Museum Foundation Statement Concerning Automatic Revocation of Tax-Exempt Status

On 25 October 2022, the MCRD Museum Foundation received notice of an automatic revocation of its tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service because of the failure to file a Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax) for three consecutive years. This means, among other things, that the Museum Foundation is no longer eligible to receive tax deductible contributions.

The Museum Foundation is a self-sustaining, nonprofit, non-federal entity that supports the mission accomplishment of the MCRD Command Museum. Transparency is at the heart of everything we do and fundamentally important to the Museum Foundation’s operations and communications.

The Museum Foundation uses the services of a Certified Public Accountant Firm to complete annual audits and Form 990 filing requirements. Delays in completing both requirements began in 2020, due to an investigation into financial transactions by a former Museum Foundation employee.

Museum Foundation corrective actions include, among others, a forensic examination to determine why the Form 990 filing requirement went unfiled. Furthermore, the Museum Foundation is taking immediate steps to file the Form 990s for the last three years. Finally, the Museum Foundation is applying to have its tax-exempt status retroactively reinstated to the date of revocation. If the Internal Revenue Service approves, then the Museum Foundation resumes its eligibility to receive tax deductible donations.

The Museum Foundation remains confident the Internal Revenue Service will retroactively reinstate our tax-exempt status once provided with a full explanation, to include our implementation of corrective measures to ensure timely filing compliance going forward. The Museum Foundation will announce the results of our forensic investigation (subject to individual privacy concerns) and the findings of the Internal Revenue Service when received.

In the meantime, the Museum Foundation will individually communicate with those donors that the revocation of tax-exempt status may impact, to include discussing with them the Museum Foundation’s willingness to return their respective donations.

We appreciate your patience and understanding while the Museum Foundation works diligently to resolve this unfortunate error.

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President of the Board Message to Members and Supporters


     The Board of Directors of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot – San Diego Museum Foundation join me in extending heartfelt best wishes to all during this challenging period. For those experiencing tragic loss and or financial hardships, please accept our sincere condolences. As our Nation responds to the COVID-19 threat, rest assured that the meaningful work of your — our — Museum Foundation continues without respite.

     The indefinite closure of our Command Museum and postponement of nearly all Museum Foundation events began on March 12, 2020. Nevertheless, our Foundation continues to help protect Marine Corps history in San Diego while also promoting that history with programs that positively impact Marines, all servicemembers, veterans, Gold Star Families, youth, and members of the greater Marine Corps family. Moreover, our Foundation remains a viable and relevant source of support for Marine Corps Recruit Depot — San Diego/ Western Recruiting Region; providing meaningful services to Marine Corps recruits, Marines, and Sailors for which the Command cannot use appropriated funds.

     Our gainfully employed Staff and hourly workers primarily fulfill their respective duties remotely, with support from key volunteers. The effort previously required for hosting events is now committed to other meaningful Foundation activities to include the development of new initiatives. Indeed, our entire Foundation Team is working to identify and aggressively pursue emerging opportunities to support the Command Museum and its many programs. Programs and endeavors currently underway include: providing free and disposable reading materials for recruits to enjoy during quarantine periods; collection and distribution of morale messages to recruits; annual education scholarship awards for members of the Command (applications are currently open to enlisted Marines, Sailors, and their dependents assigned to the Depot and the Western Recruiting Region); annual awards program for Recruiters and Drill Instructors; improvements to the Museum building and its historical displays; as well as, Marine Corps history training support.

     As many know, the training schedule for every recruit at the Depot traditionally includes four hours of instruction from our Docents in the Command Museum. Our Docents continue to support the education and training of all recruits at the Depot, through a video teleconference teaching capability. Most Docents are combat veterans and all of them have meaningful Marine Corps experience. Our Docents volunteer to teach Marine Corps history while frequently adding anecdotes from their own personal experiences in many of the same historical events recruits study. Finally, our Docents clearly demonstrate to recruits that the earned title “Marine” is a lifelong honor.

     The Museum Foundation is helping the family members and loved ones of recruits see and (as best possible during COVID-19 protective measures) experience the joy as well as pride associated with Recruit Graduation Ceremonies. Videos of every Recruit Graduation Ceremony at Marine Corps Recruit Depot — San Diego are available for viewing on our Foundation’s website.

