Since September 1941, Camp Lejeune has been the home of “Expeditionary Forces in Readiness” and has become the largest amphibious training base in the country. Through decades of operation, its mission has remained the same, “to maintain combat-ready units for expeditionary deployment.” The presence of Camp Lejeune has become a natural draw for visitors to the area, both families visiting active service members as well as veterans who served here and return to the coastal Carolina region they love.
First established as Marine Barracks New River, the original base headquarters was in a summer cottage on Montford Point. In 1942, the headquarters was moved to Hadnot Point and later that year the base was renamed in honor of the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, John A. Lejeune. Between 1942 and 1949, Montford Point served as a third boot camp for the Marines, in addition to Parris Island and San Diego. That training facility was established after Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order segregating training for black Marines. The camp at Montford Point trained 20,000 African-Americans during those years.
Today Camp Lejeune is set on 156,000 acres, including 11 miles of beach. Training capabilities here include amphibious operations, 34 gun positions, 50 tactical landing zones, three state-of-the-art training facilities for Military Operations in Urban Terrain and 80 live-fire ranges.
On base and throughout the surrounding community, Camp LeJeune supports approximately 170,000 active duty, dependent, retiree and civilian employees and generates almost $3 billion in commerce annually.
Camp Lejeune is a seven-time recipient of the Commander-in-Chief’s Award for Installation Excellence. This award recognizes the base for effectively managing assets and developing quality programs to accomplish its mission.