Marine Corps Recruiters School: An Overview

I've received some questions lately regarding Marine Corps Recruiters School. In answer to the questions I've been getting I created this overview. 

After selection for USMC Recruiting Duty your spouse will receive orders to Recruiters School. The school is in San Diego, California on the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot there. The class dates are available at the School website. The courses are just shy of 7 weeks long. 

Your spouse will meet with the PCS (Permanent Change of Station) clerk at their Administrative shop (IPAC). The Admin clerk will give your spouse some forms to complete, a PCS data sheet and some other paperwork. He will return the forms along with his check-out sheet prior to leaving. They will provide him with orders to Recruiters school and airline tickets. If your spouse is stationed in California he will not receive plane tickets.

Dependents are not authorized at the school house. It is not cost effective for the Marine Corps to move a family and household goods for such a short period of time. It would also create an issue if he does not finish the school or fails the school. In the event that a Marine is dropped from Marine Corps Recruiters school he will return to his previous duty station.

Your spouse will need to bring supplies with him to school. A laptop is not a necessity but is extremely useful as your spouse will have homework while he is there. The base does have computers at the library but he may have to wait for a computer. He is also at the mercy of the library and their hours of operation. My husband found his laptop to be a lifesaver during the course. He also used it to watch movies and surf the net during his down time.

Other supplies that are needed for the course include the camouflage utilities, service uniforms, Dress Blue uniform and Pt gear. If you spouse does not have the dress Blue uniform he will receive an allowance to purchase it while at the school. He should also bring along a suit for the Marine Corps Recruiters School social that is held towards the end of the course. Your spouse should also have office supplies on hand including pens, pencils, notebook paper, calculator, note cards, and other misc items.

During the last two weeks of the course your spouse will meet with the District Headquarters Commanding Officer of his new command. After the meeting your spouse will receive a copy of his orders. At this time he will know if he is expected to graduate the course or not and will receive a copy of his orders.

Once you receive his orders you can take that along with a power of attorney and your military ID to the DMO office (Used to be called TMO or Traffic Management Office) for your Household Goods (HHG) shipment. They will schedule a date for them to pack your belongings or you can apply for a DITY (Do It Yourself) Move.

The Marine Corps Recruiters School will fly him back to his duty station and he will again need to see the PCS clerk for a copy of his actual orders from his duty station to his Recruiting Command. They should have his new orders issued within a day two at the most. From there you will travel to your new duty assignment.

It is important to remember that your spouse must check-in to his new Recruiting Command prior to making any housing arrangements. While his CO may have told him what Marine Corps Recruiting Substation he would be working out, that can always change. He should see his CO and SgtMaj and they usually ask that the family members check-in as well.

Another plus to checking in right away is that he will begin receiving his special duty pay while he's on leave as well as the BAH rate for that area (housing allowance). The command will then grant your spouse leave so that he can find appropriate housing and get settled in.

Once you arrive at your Recruiting Substation, your SNCOIC will welcome you aboard and provide you with information regarding Tricare, housing, any Military Installations in the area, how to obtain your HHG shipment, and Medical/Dental. Many Recruiting stations are not located within commutable distance to a military installation. These stations will fall under Tricare Remote. Speak to Tricare regarding your benefits.

Words of Advice

  • Because many stations do not have a military base nearby you will not be within easy reach of base accommodations. You may not have access to a base hotel, medical, dental, pharmacy, commissary, and other facilities. Civilian facilities can get expensive. Ensure you have enough funds to cover your living expenses as well as an emergency fund. Be prepared for the unexpected.
  • We lived in a hotel for 30 days prior to finding appropriate housing. In our area the BAH rate was less than the available housing and many of the rentals were in bad areas. We opted to purchase a home and needed money for closing costs, inspections, and misc fees.
  • We also had animal and needed to provide proof of spay/neuter and vaccines at some of the rental properties we looked at our hotels. If you have pets, keep these documents with you when you move.
  • Our travel claim took a long time to get settled. Part of the reason was because his Administrative Clerk was 3 hours away and his Disbursing office is several states away. Expect delays in getting your reimbursement.
  • You will also not have access to a Legal office in case you have problems with housing or other issues.
  • If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to answer them.


  1. Thank you for the information! I am sooo not looking forward to not being on a base but after this tour we are retiring so it's practice for the rest of our lives I guess. Is there a list of the possible PCS areas?

    1. Christina10:43 PM

      Thank you for your comment! As far as a list of PCS areas, I don't think there is one for Recruiting Duty. There are I believe 8 Marine Corps Recruiting districts (but don't quote me on that one). Each district has several Recruiting Stations under them. Each Recruiting Station can have numerous Recruiting Substations. Each recruiting substation has an area of responsibility. Usually a main town/city and the surrounding areas. You can be stationed just about anywhere in the United States. Every state I'm sure just about every county has some type of Marine Corps recruiting station. Good luck on both recruiting and retirement. We have one more reenlistment to go! I wouldn't say I'm exactly counting down the days.... yet