Recruit Graduation MCRD Base Access
A recruit of Mike Company aligns his compass to a specific point. This training teaches recruits skills from how to read a map, how to plot a course and how to reach a destination by counting paces. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro.
How to Get on the Marine Corps Recruit Depot
One of the most common questions we are asked is about how to gain access to the various bases recruits/Marines are on. Many people believe that as long as they are with their Marine, or as long as they explain to the gate guard why they are trying to get on base they will be allowed to enter. While this may occur from time to time, this is not the official policy. Keep in mind that the official policy for each installation may differ, but the overall theme remains the same.
The easiest way to gain access to the base is to have a Department of Defense (DoD) I.D. Government officials obviously understand that not everyone will have one of these I.D.'s, so they put policies in place that will allow civilians access to the base. The policies include procedures and the items needed to get on base. Generally, the items that may be needed to gain access are:
- Federal I.D., state issued I.D., or driver's license. (Expired I.D.'s will not be accepted.)
- Passport (Expired passports will not be accepted.)
- Vehicle registration (if renting, the car rental agreement will suffice)
- Proof of vehicle insurance
Even when being escorted by your Marine, the base may require civilians to come to the visitor's center, which are usually located near the front gate. While at the visitor's center the Marine's guests may have to fill out some paperwork and even possibly have their I.D. scanned and put on file. The Marine will be held responsible for the actions of their guest while aboard the installation.
These regulations may be frustrating, however they are necessary to ensure the safety of our Marines and recruits. Prepare yourself ahead of time to ensure you have everything you need prior to arriving at the gate. With policy differing at each base you may want to call ahead or check the regulations at the installation's official website.
More Information about Each Depot
Click here for specifics about accessing Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island
Click here for specifics about accessing Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego
Written by David Ogden, Sgt. USMC '11-'16.
David was a Sergeant with the United States Marine Corps from 2011-2016. He is a combat veteran. He has worked at Marine Parents as a writer since he left the Marine Corps. He is currently in college and writes for the organization full-time. Click here to read more about the author.