Calling all new recruits! Join a local guide and get an inside look at what it was like to join the navy. Learn some sailor skills, explore the buildings essential to training, learn fun facts about the recruit experience, and gain an understanding of the history of the Naval Training Center. Cap off the tour with a snack and your very own certificate of “graduation.”
Learn important sailor skills without having to drop and give us 20
Explore recruit life by visiting buildings essential to training such as barracks, the mess hall, and other facilities
Pay tribute to the 52 submarines and their crew lost in World War II
Using historic photos, we’ll compare the recruit experience with the modern-day visitor’s experience
Celebrate the completion of your “training” with a snack and a certificate at the former Enlisted Men’s Club
We will kick things off by exploring the heart of what was once Camp Paul Jones, the first camp established that housed 100-150 recruits per barracks and get a feel for what it was like to be one of those sailors (without the drill instructor!). Its park-like setting is full of secrets – such as the history of the large tree there and the special requirements for decorating it at Christmas, the design of the barracks’ roof that’s key to keeping it cool, or the connection the current public art on display has with the camp’s Navy past.
Then pass by the former dispensary, where early recruits received medical care – sometimes for the first time in their lives. We’ll view the former Sail Ho Golf Course because it wasn’t all work and no play on the base. Several golf pros have played here, and the course is even a final resting place for two people! At the historic entrance, we get a feel for what it was like to enter the base as a new recruit, hear how the gate played a role in their daily lives, and what impact having the Marine Core Training Center had on Naval recruits.
It wasn’t all men who served here, at least not after 1943 when WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) arrived, taking up residence in a nearby barracks away from the men. We’ll then pass by the very first buildings on base which contained the Mess Hall and talk about what it took to feed so many people, multiple times a day.
We’ll pause at a work of art that replicates the whale boat sailors learned to row in the nearby channel and learn a sailor skill or two. Afterward we’ll head over to the heart of the base – the Command Center – where the top brass kept the base running. There we’ll view an exhibit that highlights recruit life including something dear to everyone – food! From there it’s on to Ingram Plaza, to learn about the person it was named for, and why that’s a better name than its alternative.
Next up we’ll visit the Boats Memorial, dedicated to the 52 submarines and their crews lost during World War II. If time and energy allow, we’ll walk to the landlocked ship referred to by locals as the "USS Neversail." Then we'll proceed across Preble Field, where recruits marched during training and on their graduation day. We'll celebrate their legacy and your "graduation" from the tour and sailor training with a snack at a nearby eatery in the former Enlisted Men's Club. There you'll receive your certificate of completion.
From there, your guide will recommend additional ways to explore the Navy's legacy at Liberty Station, along with how to enjoy the area's many cultural organizations or provide information on its many restaurants.
“USS BRAVE” art piece, in front of Moment Bicycles
2816 Historic Decatur Rd
San Diego, CA 92106
Aug 18, 2020
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Recurs every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
$49 Adults | $44 Children (6-12)
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