USMC MCRD San Diego License Plate Coin


In stock


Our USMC MCRD San Diego License Plate Coin has the look and feel of genuine quality and would make a great addition to your challenge coin collection or as a special gift for your U.S. Marine. Arrives professionally & individually packaged. Made in USA.

MCRD San Diego License Plate USMC Challenge Coin Features

  • Marine Corps MCRD San Diego License Plate Coin
  • “California – MCRD SD – The Golden State” on the front of coin.
  • “United States Marine Corps” and the Eagle Globe and Anchor on the back of coin.
  • Accented in bold colors.
  • Measures approximately 1.25″ height x 2.5″ width
  • Individually packaged
  • Made in USA
  • Ships fast!
  • Licensed by the U.S. Marine Corps.

Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego – MCRD

Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego, a key United States Marine Corps installation. It’s situated near San Diego Bay and the San Diego International Airport. This depot is pivotal for the initial training of enlisted Marine recruits from the Western US, with over 21,000 recruits trained annually. Since its inception, MCRD San Diego has seen over 1.5 million recruits complete boot camp. The depot also hosts the Marine Corps’ Recruiter School and Drill Instructors School.

Historically, Marines landed in San Diego in 1846 during the Mexican–American War. The permanent base’s establishment began in 1919, influenced by Congressman William Kettner and Colonel Joseph Henry Pendleton. Its original buildings, designed by Bertram Goodhue in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, are now on the National Register of Historic Places. Officially commissioned in 1921, the base became the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in 1948.

MCRD San Diego’s primary mission is recruit training, a 13-week intensive process designed to transition recruits from civilian to military life. Training includes various subjects from weapons handling to the Marine Corps history. Key elements of training include physical fitness, rifle marksmanship, and a final test known as “The Crucible”. Recruits also undergo field training at Camp Pendleton’s Edson Range.

Significantly, in December 2020, MCRD San Diego began training female recruits, marking a historic shift in its operations. Additionally, the base houses essential organizations like the Drill Instructor’s School and Recruiter’s School, playing a critical role in shaping future Marine Corps personnel. The MCRD San Diego Command Museum and various other schools pertinent to Marine Corps operations are also located here. The parade deck at MCRD San Diego is not only a training ground but also a memorial honoring veterans from major conflicts.

Marine Corps Challenge Coins 

Marine Corps challenge coins are deeply rooted in military tradition. They symbolize honor, camaraderie, and individual accomplishments in the USMC. 

Military challenge coins trace their roots back to ancient Rome, where custom coins rewarded exceptional feats. They later evolved into “portrait medals” during the Renaissance. 

In the early US military, challenge coins were exclusive to high-ranking officers recognizing exceptional achievements. Notably, in World War I, a pilot’s coin saved his life by proving his identity. Some argue that modern challenge coin traditions, including in the Marine Corps, originated during the Vietnam War for bar entry. 

Today, these coins signify specific achievements or service excellence and carry sentimental value, serving as tokens of significant moments in a Marine’s journey.

Marine Coin Check, Traditions, and Rules

A coin check is a spontaneous challenge where members must promptly display their coins.

Rules for coin checks are informal, allowing challenges to occur anywhere, anytime, by displaying the coin and shouting “coin check!” Accidentally dropping a coin counts as a deliberate challenge. Responding within ten seconds by presenting a unit’s coin is essential.

Consequences add a playful element: failure to produce a coin results in buying drinks for the challenger and others. Conversely, a successful challenge requires the challenger to buy a round for the group.

The tradition also includes coin theft, with successful thieves earning a drink. Coins are typically carried for easy access, with a widely accepted rule of “a step and a reach.” Presentation often occurs subtly during handshakes, with modifications like drilling holes or attaching them to belt buckles invalidating their challenge status.

Additional information

Weight 0.2 lbs
Dimensions 5 × 3 × .125 in

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