Our Programs & Impact

Over the last year, we have had a lot of great progress establishing new programs and we have much to look forward to this coming year. In 2016, we launched our VOICE Program (Veteran Outreach & Increased Community Engagement), which is a series of events and programs designed to connect Marines, veterans, and their families to the Command Museum, MCRD, and their greater Marine Corps family. The museum’s goal is to enhance its ability to educate both present and future generations of Marines, support our veteran community, and continuing support for the families that serve alongside our men and women in uniform. The guiding principle for the VOICE program is “Once a Marine, Always a Marine.” In addition to our new programs, we are also excited about continuing to grow our Annual Foundation Awards and Colonel Nate Smith Scholarship programs. Please read about VOICE and other programs below and stay current with our events via the calendar.

Veteran Outreach & Increased Community Engagement

The VOICE program (Veteran Outreach & Increased Community Engagement) is a series of events and programs designed to connect Marines, veterans, and their families to the Command Museum, MCRD, and their greater Marine Corps family. The guiding principle for the program is “Once a Marine, Always a Marine.” Below is a list of three new programs that are scheduled for implementation in 2017.

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Tun Tavern Tuesday:
The Command Museum’s Tun Tavern Tuesday event continues to be a huge success! The event itself is free and open to the public and is a chance for Marines, veterans, and the community to socialize and network in a relaxed setting. Each TTT features live music from a local singer, good, raffles, corn hole, informational booths with free swag, and a tap takeover of craft beer from a featured local brewery. Come get a plate of food for $5.00 and craft beer for $5.00 and socialize in a familiar place, the Depot where Marines are born. Members of the Command Museum receive their first plate of food and drink for free!

Veteran Discussion Groups:
Entitled, “Dialogues on the Experience of War,” these groups, consisting of up to twelve veterans, will come together to discuss the many aspects that surround the experience of combat and military service. The purpose of the program is twofold: 1. To gain a better understating of how the experience of war shapes us as groups and individuals so that the Command Museum can tell a more in depth and accurate story of those experiences. 2. Reconnect veterans to the Command Museum and depot, provide opportunities to share their story, connect with other veterans, and provide a network of support that promotes wellness in all aspects of life.

PME Program:
A series of events throughout the year designed as a networking mixer for active duty Marines, Sailors, veterans, and family members to attend at the museum. Each event will feature a key note speaker from a reputable organization that provides a service such as, but not limited to: actively recruits and hires veterans/ dependents, provides assistance with benefits, education (to include financial), or transition assistance. Immediately following the presentation, at the Tun Tavern Tuesday event, attendees can mingle and network with the key note speaker, ask questions, understand what resources are available to them, and what prerequisites may be required to pursue a specific career path.

Gold Star Program:
An outreach program that pays tribute to the sacrifices of families who have lost a Marine or Sailor on active duty or are in the midst of a loved one on deployment. The goal is to provide grieving families a reoccurring opportunity to pay tribute to their fallen family members and have regular access to a support network in a place where they feel safe and that reflects the sacredness of their ongoing sacrifice. The program will also highlight the sacrifices made by families with loved ones on deployment, offer an opportunity for blue star families to connect with each other as well as gold star families, and find ways to actively support the needs of both communities.

Depot/WRR Support

Over 17,000 new Marines graduate from MCRD San Diego every year. In order to complete that mission successfully year after year, the Marines, Sailors, and families within the Depot and WRR are expected to maintain a high level of performance in a face paced and stressful environment. Mission success typically comes at the cost of spending time with their families and perusing additional professional training. Through our Depot and WRR Support Programs, the museum can help provide opportunities for both. Outstanding performers are recognized and awarded, educational scholarships are provided, and monies the museum uses to fund various unit functions throughout the year provide meaningful resources and allow units a greater ability to procure mission essential equipment and supplies for their Marines and Sailors.

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Quarterly Breakfast:
Every three months, the MCRD Museum Foundation hosts their Quarterly Breakfast at MCRD’s Duncan Hall. The Museum Foundation invites its’ membership, active duty Marines and military stationed on the Depot, and guests to enjoy a chow hall breakfast before listening to a guest speaker from the military and local community. The MCRD Museum Foundation Quarterly Breakfast typically takes place on the second to last Tuesday in January, April, July, and October. For information about our next Quarterly Breakfast, check the events calendar, join our e-newsletter, or follow us on Facebook.

