If you've just received word that you'll be heading to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, you're likely feeling excited and full of anticipation. Camp Pendleton is the premier amphibious training base for the Marine Corps and one of the largest and most respected military bases in the country.
You'll be joining more than 42,000 active-duty Marines who live, work, and train at Camp Pendleton in San Diego County and you might be wondering - where you are going to live for the duration of your time at Camp Pendleton?
The question of housing is pressing, especially if you're bringing family members with you to Southern California. Rest assured, that San Diego County is an incredible place to live, with plenty of housing options to suit every preference. Camp Pendleton offers competitive BAH to ensure that you're able to find the perfect home for your needs. Check out this article, if you're curious about all of the military housing options for Marines based and Camp Pendleton, and read on to learn all you need to know about 2023 BAH rates.
What is BAH
Perhaps you are new to the military, or you're doing some research for a loved one before they head to Camp Pendleton and you haven't heard the term BAH before. BAH stands for basic allowance for housing. It is paid out to service men and women in order to help offset housing costs for service members who do not receive government housing. Individual BAH rates are determined by a number of factors including rank and dependency status.
Where you live also place a major role in BAH rates. More expensive parts of the country (like San Diego) will have higher BAH rates than other parts of the nation. Higher BAH rates are paid to troops who have dependents and require family housing.
About Camp Pendleton
Camp Pendleton is a large military base located in San Diego County adjacent to the city of Oceanside. The base itself is around 125,000 acres and includes 17 miles of coastline (including some private beaches that are only accessible to military personnel and their families!) Camp Pendleton is one of the biggest Marine bases in the country and the only military base on the West Coast where air, sea, and ground assault training is executed.
Since 1942, Camp Pendleton has played a crucial role in the United States military power and has been crucial to countless military efforts overseas. Service members stationed at Camp Pendleton feel proud to be a part of such an honorable lineage of Marines.
2023 BAH Rate Increase
The Marine Corps recognizes that housing costs are increasing, especially in Southern California, so the BAH rates have increased around 15% since 2022. This allows Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton to have a competitive chance at some of the region's best apartments, condos, and single-family homes. While the cost of housing is higher in Oceanside and the surrounding area than the national average, the BAH increases should help offset the cost of living.
Camp Pendleton BAH current rates (2023)
What can BAH be used for?
Your basic allowance for housing can be used to purchase or rent a home off-base. This offers military families to thrive and create a home that they love in whatever community they desire. Many Marines choose to live off-base so that they can enjoy the countless activities and amenities San Diego County has to offer. Living off-base with BAH allows for more flexibility in the types of properties you can live in so that you can find a place that fits your personal preferences.
How Are BAH Rates Determined?
BAH rates are determined based on rank, pay grade, and dependency status. Where you live also plays a major role in BAH rates. More expensive parts of the country (like San Diego) will have higher BAH rates than other parts of the nation. Higher BAH rates are paid to troops who have dependents and require family housing. The Marine Corps recognizes that housing costs are increasing, especially in Southern California, so the BAH rates have increased around 15% since 2022. BAH rates are only paid out when government quarters are not offered or when a Marine has dependents.
Camp Pendleton offers plenty of excellent options when it comes to on-base government housing. About 1/3rd of the Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton choose to live on base. There are around 6,680 housing units available on-site, and there is generally a wait of up to 16 months. There are schools located on the base as well as shops, dining, post offices, and everything else you would expect from a thriving community. So, who gets to live in Camp Pendleton housing? On-base housing is available to an active-duty military service member and military families. Availability depends on multiple factors like rank, family size, and area requirements.
Are there schools on Camp Pendleton?
Camp Pendleton has some incredible schools for children living on base. There are a total of five schools - both elementary and middle schools. The student population is 80% military or DoD-related and the schools are held to DoD rules and regulations. Currently, there is no high school option on base, but older teen-aged students will have access to some of the top-rated schools in Oceanside and other surrounding neighborhoods that will help them prepare for their future, whether that means attending a University or joining the Marine Corps themselves.
Elementary Schools at Camp Pendleton:
North Terrace Elementary School (Wire Mountain Housing Area)
Mary Fay Elementary School (De Luz Housing Area)
Stuart Mesa Elementary School (Stuart Mesa Housing Area)
San Onofre Elementary School (San Onofre Housing Area)
Middle Schools at Camp Pendleton:
Stuart Mesa Middle School (Stuart Mesa Housing Area)
Santa Margarita Middle School (Wire Mountain Housing Area)
Mary Fay Middle School (De Luz Housing Area)
San Onofre Middle School (San Onofre Housing Area)
How many military members are stationed at Camp Pendleton?
Camp Pendleton is one of the largest military bases in the country and is currently the largest Marine Corps base in the country. Many troops choose to take advantage of the excellent housing options on the base. Over 42,000 active troops live on-site along with 38,000 family members. In addition to the active-duty service members, more than 77,000 retired military members live within 50 miles of Camp Pendleton and are able to take advantage of Base perks like commissary and medical services.
Camp Pendleton On-Base Amenities
Whether you choose to reside in government housing on base or use your basic allowance for housing to purchase or rent a home in a community of your choosing, you will still have access to the many on-base amenities like workout facilities, schools, commissary, and even private beaches! The Marine Memorial Golf Course, with 18-holes and onsite lessons, is located on-base at Camp Pendleton. There are so many fun activities for service members and military families to enjoy, without even having to leave base.
What county is Camp Pendleton in?
Camp Pendleton is located in Southern California in a city called Oceanside, which is within North San Diego County on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Downtown San Diego can be reached around 45 minutes from the Marine Corps base camp. Some nearby cities include Escondido, Carlsbad, San Marcos, and San Clemente.
For more information on housing at Camp Pendleton, check out our complete guide here!