Marine Corps Base, Quantico, is known for being the “frontline of innovation.”
On the base marine concepts, doctrine, training, and equipment of the future are initiated,
techniques of amphibious warfare, for which the Corps is praised, are and have been created and perfected and tactics of close-air support and vertical envelopment using helicopters were also developed.
As attention is focused on future battlefields, the Marine Corps and other branches of Service are looking to Quantico to lead the way with technological advances as well as creative and innovative thinking.
Quantico offers several way to further military education and careers. The Marine Corps University Officer Candidates School and The Basic School all offer ways to advance and excel. Additional leadership training is provided for enlisted marines at the University’s Staff Non-Commissioned Officers Academy. The Marine Corps War College, School of Advanced Warfighting and Amphibious Warfighting School are also part of the University, training officers in the U.S. Armed Forces and international officers from designated foreign countries in the art of war.
3250 Catlin Avenue
Marine Corps Base
Quantico, VA 22134-5001
Marine Corps Base Quantico is located 35 miles south of Washington, D.C., in Prince William County, Virginia. It can be reached from exits 148 (South Entrance) and 150-A (North Entrance, Main Gate), just off I-95. Quantico has many attractions surrounding it. To the north is your nation’s capitol with the world’s largest museum complex consisting of 15 museums, galleries and the National Zoo. To the south is the city of Fredericksburg, one of the most historical cities in America, along with it’s many civil war battlefields. To the east is the beautiful Chesapeake Bay and to the west are the breathtaking Appalachian Mountains, Shenandoah Valley and Skyline Drive. Quantico is considered a high-cost area for housing, whether you’re buying or renting. There are no geographic bachelor accommodations aboard Quantico. Personnel who intend to leave their family in another location must be prepared to pay for housing off the installation.
What is now known as the Crossroads of the Marine Corps was once seen as five miles of quiet, lush forest that bordered the Potomac River.
According to records, this is how the Algonquin Indian tribe known as Manohoacs saw the land when they inhabited the area just north of Quantico in the 1500s.
As a matter of fact, the name “Quantico” comes from the Native Americans and has been translated to mean “by the large stream.”
Other accounts show that the area was first visited by European explorers in the summer of 1608. But, it wasn’t until later in the year that major land owners started to appear.
After the turn of the century, the area became popular because of tobacco trade in Aquia Harbor. Because traveling on muddy roads in those days was slow, many villages sprung up along the river and its inlets. Additionally, the area was a bustling stopping point on the North-South routes between New York and Florida.
Early settlements and plantations rooted along the flatlands bordering the Potomac. The hills west of the river remained essentially uninhabited until the early 1700s.
Prince William County was organized in 1731 when the “Quantico Road” was also opened. This road gave vital access from the western part of the county to this area. By 1759 the road stretched across the Blue Ridge Mountains into the Shenandoah Valley.
The first military presence at Quantico came during the Revolutionary War, when the Quantico Creek village became a main naval base for the Commonwealth of Virginia’s 72-vessel fleet on which many Virginia State Militia served.
The land was first visited by the Marine Corps in 1816 when a group of Marines traveling by ship to Washington had a slight setback. Their vessel was halted by ice in the Potomac forcing them to debark and march to the town of Dumfries. Here they met a young Captain Archibald Henderson who lived close by. A generous-natured man, Henderson hired a wagon for them and sent them on their way.
During the Civil War, control of the Potomac River became very important to both sides of the two armies. The Confederates picked the Quantico Creek area on the Potomac to set up their gun batteries. This enabled them to make full use of several points where their artillery could reach anything on the water, thus deterring Union use of the water highway. One of these sites included “Shipping Point,” the present day site of the Naval Medical Clinic here.
While battles took place in Manassas and Fredericksburg, Va., the gun positions around Quantico were used until the end of the war. After a 12-day battle at the Spotsylvania Courthouse where the Union lost about 25,000 soldiers, the war moved out of the Quantico area.
Following the war, railroads became a more integral part of transportation. In 1872, the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac railroad was formed when several railroads north and south met at Quantico Creek. This railroad still runs through the Base and is used daily.
The village came to be called “Quantico” and was built by the Quantico Company. This was the start of a thriving tourist and fishing town that would later be known worldwide as Marine Corps Base Quantico.
The U.S. government acquired Quantico in 1917. The Marine Corps desperately needed an east coast base to train both officer and enlisted Marines. During its infancy, the base was known as Marine Corps Schools Quantico. It is the most unique post in the Marine Corps because it is truly the “Crossroads of the Corps.” It is here that all Marine Officers begin their careers and where many thousands of Marines attend professional military education schools throughout their careers. In 1968, the name was changed to Marine Corps Development and Education Command (MCDEC), reflecting the command’s dual mission of military education and the development of new concepts and weapons. Since 1987, however, the command has been known as the Marine Corps Combat Development Command (MCCDC). For more information, please visit Quantico’s homepage.
Quantico’s mission is to develop Marine Corps warfighting concepts and determine associated required capabilities in the areas of doctrine, organization, training and education, equipment, and support facilities (DOTES) to enable the Marine Corps to field combat-ready forces; and participate in and support other major processes of the Combat Development System (CDS).