Marine Corps Institute

Marine Corps Institute

The Marine Corps Institute, commonly referred to as MCI, develops and maintains a curriculum of Marine Corps education. Subjects include infantry strategy/tactics, leadership skills, MOS qualifications, personal finance, and mathematics. Completion of MCI courses is generally required for promotion to the next Marine enlisted rank.



Since February 1920, the Marine Corps Institute has facilitated the training and education of individual Marines. MCI ensures access to products and provides opportunities to improve performance, to enhance Professional Military Education, and to provide promotion opportunity, together with sponsors of Marine Corps education and training programs.

MCI also coordinates and executes the Hosting and Parade Escort plan for the Evening and Sunset Parades, while simultaneously providing ceremonial Officers and NCOs for the Parade Staffs and other assigned ceremonies in order to promote the Marine Corps’ heritage and to enhance the Marine Corps’ image to the general public.

MCI Company also maintains Individual MOS and Battle Skills proficiency both in garrison and field environments to prepare the individual Marine for combat.

The Marine Corps Institute is located in the historic Washington Navy Yard in the United States capitol. MCI is administratively organized as part of Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. and supports the Barracks.


The Marine Corps Institute has been accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council since 1977.

Date Event
Oct 1919 Major General John A. Lejeune assumes command of Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia
Nov 1919 General Lejeune issues a Post Order establishing three new schools: Automobile Mechanics, Music, Typewriting and Shorthand. The post newspaper, The Leatherneck, runs a banner headline reading, "Play or go to school every afternoon is new program here." Special Order No. 299 announces that 11 new schools will open January 5, 1920
Jan 1920 Post schools officially open.
Apr 1920 The Post Schools are officially designated as the Vocational Schools Detachment, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia. The Leatherneck publishes the first reports of enrollment in the Vocational Schools Detachment.
Feb 1920 LtCol Bo Harlee and Capt Shuler returned to Quantico from the International Correspondence Schools in Scranton, Pennsylvania, with the pamphlets of instruction and examination papers to supply each man enrolled in the Quantico Schools with all the materials he needed in the course he was studying. This date is also the 20th Anniversary of LtCol Harlee's commissioning, and the date considered the founding of the Institute.
May 1920 Lance Corporal Walter C. Irving becomes the first graduate of the Vocational Schools. He completed the Livestock course.
July 1920 Bulletin No. 3 officially changes the title of the Vocational Schools Detachment to the Marine Corps Institute Detachment. Bulletin No. 3 also establishes the positions of Director, Assistant Director, and Secretary. The Leatherneck reports 899 enrollments.
Oct 1920 The Leatherneck reports over 114,000 enrollments, including 122,800 students at shore installations other than Quantico and more than 200 students on 20 different detachments afloat.
Nov 10 1920 Marine Corps Institute moves from Marine Barracks, Quantico to Marine Barracks, Washington, DC. Major General Commandant Lejeune announces that the Marine Corps Institute will conduct "its instruction entirely in the correspondence school method."
Dec 1920 Marine Corps Institute establishes operations at Marine Barracks, Washington, DC.
Jan 1926 Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune establishes correspondence courses for military subjects.
Dec 1946 The Correspondence School, Marine Corps School redesigned as Extension Division, Marine Corps Schools.
July 1948 MCI establishes a new residence at 7th and "G" Streets, SE (the building that now houses the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop).
Nov 1953 Growth of the United States Armed Forces Institute to fill the academic needs of Marine forces. MCI changes its training to strictly military vice vocational courses. Use of International Correspondence Schools materials and curriculum discontinued.
Oct 1967 MCI relocates to Building 160 of the Washington Navy Yard (now the Southeast Federal Center).
Feb 1976 Staff Sergeant A. C. Stout becomes the one millionth student to complete a Marine Corps Institute course.
June 1977 MCI is accredited by the National Home Study Council (now the Distance Education and Training Council).
Oct 1980 Extension School is consolidated with the Marine Corps Institute. The consolidation makes the Director, Marine Corps Institute responsible for all Marine Corps correspondence courses for training and education.
Apr 1986 Private First Class Dean Fenton becomes the five millionth student to enroll in a Marine Corps Institute course.
Nov 1993 Marine Corps Institute relocates to Building 220, Lejeune Hall, of the historic Washington Navy Yard.
Nov 1994 Private First Class Jeffrey H. Coy, Headquarters & Service Battalion, Marine Corps Combat Development Center Quantico, Virginia, becomes the eight millionth student to enroll in a Marine Corps Institute course.
Feb 1995 MCI celebrates its 75th anniversary.
Nov 1996 MCI dedicates its new logistical facility in Building 169 of the Washington Navy Yard to its first Director, Lieutenant Colonel William C. Harllee.
Jun 1997 MCI Automated Information System II development begins. The system leads to online enrollments, reviews, and tests. It drastically decrease MCI/student interaction time.
Nov 1997 Training and Education Division, MCCDC, work with MCI to establish Learning Resource Centers (LRC's) throughout the Corps.
Jun 1998 The first LRC is completed at MCI.
Jan 1999 MCIAIS II is complete and functional.
Feb 1999 The first online enrollment is accepted at MCI.


The Marine Corps Institute implemented ROLE exams to reduce cheating facilitated by the "MCI Bible", a book commonly located in Marine Corps units that contained all the answers to every single MCI available. MCI's utilized SCANTRON technology which made it easier to cheat before they began to phase out printed exams. The legitimacy of the Marine Corps Institute is now undermined due to unit training NCO's printing out ROLE exams, giving them to the students, and accepting them a few weeks later giving the students ample time to finish the exam with an open book.


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the United States Marine Corps.

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