Camp Pendleton

Marine Corps Base Camp Joseph H. Pendleton is the site of the Corps’ largest amphibious assault training facility.


Camp Pendleton is located in North San Diego County, in Southern California. The base is adjacent to the City of Oceanside, a military town, by the Main Gate in the South. The City of Fallbrook borders the base to the East, right outside the Fallbrook Naval Weapons Station Gate. The City of San Clemente borders the base at the most northern part, the San Onofre area. The size of Camp Pendleton is comparable to the size of the State of Rhode Island.

Camp Pendleton Marines are environmentally conscientious as they share the land with nearly 400 species of mammals and birds. The protection of several endangered species is considered when planning for training. Camp Pendleton is also home to about 55 bison.

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On March 10, 1942, the Department of the Navy announced the purchase of approximately 130,000 acres, the “Rancho Margarita y Las Flores”, located between Los Angeles and San Diego. Following the purchase of the vast rancho, the new West Coast Marine Corps Base would be named Camp Joseph H. Pendleton, in honor of MGen. Joseph Henry Pendleton. Camp Pendleton was declared a “permanent” installation in October 1944, and in 1946 General Vandegrift stated that the base’s future role was to be the center of all West Coast Marine activities and the home of the 1st Marine Division, with a peacetime strength of 12,500. The Corps has broadened its mission capabilities since the 1980’s, as “amphibious” became “expeditionary”, combining infantry, armor, supply and air power. Over the years, Camp Pendleton has demonstrated its successful training and effectiveness in the United States Marine Corps through WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, humanitarian efforts in Somalia and Haiti, and the war on terrorism worldwide.


Marine Corps Base has the responsibility of providing housing, training facilities and logistical support for the Fleet Marine Force elements and other units assigned here. In addition, the base conducts specialized schools and other such training as the Commandant of the Marine Corps may direct.

Major commands are Marine Corps Base, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Logistics Group, elements of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and many tenant units (Marine Corps Air Station, ACU-5, Naval Hospital, the Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Acitivity (MCTSSA), Naval Weapons Station Fallbrook, and a Reserve Support Unit).

Population Served

Pendleton has a population of approximately 37,000 active duty Marines and Sailors, with approximately 27% of family members living on base and 73% living off base.

Demographics Population
Population Served 116,700
DOD Population 33,700
Family Members 45,900
Retirees 30,000
Civilian Employees 3,900
Reserve Components USMC, Navy, Army

Base Transportation

Currently, there is no base transportation on this installation.


To request a sponsor at your new duty station, approach your unit Sponsorship Coordinator who will send a message with all your pertinent information to your new command and the gaining activity will assign a sponsor. You may also discuss sponsorship issues with your Relocation Specialist. Your sponsor will get in touch with you by letter, phone or e-mail and answer your questions and will meet you and greet you and show you around at your new duty station

Temporary Quarters

All personnel checking into Camp Pendleton are advised to make reservations for Temporary Lodging with the Ward Lodging facility (hostess house) or Billeting (Transient Quarters) up to 1 year in advance.

Relocation Assistance

Marine & Family Services’ Relocation Assistance Program is located in Bldg 13150. Relocation Assistance provides Welcome Aboard Packages, maps and numerous other resources, plus Loan Closet items to those who are relocating to Camp Pendleton. Please call toll free 1-800-253-1624, or 760-725-5704/3802 for more information.

Critical Installation Information

San Diego County is a high cost area with the high cost of housing being at the top of the list. Do come financially prepared! Bring enough money to cover expenses such as food, rent deposits, and temporary lodging, whether it is on base or off base, and for which you will be reimbursed when you settle your travel claim with Disbursing. For money related issues, you can make an appointment with the Financial Budgeting Specialists at Marine & Family Services or see a budget counselor at the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society (NMRS).

Contact Information

The base operator’s phone number is 760-725-4111 or DSN 312-365-4111.

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA 92055
(760) 725-4111