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Colonel Nate Smith Scholarship Program:
The MCRD Museum Foundation offers annual scholarships to qualified individuals. Each year, the Foundation awards three $1,000 scholarships under its Colonel Nate Smith Memorial Scholarship Program. Scholarships are typically awarded each July at the MCRD Museum Foundation’s Quarterly Breakfast. Applicants must be enlisted Marines, Sailors or their dependents assigned to Marine Corps Recruit/Western Recruiting Region, San Diego. Scholarships are awarded based on academic performance, community and extracurricular activities and future potential. Applicants must be High School seniors or graduates and must provide proof of enrollment in a Graduate or Undergraduate program. Applications forms are available at mcrdmuseum.org or can be picked up at the MCRD Museum Foundation office, Building 26 on MCRD, San Diego.

Download the Application

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Drill Instructor of the Year Awards:
Each year the MCRD Museum Foundation awards three Drill Instructors on Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego with the Drill Instructor of the Year Award. Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego is one of two places that recruits are turned into Marines. The MCRD Museum Foundation is proud to honor the top Drill Instructors for the year, who work so hard to train Recruits. The Museum Foundation typically honors the awardees at the July Quarterly Breakfast. D. I. Salute Program selection process is administered and selection is made by the Commanding Officer, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. For information on the program, drill instructors should contact their battalion Sergeant Major. Each Drill Instructor of the Year will receive a cash award from MCRD the Museum Foundation.

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Recruiter of the Year Awards:
In 2016, the MCRD Museum Foundation announced its newest set of awards, the Recruiters of the Year. Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego is not only the home of Recruit training on the West Coast, but also the headquarters for the Western Recruiting Region and Recruiter School. The MCRD Museum Foundation honored three recipients with the Recruiter of the Year award at the October 2016, Quarterly Breakfast.

Volunteer of the Year Awards:

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Annually, the MCRD Command Museum & Foundation awards three volunteer of the year awards at the Command Museum’s Annual Toys for Tots Holiday Party. Each year the MCRD Museum Foundation gives out the First Sergeant Bill Westmoreland Docent of the Year Award, to honor the volunteerism of our incredibly dedicated Docents. Additionally, the Command Museum selects an honoree for their volunteer of the year. Finally, the Museum Foundation also selects a volunteer of the year to honor.

Command Museum Education Program

The Command Museum’s education program impact tens of thousands of students, youth organizations, recruits, Marines, and Sailors every year. The museum’s education staff has incorporated the most current technologies and teaching methods to provide our youth with the most kinetic, immersive educational experience possible. These programs are at the heart of ensuring that we are doing our part to prepare the next generation for success, whether it be assisting scouts with attaining badges, instilling our corps values of honor, courage, and commitment, or ensuring the Fleet Marine Force is among the most educated military branches in the world.

Museum K-12 Education:
The focus of the museum’s education program is to provide opportunities to all San Diego area youth, including students from Title I schools, to learn about the history and role of the United States Marine Corps, especially as it pertains to the Marine Corps presence in Southern California. The education program reaches thousands of local students every year, as well as educators from all over the country who participate in our educator workshop.

Boy Scouts/ Girl Scouts:
The MCRD Museum offers free classes, tours, and merit badge workshops for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Boy Scouts can earn two merit badges and Girl Scouts can work towards two merit badges and an award. Program curriculum focuses not only on Marine Corps history, but also corps values and character development.

Field Trip Program:
One way the museum is expanding its ability to reach more students is by funding the cost of transportation for classes to come to the museum. The number one reason students do not take field trips is due to the unfortunate fact that school budgets are continuously shrinking. This year we plan to fund 15 classes to come to the museum, however the demand for transportation cost assistance is much higher and continues to grow.

Educator Workshops:
These professional development seminars teach educators how to incorporate primary sources into their social studies curriculum, which aligns with the Common Core standard of educating students on how to conduct primary source analysis. This program utilizes the museum’s artifact collection and archival materials and encourages educators to utilize the research archives.

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