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.

MCRDSD has mobility equipment rentals available. Available equipment includes strollers, wheelchairs, and electric scooters. A reservation is required for rental and you can make a reservation by calling 619-725-6270, or by completing and emailing the Mobility Equipment Rental Request Form to MCRDPI has a limited number of wheelchairs available for rental at the Douglas Visitors' Center, so visitors may want to bring their own.

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.

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
    Hours: 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Monday–Friday.
  • Food Trucks at MCRDSD (located at MCX Mall)
    Hours: 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Mondays–Wednesdays and Fridays.

  • Hours: 6:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Sunday.-->
  • The Bulldog Tavern
    Bar Hours: 4:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. Monday–Tuesday, 4:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m. Wednesday–Thursday, 12:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m. Family Thursday, 1:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m. Friday, 11:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m. Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday.

  • Snack Bar Hours: 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Monday–Thursday, 11:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m. Friday, 11:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Sunday.

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:
New Marine Family Meet & Greet at the Bay View Restaurant

Thursday–Family Day

6:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m:
Breakfast Buffet at the Bayview Restaurant.
8:30 a.m:
Welcome Orientation at the Depot Theater.
9:00 a.m:
Drill Instructors Brief at the Command Museum.
9:30 a.m:
Motivational Run at the Command Museum.
10:30 a.m:
Marine Corps 101 at the Depot Theater.
11:30 a.m:
Company Commander's Brief at the Depot Theater.
12:00 p.m:
Liberty Formation at the Depot Theater.
12:20 p.m.–5 p.m:
Depot Liberty.
11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m:
Liberty Lunch at the Bayview Restaurant.

Friday–Graduation Day

6:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m:
Breakfast Buffet at the Bayview Restaurant.
7:45 a.m.–8:30 a.m:
Color Ceremony at the Commanding General's Headquarters.
8:30 a.m.–9:45 a.m:
Graduation seating at Shepherd Field Parade Deck.
10:00 a.m.–12 p.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 619-524-8707/8710. Requests should be made as soon as possible but at least 3-4 weeks prior to arrival for Family Day and Graduation Events.

The phone numbers often change on military base locations. Click here for the contact page for MCRD SD if the phone number listed does not work.

Last updated May 28, 2019.

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