Marine Barracks Washington, also known as “8th & I,” is the oldest active post in the Marine Corps and is located on the corner of 8th and I streets, founding its name, just Southeast of Washington, D.C.
View Larger Map
The buildings at the Marine Barracks are some of the oldest in Washington.In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson and Commandant Lt Col William Ward Burrows rode horses about the new capital to find a place suitable for the Marines near the Washington Navy Yard. They chose a location within marching distance of both the Navy Yard and the Capitol and hired architect George Hadfield to design the barracks and the Commandant’s House, since they find it using services of local architects to find the best professional for this.
When the British burned Washington during the War of 1812, they also captured the Marine barracks, whom they had defeated at the Battle of Bladensburg. It is traditionally held within the Marine Corps that, out of respect for the brave showing of the Marines at Bladensburg, the British refrained from burning the barracks and the Commandant’s house. Another possible reason is that they intended to use it as a command post, but left the area before this could be done.
Though neither Admiral Cockburn nor General Ross mentioned the Marines specifically in their conversation with the wounded Commodore Barney, it is now widely acknowledged that the compliment extends towards both Barney’s Flotilla men and the 103 Marines present. This was simply due to the fact that the Miller’s Marines had brought heavier field guns and small arms to act as the core of Barney’s line. There is little doubt that Barney’s sailors would’ve held their ground had it not been for the cannons dispensing grape and canister volley after volley into the 85th Light Foot Regt. This is supported by the fact that Baltimore artillery (also covering the bridge at the Washington Turnpike) on the Marines’ right flank was only firing round shot in an attempt to stop Thornton from crossing the bridge. Round shot in general is very ineffective against dispersed troops such as the light infantry of the 85th.
Today’s barracks Marines perform a variety of tasks in support of diverse missions. These include light infantry training, ceremonies, and presidential support duty. A company of “8th and I” Marines serves at Camp David; another serves at the U.S. Naval Academy. The barracks is also home to the Marine Corps Institute – the Corps’ distance training center, which is responsible for all nonresident military education programs.
The Barracks is home to many nationally recognized units, including the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon, the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, the Marine Band, the official Marine Corps Color Guard, and the Marine Corps Body Bearers. It is also the site of the Home of the Commandants, which, along with the Barracks, is a registered national historic landmark.
Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. is home to more than 1,100 Marines, Sailors and civilians.
Temporary lodging at Marine Barracks D.C. is offered in local hotels and motels in the Washington D.C. area. Many facilities are pet-friendly and offer extended stay options. Consult local listings for properties near Marine Barracks D.C.
For those seeking temporary lodging, there is a Navy Lodge in Bellevue Housing. Reservations can be made at the Lodge by calling 1-800-NAVY-INN up to 60 days in advance of arrival.
Critical Installation Information
When arriving in the Marine Barracks D.C. area, the nearest major airport is the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport which is located about 3 miles from the base. Another major airport is the Washington Dulles International Airport which is located about 22 miles from Marine Barracks D.C. If arriving by car, go straight toward Airport Exit/I-395. Merge onto Washington Memorial Parkway and then onto I-395 N/US-1 North toward Washington. Keep left to take US-1N via Exit 1 toward the National Mall. The Marine Barracks D.C. will be on your right. For those military personnel who need temporary lodging, local hotels and motels in the nearby Washington D.C. area offer a variety of temporary accommodations.