This base was established in 1918 by President Wilson.
Originally under the Army it was known as Fort Hase, then changed to Navy command in 1939. The Marine Corps gained command in 1951.
A historical tidbit, than few know, is that this base was first hit by the Japanese before they continued on to Pearl Harbor.
It was strategic for the Japanese as this base contained airstrips and aircraft. The first Japanese war aircraft was shot down from this base.
Today the Marine Corps Base Hawaii houses several units with roughly a population of 25,000. This base is strategic for the military as it can gain quick access to the Far East. The base also supports aircrafts from around the world. Units included are the US Pacific Command, Special Operations, 3rd Marine Regiment, 1st Battalion 12th Marines, 3rd Radio Battalion, Marine Aircraft Group, Fleet Logistics, 4th Force Recon as well as several others. The base also serves as support for training exercises and deployment movement.
Unlike other military bases located on this island, this one embraces the Hawaiian lifestyle. Located next to Kailua, traffic jams are almost unheard of. Kailua offers independent restaurants and stores, within a few months of living here it is quite common to know many of the locals. A quick drive to the northern part of the island offers some of the world’s greatest waves and surf shops abound. The base is also located next to two major highways which can quickly take you to downtown Honolulu where you can enjoy world-class chefs and nightlife.
This base offers one elementary school on post, Mokapu Elementary. This school services children grades K-6. Children attend junior high and high school in the town of Kailua. Kailua and surrounding areas also offer private schools. Residents of the base can choose from a medical clinic on base or clinics in Kailua.
Most referrals and in-patient services are done at the award-winning Tripler Medical Hospital, located in Honolulu. This hospital is one of the largest hospitals in the military and flies service members from around the world to receive service here. Residents can also choose to have their PCM at Tripler.
The Marine Corp base has ten neighborhoods to choose from. Two others are located off base. The housing is run by a private company, Forest City. Housing is offered in two, three and four bedrooms. As with most military installations, size of housing is determined by rank and family size. The base has one large commissary and one exchange. Quite often residents use the local Navy and Army bases to shop as well, all are within a quick driving distance.
Assignment to this base is considered an overseas assignment, your paycheck will reflect this to compensate for Hawaii’s economy. Families will be assigned a sponsor to show them around, each family is allowed one car to be shipped for free. Household goods take about three months to ship and the Marine Corps will supply temporary household goods until then.