Located northwest of downtown San Diego, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) is rich in the history and traditions of the US Marine Corps. The base was born in part of the perseverance of Col. Joseph H. Pendleton and the efforts of Congressman William Kettner. MCRD San Diego was commissioned in 1921 and officially designated as the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in 1948. It is the oldest operational Marine Corps base on the West Coast and graduates over 20,000 new Marines every year. MCRD San Diego is one of only two Marine Corps recruit-training bases in the United States and is responsible for the basic training of all male recruits west of the Mississippi River. Every Marine begins his career by participating in a 13-week training period that isolates him from the civilian world. Basic training at MCRD San Diego emphasizes physical fitness and adaption to the Marine Corps lifestyle.