MCB Camp Pendleton
School of Infantry - West
One of the Marine Corps' largest West Coast expeditionary training sites is Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Pendleton. Located on the Southern California coast, the terrain is ideal for multiple training scenarios: sea-to-shore, mountain warfare and special operations. Camp Pendleton also serves as the School of Infantry West (SOI-West), the second stage of training for all Enlisted Marines who complete Recruit Training at MCRD San Diego. Marines who complete Recruit Training at MCRD Parris Island move on to SOI East, located at Camp Geiger, in North Carolina.
Following recruit training and graduation, Marines report to Camp Pendleton for the School of Infantry, where they learn the true meaning behind the Marine Corps phrase, "Every Marine a rifleman." The School of Infantry is divided into two battalions, the Infantry Training Battalion (ITB) and Marine Corps Training Battalion (MCT). All Enlisted Marines entering SOI with an infantry MOS receive basic and advanced training at the Infantry Training Battalion (ITB), prior to entering the fleet. All non-infantry Marines—whose primary MOSs include jobs like administration, public relations and legal services—receive training at the Marine Combat Training Battalion (MCT). The purpose behind MCT is to ensure that every non-infantry Marine, regardless of MOS, has the ability and training to effectively perform the duties of a rifleman. The School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton marks the transition from basic-trained Marines to combat-ready Marines. Other facts about Camp Pendleton:
- The coastal and mountain terrain support a variety of military training. Fleet Marine Force units use Camp Pendleton's ranges and training areas to maintain combat readiness.
- Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton encompasses more than 125,000 acres of Southern California terrain.
- Camp Pendleton is one of the Department of Defense's busiest installations and offers a broad spectrum of training facilities for many active and reserve Marine, Army and Navy units, as well as national, state and local agencies.
- More than 38,000 military family members occupy base housing complexes.
- Camp Pendleton contains the largest undeveloped portion of coastline in Southern California. The ecosystem includes beaches, bluffs, mesas, canyons, mountains and Southern California's only free-flowing river.