MCRD SAN DIEGO, Calif. --
A century ago, San Diego was a small border town with a population of approximately 75,000, but today the city booms with tourism, international trade, manufacturing and research - and at the heart of it all, is the beating presence of the U.S. military. The city is now home to the nation’s largest concentration of military personnel, and one of its landmark installations celebrated 100 years of history here.
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego commemorated its milestone, 100-year anniversary in San Diego, by hosting a centennial celebration featuring two performances by the Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment and a ribbon-cutting ceremony outside of the Command Museum, where a centennial exhibit was opened aboard the Depot on March 5th.
“On December 1st 1921, this Marine Corps Base opened for business, and really that’s what we are here to celebrate as a fact that for the last 100 years Marines have operated, trained, and prepared for whatever the future might hold here at MCRD San Diego,” said U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Jason L. Morris, Commanding General of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and the Western Recruiting Region.
Hundreds of spectators gathered at Shepherd Field to witness the day’s first performance by the Battle Color Detachment who demonstrated the historic pride, discipline and professionalism of the Marine Corps though the finest combination of music and ceremonial drill.
"It’s a great honor to be able to perform here." Staff Sgt. Henry Truzy, Platoon Sgt. for Silent Drill Platoon
"This is a special place, and what better way to celebrate a 100 years of MCRD San Diego than bringing the oldest post of the Marine Corps here to perform in San Diego, said U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Henry Truzy, Platoon Sgt. for Silent Drill Platoon, Marine Barracks Washington.
The Battle Color Detachment is comprised of three sections, the United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps, known as “The Commandant’s Own”, the Silent Drill Platoon, and the Official Color Guard of the Marine Corps. Each year, this highly skilled unit of approximately 130 Marines travels worldwide to demonstrate the “Esprit de Corps” of the United States Marines.
The celebration concluded with an evening Battle Color performance followed by a guest reception and ribbon-cutting ceremony outside of the Command Museum. The museum opened a special exhibit to commemorate the centennial.
“We as Marine don’t say it enough publicly. That spirit, that community spirit, that unwavering support is a combat multiplier. I just want to go ahead and thank the community leaders, on behalf of the Marines and their families, thank you,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. George Smith, commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force.
Photo by Lance Cpl. Cristian Torres
U.S. Marines with Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, Battle Color Detachment, Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., preform during the centennial celebration at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, March 5, 2022. MCRD San Diego celebrated the 100th anniversary of its commissioning by highlighting the Depot’s history and legacy with the assistance of the Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment. The Battle Color Detachment is comprised of three ceremonial units from Marine Barracks Washington, D.C.; the U.S. Drum and Bugle Corps, the Silent Drill Platoon, and the Marine Corps Color Guard.
The MCRD Museum opened its doors in 1987 and focuses on the history of the Marine Corps in the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as the history of the Marines in Southern California. The museum also maintains a reference center which includes historical archives and a robust research library.
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego hosts recruit graduations most weeks of the year, inviting the public to witness the graduation ceremony and the legendary transformation first-hand, as well as take in the sites of the historic base.
Today, as MCRD San Diego continues to serve as the Corps’ West Coast Recruit Training facility, training recruits from all areas west of the Mississippi, it is imminent that the legacy of MCRD San Diego has forever etched itself in the history of the Marine Corps and the city of San Diego as well.