The MCRD San Diego Command Museum supports the mission of Marine Corps Recruit Depot and the Western Recruiting Region (MCRDSD/WRR).

The Museum provides an educational setting that portrays the legacy of the Marine Corps for the training of recruits and the continuing education of Marines, supports the recruiting effort, and serves as a bridge to the community.

The Museum is free and is open to the public.  Normal Museum operating hours are Monday, 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM; Tuesday-Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Saturday 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM.  The Museum is closed on Sundays and Federal Holidays.

The Museum is located on the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, an active U.S. Military base.  Please read our ‘Visit Us’ page for information about how to access the base to visit the Museum.


The public may visit the MCRD Museum subject to base access procedures. Gate days and hours of operation are subject to change, especially around holiday weekends. For information on gate hours and for questions about base access, please contact the Provost Marshal's Office (PMO) at (619) 524-4200 or (619) 524-4202.

All visitors aged 18 years of age and over must show valid government-issued identification that is REAL ID compliant.  The MCRD Museum is located on a federal installation; all federal laws apply on MCRD, including laws against the possession of marijuana.  Weapons and illegal substances of any kind are prohibited.  Your person, your possessions, and your vehicle are subject to search.

All drivers may be asked to show a valid driver's license, proof of vehicle insurance, and proof of vehicle registration at the gates or at the Pass and ID Center.

The Base Visitor Center (Pass and ID) issues day passes to visitors who wish to visit the Museum and do not possess an Active Duty, Reserve, or Dependent ID card, 100% Disabled ID card, or Retired Military/Retired Military Dependent ID card. Visitors with a VA Health ID Card that says 'service connected' on it may register their card at the Pass and ID Center for access to MCRD (cards registered at other bases will not automatically give the user access to MCRD). Days and hours of the Pass and ID Center are subject to change.  For questions about base access and ID types, please contact the base's Visitor Center (Pass & ID) at (619) 524-4200, Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM (3:00 PM on Fridays; closed on Federal Holidays).  On Saturdays, please call (619) 524-4202 for information on base access.

Visitors should enter through Gate 5, the Washington Street gate, and if visiting Monday - Friday, stop first at the base's Visitor Center (Pass & ID) to request a visitor pass. Visitors 18 years of age and older must have REAL ID-compliant, government-issued identification.


All visiting groups must pre-register with the G-3 Operations Office aboard MCRD, at least 30 days prior to visiting.  Call (619) 524-8828 or email to register.  NOTE:  A family or group of friends is not considered a 'visiting group.' Visiting groups refer to reunion groups, schools, youth organizations (such as Boy and Girl Scouts), non-profit organizations, private companies, military units, etc.  Please read the ‘Tours’ page for additional information.


Exit the Interstate 5 Freeway at the Washington Street exit.  Head west, crossing Pacific Coast Highway.  Just past the railroad tracks, on your right-hand side, is the Visitor Center, a one-story yellow building with a gated parking lot around it. After you receive your pass, exit the parking lot, and turn right, which puts you straight into Gate 5 of MCRD.


Once through Gate 5, curve right onto Belleau Wood Ave.  The road then straightens out. You will see many one-story warehouses on your right. Approximately ¾ of a mile down the road, make a left at the stop sign, onto to Cuba Ave (just past the gas station).

Building 26 will be on your left; a red 'Command Museum' sign will be on the grass in front of the building (Gate 4 will be on your right). Parking is available in front of the Museum or behind the Museum. Enter the building through the double doors underneath the American and Marine Corps flags.


Once through Gate 4, stay on the right-hand curve. At the stop sign at the top of the hill, turn right, then take an immediate right down the curve (you are essentially making a loop around the gate). This puts you onto Cuba Ave., which is the road in front of the Museum. 

Once on Cuba Ave., take an immediate left into a one-way drive, then another immediate right into the Museum parking lot. You will see a red 'Command Museum’ sign in the grass.  If you miss the turn into the one-way drive, continue on Cuba Ave. for about 50 feet and then turn left into the driveway, and make an immediate left into the Museum parking lot.  Enter the building through the double doors underneath the American and Marine Corps flags.


MCRD is located between the Old Town Transit Center and the Washington Street Trolley stop.   At the Old Town Transit Center, visitors can take the city bus (#10) to Pacific Coast Highway, which stops in front of Gate 4 of MCRD San Diego.

Visitors needing a pass to enter MCRD should take the trolley to the Washington Street Trolley Stop, and then walk west on Washington Street (downhill) to the Visitor Center in front Gate 5.