     Our Foundation’s Online Museum Store is operating and offers a wide array of gifts, clothing, mementoes, and useful products for every member of your family. Our website also offers online sales of Recruit Platoon Graduation Photos and Recruit Graduation Books. All of the products in our Online Museum Store are in compliance with U.S. Marine Corps logo and trademark requirements. Our Marine Corps emblem, Battle Color, and Marine images remind us all of the very best of our Nation and its people. Remember that all the profits from our Online Museum Store, as well as the sales of Recruit Platoon Photos and Recruit Graduation Books, support the Marine Corps Recruit Depot – San Diego Command Museum and its many community outreach programs.

     The Foundation Staff and Board of Directors are maintaining contact with our members as well as the individuals and groups that benefit from the Museum programs that our Foundation supports, to include Gold Star Families and veterans. Please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our Staff or a member of our Board of Directors, if we can be of assistance to you and your family.

     You can help our Foundation most by taking care of yourselves and your loved ones. Please remain safe, stay healthy, and continue to make a positive impact upon those around you. Plan to visit the Museum after it reopens and attend one of our many Museum Foundation events when they resume. Please remember that the support programs mentioned above continue (despite the closure of the Museum and postponement of our events) and the proceeds from our online store, membership renewals, and donations collectively defray the costs of these programs. Consequently, if you have a reason to shop, please make purchases with our Online Museum Store. Also, please take the time to visit our website in order to renew your membership or join our Foundation or make a donation that supports our many programs. Your support of our Foundation helps us to help others.

     When the COVID-19 threat subsides, currently postponed Foundation events, programs, and activities will resume safely and appropriately. Equally important, our Foundation will execute new capabilities and programs currently under development. On behalf of the Board of Directors, thank you for helping to make possible the meaningful work of our Museum Foundation.

Semper Fidelis,
Paul H. Atterbury

President, Board of Directors

museum education

MCRD Museum Education Program

The MCRD Museum offers free tours, classes, and curricula.  Staff can also travel to local schools and classrooms.  Explore our free programming...


research reference

MCRD Museum Reference Center

Photographs, maps, manuscripts, and more are in the MCRD Museum Reference Center. No cost!  Access by appointment.  Explore our Reference Center materials...


Tun Tavern Holiday Party

On December 3rd the Museum will be having a Christmas event. RSVP by clicking the button below.

In order for you to get on the base for museum events, we need to collect certain information in advance.

This form is only for those who are 18 and older and who do not already have base access. Those who may already have access include people who have active duty/reserve ID cards, 100% disabled ID cards, Dependent, Retired, or Retired Dependent ID cards,  DOD civilian employee ID, or VA health ID that says 'service connected' and has already been registered at MCRD's Pass and ID office (the VA cards registered at other bases don't apply).


support the regiment

Join the Support Regiment

The MCRD Museum Foundation depends upon membership fees, grants, and donations to conduct its business of supporting the MCRD Command Museum, the Marines and Sailors of MCRD, San Diego, and the Western Recruiting Region.


sponsors and donors

Sponsors & Donors

The MCRD Museum Foundation established a Sponsors and Donors Wall to honor and recognize Marines and organizations, especially those with a connection to MCRD San Diego, and recognizes donors and supporters at various levels of giving.


Our Impact

Over the past 8 years the MCRD Museum Foundation has contributed over 1 million dollars to the Command Museum. We've recently announced a number of new Museum programs and technological upgrades.


veteran outreach

Veteran Outreach & Increased
Community Engagement

VOICE is the MCRD Command Museum's latest program supported by the Foundation, which is aimed at bringing together Marines, veterans, and the community together at a familiar place, the Depot where Marines are born.


© MCRD Museum. All rights reserved


MCRD Museum Foundation
Building 26 Post Office Box 400085
San Diego, CA 92140-0085

Federal Tax ID: 33-0290006 



MCRD Museum Foundation 990

Museum Hours of Operation:

Mon 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Tue-Fri 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Family Day Thu 8:00 AM to 5:45 PM

Sat 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Foundation Hours of Operation:

Monday-Thursday, 8:00AM-4:00PM

Friday, 8:00AM-3:00PM

Telephone: 1-619-524-4426

Gift Shop: 1-619-524-0663

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