Top 3 NOVA Locations for Promotion Or Re-enlistment Ceremony

usmc pinning ceremony at the iwo jima war memorial, washington dc

DC & Northern Virginia’s Best Places for Marine Corps Ceremonies

Forget the conference room or parade deck!

See more photo inspiration for military ceremonies

USMC change of command ceremony photography by alison bell photographer in okinwa, japan

Top Venues Around Quantico for USMC Ceremonies:

  1. The Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) in Arlington, VA
  2. National Archive in DC (Home of the original Declaration of Independence)
  3. National Museum of the Marine Corps, just outside MCB Quantico in Triangle, VA
  4. BONUS! Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, VA

1. The Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) in Arlington, VA.

Enough said for the Marine Corps.

Side note: Marines in uniform are celebrities at the Memorial. Check out the promotion ceremony I did last fall. Bus loads of veterans rolled through one after the other, including an Iwo Jim Veteran who passed just weeks after we shook hands.

2. National Archive in Washington DC

The Rotunda is the permanent home to the original Declaration of Independence. (Remember the scene from National Treasure?!)

3. National Museum of the Marine Corps

National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, VA outside Marine Corps Base Quantico is an ideal location for re-enlistment and promotion ceremonies. alisonbellphotographer.com

I can’t get enough of this place. Their gallery surpasses the Smithsonian in my humble opinion.

  • Reservation required, but no permit fees
  • 30 minute time slots for promotion or re-enlistment
  • 1 hour slots for retirements *Covid update: 1 hour to include set up and break down, chapel included.
  • Option of Outdoor Parade Deck or Indoor Leatherneck Gallery (main atrium area)
  • Fewer than 10 guests can be hosted in the historical galleries (exhibit spaces)
  • Lots of options for flags, podiums, eating, even music.
  • After ceremony options for food and drink on site
  • Phone: 1.877.653.1775
  • Site: https://www.usmcmuseum.com/military-ceremonies-at-the-museum.html

4. BONUS! Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel

COVID Update as of spring 2022: The Museum is allotting one hour for all ceremonies, including set up and tear down, both inside the museum and the chapel. I think it’s absurd and unfortunate. It’s still a viable option for pinnings and re-enlistments, but not for retirements.

Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and National Museum of the Marine Corps Promotion Ceremony by Alison Bell Photographer, alisonbellphotographer.com
Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and National Museum of the Marine Corps Promotion Ceremony by Alison Bell Photographer, alisonbellphotographer.com

The chapel is managed by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation which has its headquarters inside the USMC Museum. They’re connected, but different, meaning different reservation points of contact.

See More 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.

HEY! I'm Alison, Your Fun And Hilarious Family & Newborn Photographer!

I'm a South Carolina native, USMC spouse, and recovering homeschool mama of a four boy circus. Bring me your crazy!

After 11 years of photographing families all over the world, I've realized my clients aren't printing their images. We go through all this work to get dressed, coordinated and then let those photos die on the hard drive.

No more!

There's nothing easy about family photos but I'm here to help you with every step from what to wear to printed in your hands whether thats an album or wall art. I want you to Make your people the rock star of your house!

You'll be reminded of what really matters every day when you see the giant prints of your crew laughing on your walls every. single. day.

Currently stationed in Virginia Beach, Virginia photographing families all over the Hampton Roads area from Suffolk, Norfolk, Chesapeake and the Eastern Shore all the way to Portsmouth and Elizabeth City!

Follow along on the Gram at @alisonbellphotog or reach out today!

I find joy in chaos. The louder, the better! 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!

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