Pedestrians or cyclists may enter MCRD on foot or on a bicycle.  Electric scooters are prohibited.  Visitors needing a pass to enter MCRD should proceed to Washington Street to the Visitor Center in front of Gate 5.

Requesting A Museum Tour

The MCRD Museum offers free Museum tours for groups registered for Museum visits via MCRD’s G-3 Operations office.  The Museum cannot provide tours for groups that don’t pre-register their visit and request a tour.

All groups wishing to come to the MCRD Museum – even those groups who don’t want a guided tour - are required to register their visit with MCRD’s G-3 Operations office at least 30 days in advance of a visit.  This includes active duty and reserve units, and other groups who may already have base access.  

NOTE:  A family or group of friends is not considered a 'visiting group.' Visiting groups refer to reunion groups, schools, youth organizations (such as Boy and Girl Scouts), non-profit organizations, private companies, military units, reunion groups, etc.

It is to your group’s benefit to register your visit with MCRD’s G-3 Operations Office.  They will provide you with the most up-to-date information on base access, gate closures, and will coordinate your visit, to include scheduling other activities you may wish to do while you are aboard MCRD. 

You can contact MCRD’s G-3 Operations Office by emailing or calling (619) 524-8828.

The MCRD Museum is accessible for people with disabilities. Parking in front of the museum is flat. It is an approximately 20-foot walk from disabled parking to the entrance of the museum. An elevator is available for all visitors. Public restrooms have handicapped stalls. The museum is large and requires a lot of walking, but benches are placed throughout the museum for visitors to rest. The Museum does not have wheelchairs or scooters.


Below is a list of topics and themes of photos in the MCRD Museum Archives and Reference Center Photographic Collection.  The MCRD Museum Archives and Reference Center does not have individual boot camp photos of recruits who trained at MCRDSD, group platoon photos, or any other group photos of recruit training, or schools, such as infantry training regiment, or DI School.  

Accessing Photos

Local Patrons 

If you live in the San Diego area, we strongly recommend that you visit the MCRD Museum Archives and Reference Center in person to view the digitized collections and select the images you want.  The reason for this is because some collections have several hundred images.  It is to your benefit to look at the images yourself so you can select exactly the photo or photos you want.  Otherwise, the Museum Historian will have to guess at  which image or images she thinks you would like.  You must provide your own storage media such as a disc or flash drive to copy images onto.  Appointments to visit the MCRD Museum Archives and Reference Center are strongly recommended to save you time.

Out Of The Area Patrons 

If you live outside the San Diego area or are unable to visit the MCRD Museum Archives and Reference Center in person, contact the Museum Historian to request that a digitized photograph be transferred to you, free of cost, via an online file transfer service. Please make your digitized photo requests as specific as possible. This helps you get the best photo to fit your request.

Historian Contact Information 
(619) 524-6720

List Of Photo Topics In The MCRD Museum Archives
And Reference Center

African-American Marines Marksmen, U.S.M.C.
Animals Medal of Honor Recipients
Mascots Military Operations Other Than War
Military Working Dogs Motorcycle Marines
Sgt Reckless Mounted Marines
Bands Navajo Code Talkers
Boxer Rebellion Operation Enduring Freedom
Cemeteries, U.S.M.C. Operation Iraqi Freedom
Chaplains, USN Operation Restore Hope (Somalia)
Chesty Puller Operation Urgent Fury
China Marines Panama-California Exposition 1915
Commandants, U.S.M.C. Para Marines
Commanding Generals,
Posts & Stations, Misc. U.S.M.C.
Corpsmen, USN Raiders, U.S.M.C.
Female Marines Reconnaissance Marines
Gulf War Recruit Training
Hollywood Actors & Movies Recruiters & Recruiting
John Philip Sousa Recruiting Posters
Korean War, U.S.M.C. Participation In Rifle Ranges
Latin America Scout/Snipers, U.S.M.C.
Lebanon, 1958 & 1982-1984 Sergeants Major U.S.M.C.
Marine Barracks Spanish-American War
Marine Corps Bases Sports
Marine Corps Camps United States Army
Marine Corps Detachments Vietnam War, U.S.M.C. Participation In
Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego World War I, U.S.M.C. Participation In



Museum Contact Information


Physical Address

Mailing Address

Building 26

1600 Henderson Ave

Marine Corps Recruit Depot

San Diego, CA 92140 

San Diego, CA 92140 


Email Address:

Main Phone

(619) 524-8431