Definition/Scope: The mission of Camp Pendleton is: to operate the finest amphibious base possible; to promote the combat readiness of Marines and Sailors by providing necessary facilities and services; to support the deployment of the Fleet Marine Force and other organizations; and to provide support and services responsive to the needs of the Marines, Sailors, retirees and families aboard Camp Pendleton. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is the major West Coast base of the United States Marine Corps and serves as its prime amphibious training base. It is located in Southern California between the cities of Oceanside and San Clemente. The base was established in 1942 to train U.S. Marines for service in World War II. By October 1944, Camp Pendleton was declared as a "permanent installation" and by 1946, it became the home of the 1st Marine Division. It is named after Marine General Joseph Henry Pendleton, who long advocated setting up a West Coast training base for the Marine Corps. Today it is the home to myriad Fleet Marine Force units including the 1st MEF and various training commands. The base's diverse geography, spanning over 125,000 acres (506 km2), plays host to year round training for Marines in addition to all other branches of the U.S. military. Amphibious and sea-to-shore training takes place at several key points along the base's 17 miles (27 km) of coastline. The main base is in the Mainside Complex, at the southeastern end of the base, and the remote northern interior is an impact area. Daytime population is around 100,000. Recruits from nearby Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego spend a month on Pendleton's Edson Range receiving field training, and after graduating from boot camp return to the base's School of Infantry for further training. The Marine Corps has a long history of developing young men and women, and at Camp Pendleton this process starts younger than most people might suspect. Beginning in 1954 Camp Pendleton has hosted a variation of Basic Training familiarization for teenagers age 14 to 17. This training promotes physical fitness, instills discipline and promotes love of country and the Marine Corps. This program is called Devil Pups.
Broader Terms:Defense Department
Narrower Terms:1st Marine Division
Related Terms:11th Marine Expeditionary Unit