Marine Corps Retirement Ceremony at the Museum
Marine Corps Retirement Ceremony is really more like a graduation from Marine Corps Life. While we tend to think of it as focused on the Marine, its really for the family members too! The National Museum of the Marine Corps is the mecca for many Marines. It’s located next door to USMC headquarters base in Quantico, Virginia.
The Museum offers free entry for everyone and little known fact, offers free Marine Corps retirement ceremony services to all Marines!
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Retirement Ceremonies at the National Museum of the Marine Corps
Marine Corps retirement ceremonies are slotted 60 minutes of run time. No more. All ceremonies must end by 4:30p for Museum closing by 5p. The Museum can provide a limited number of chairs, podium and colors. You can also arrange your own colors. Flag Officers standards are not available.
With two weeks notice the Museum can also provide speakers and a microphone for ceremonies taking place in the Leatherneck Gallery (the atrium).
Soft music is allowed and live music is conditionally allowed. Be sure to include that request in your reservation form linked below.
Limited seating is available due to space restrictions. Any ceremony with 75 chairs or more requires director approval.
For all ceremonies, the requesting Marine must provide a working party for set up and tear down.
No food or beverages are allowed for any ceremonies.
Ceremony Requirements a the Museum
From their own website, the Museum requires:
- Ceremonies must be scheduled in advance.
- Ceremonies are allowed in Leatherneck Gallery and outside of the Museum.
- Ceremonies begin at 0930 and must conclude by 1630. Promotions are scheduled for 30 minutes. Retirements are afforded 60 minutes.
- You may arrange colors. We can provide the National Ensign and the branches of service and their respective stands. We do not post GO/Flag Officer standards within the Museum.
- We can provide a podium, sound system, microphone, and speakers for Leatherneck Gallery ceremonies. A two week notice is required.
- You may bring soft, appropriate music. Live music is conditionally allowed; be sure to include this in your request.
- Due to limited set up space, chairs are conditionally permitted and prior approval is required. A ceremony with over 75 chairs requires the Director’s approval.
- DO NOT PLACE TAPE OR ADHESIVE PRODUCT ON THE CHAIRS OR FLOOR.
- Provide a working party for set up and break down of chairs, podium, and colors.
- No outside food or beverages permitted.
- Private receptions are handled by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation; contact its staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reservation Form for a Retirement Ceremony at the National Museum of the Marine Corps
All Marine Corps retirement ceremony, and others – no matter the type- must be scheduled. No walks are permitted. Ceremonies are allowed in the Leather Neck Gallery and outside.
To reserve a Marine Corps retirement ceremony at the Museum, complete the online form.
FAQ for Marine Corps Retirement Ceremony at the National Museum of the Marine Corps
From their own website, available here.
FAQ for Marine Corps retirement ceremony, Promotion and Reenlistment Ceremonies
1) Is there a fee to have my ceremony at the museum? There is no charge to have your ceremony
inside the Museum in Leatherneck Gallery or in Semper Fidelis Memorial Park during normal
2) Can I have my ceremony in the Tun Tavern or Overlook balcony outside the restaurant?
We are not able to schedule ceremonies in these areas. The restaurants are open to the public and
we are not able to keep others from entering these locations.
3) Can I have my ceremony in the Scuttlebutt Theater? No.
4) Can I have my ceremony in the Chapel? Yes. All ceremonies in the chapel must be scheduled
with the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation (MCHF) Special Events team. There is a fee to use
the chapel even during regular hours. For more information please contact the MCHF Special
Events team at email@example.com.
5) Can I have my ceremony in Semper Fidelis Memorial Park? Yes. However, we do not
schedule the area (the spaces are first come, first served) nor do we supply equipment to be
6) Where can I hold my ceremony within the museum? You may hold your ceremony either in
front of or behind the Vietnam/UH-34 Helicopter exhibit in Leatherneck Gallery.
7) Where can I hold my reception? You may hold your reception in the Devil Dog Diner during
museum hours. You may hold your reception in Tun Tavern or on the Overlook after hours for a
minimal fee. For more information please contact the MCHF Special Events team at
8) Where do we find the chairs? Chairs are staged just inside the doors in the hallway behind the
helicopter. You are responsible for returning the chairs to the hallway.
9) Where do we find the podium? The podium is kept outside Scuttlebutt Theater. You are
responsible for returning the podium.
10) Where do we find the colors? Colors are just inside the doors in the hallway behind the
helicopter. You are responsible for returning the colors after your ceremony.
11) Can we use the museum’s sound system? No. You can coordinate with MCB Quantico G-6 for
12) Do you have music or a CD player available? No. You must bring your own music and CD
player. You may need an extension cord and blue painters tape as well.
13) Can we have live music? Yes. You must register this when you schedule your ceremony under
“Comments/Special Considerations”. Bag pipers are conditionally allowed.
14) How many chairs are available? There are 50 chairs available for your use. You will need prior
approval for additional chairs. This must be requested on your registration request under
“Comments/Special Considerations”. Any request for more than 100 chairs must be approved by
the Director, NMMC.
15) Who sets up and/or breaks down the chairs? You are responsible for set up and break down of
your ceremony. Please assign a working party to coordinate on your behalf.
16) Can we have a rehearsal? Yes. Please schedule your request for a rehearsal just as you would
for a ceremony
See More Military Ceremony Photo Inspiration
At the end of a career, all that will be left are the photos and uniforms. I pray you have photos! If not for yourself, for your kids.
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I'm a USMC spouse, South Carolina native, recovering homeschool mama of a 4 boy circus. They've taught me the most important facet of family photography: KEEP IT FUN!