometime during the first thirty days, you will have an audition to place you on a part.  Although it may not be a formal audition, it would be a good idea to be prepared.  Remember that you will receive a formal audition within your first 6 months.

You will be supplied with an instrument to use, but you may use your personal instrument.  Keep in mind that the Marine Corps is not responsible for damage to personal instruments unless we are unable to supply you with an instrument.

Uniforms will be kept at the band hall because we often perform in several different uniforms throughout the day.  You will be supplied a wall locker in a changing area for this purpose.  One of each uniform should be inspection ready at all times.

The Band takes leave as a full unit, as it cannot function properly if members take leave at different times throughout the year.  These leave periods usually occur for 15 days in the summer and 15 days in the winter (alternating before and after Christmas).  You will be notified of the dates in advance so you can make plans.

One of the most important aspects of our job is uniform appearance.  Everywhere we perform we are acting as representatives of the Marine Corps.  We always present the best appearance possible.  There are several things you should consider to present a squared away appearance in uniform:

  • Consider buying a set of "MP Brass" from the Marine Corps Exchange, as this is critical part of the musician's uniform.
  • Consider buying quality khaki shirts, such as Creighton or Flying Cross.  The short-sleeve shirt is worn most often, so you may want to buy a couple of them.

You will be expected to act as a professional Marine musician at all times.  This means being prepared with all necessary equipment and music.  Always be on time.  You should be in your seat ready to play before the time designated.  Important information such as the Plan of the Day, commitment music lineups, and concert schedules are placed on bulletin boards and should be checked frequently.

Collateral Duties

Along with playing an instrument, each band member is assigned another job within the band.  There are many details involved in running the band that must be taken care of.  Below is a brief description of some of the collateral duties to which you might be assigned.  If you have any particular skill or training relative to these jobs, you should mention it to the Band Officer during your check in interview.

Administration - This section is responsible for administrative and logistical details of the band.  Knowledge of computers would be a big asset, and you must have good organizational skills.

Supply - Supply is responsible for keeping track of and maintaining the band's equipment.

Audio Support - These Marines provide sound reinforcement for our concerts.  They are responsible for selecting the necessary equipment for each job, setting it up, running the mixing board and recording some performances.

Library - The librarians control all the music for the band.  The library staffs' responsibilities are making sure that you have the necessary music to perform and that the music is properly refilled when returned.  Maintenance of the music is also required, as many selections are valuable and no longer in print.

Training - The training SNCO is responsible for administering the band's PFT's and tracking and scheduling training such as rifle qual, swim qual, etc.  They order and administer MCI courses, and also track the medical and dental readiness of the band's members.

Public Affairs - The section handles all publicity for the band, including sending information on the band to sponsor of a performance, photographs, biographies on band members, press releases, etc.

Instrument Repair - The instrument repair technician is responsible for the repair of the band's inventory.  Assistants to the IRT will learn some basic instrument repair and maintenance.  Marines interested in becoming an IRT perform on-the-job training with the IRT until he or she has displayed the aptitude to receive formal training in instrument repair.

Phone Numbers:

 Marine Band San Diego

(619) 524-1754

Depot Officer of the Day

(619) 524-8700

Relocation Assistance

(619) 524-5298 (Open Mon - Fri 7:30am to 5:00pm)


(619) 524-5362

Family Services Center

(619) 524-0916

Housing/Billeting Manager

(619) 524-8082

Helpful Websites:

It is highly suggested that new Marines reporting to Marine Band San Diego thoroughly browse the following websites:

MCRD San Diego Official Website:

MCRD MCCS Official Website:



For those Marines that are E-6 or above and/or are married, you will need to check in with the Military Family Housing (MFH) service.  This service will provide useful information on different military housing locations in the San Diego Metro area.  It will also give you the chance to apply for military housing.

The Welcome Center is open Monday through Friday, 0830 to 1700, and is closed on weekends and holidays.  This building is located at the 32nd Street Commissary area, Building #3544, adjacent to Personal Property between Albacore Alley and Corbina Alley.  From MCRDSD, you will get on I-5 to the 28th St Exit.  Take a right and travel west on 28th St.  Go through the traffic light at Main St and make a left just before the trolley tracks into the Commissary and Base Exchange compound.  You will pass a gas station.  At the stop sign, bear left up the hill and turn at Albacore Alley-Parking in front of Building #3544.

To contact the MFH center, please call (619) 556-8443, or you can go online to Military Housing where you can check your Housing Status, contact the Housing Relocation Service, Basic Allowance for Housing Rates, and check Housing Site Information and Approximate Waiting Times.

Driving Directions

From the North

Take Interstate 5 South to Old Town Avenue exit, the first exit after the Interstate 8 interchange.  At the Stop/Yield sign, turn right into Witherby Street.  Go straight through the next stop sign.  This will take you directly to Gate 4.

From the South

Take Interstate 5 North past the Downtown San Diego area to the Pacific Highway Exit.  Drive approximately 3/4 mile until you see a green and white sign labeled "Marine Corps Base and Museum" on the right side of the road.  The exit is also on the right side of the road and exit there.  This will take you to gate 4.

From Uptown/Downtown

Take the street you are on (Broadway, Washington, University, etc.) west toward San Diego Bay to Pacific Highway.  Turn right.  Go to the green and white sign labeled "Marine Corps Base and Museum"  on the right site of the road exit there.  This will take you to Gate 4.

From the East

Take Interstate 8 West to Interstate 5 South.  Take the Old Town Avenue exit, the first exit after the Interstate 8 interchange.  At the Stop/Yield sign, turn right onto Witherby Street.  Go straight thought the next stop sight.  This will take you directly to Gate 4.

When using a map website or GPS device, the band hall address is:
1400 Russell Ave
San Diego, CA  92140