The 8th & I Reunion Association

An organization of Marines
who served at
Marine Barracks
8th & I Streets, S.E.,
Washington D.C.

Duty at "Shangri-La" - Camp David

Camp David has been guarded by Marines from 8th & I since it opened during the Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Prior to 1957, the Barracks sent a contingent of Marines (usually a company) when the President went to Camp David. In 1957, because of the increased use of Camp David by President Eisenhower and improvements being made there, it was decided to keep a guard platoon all the time. This was done by adding a fourth platoon (also a drill team) to CGC, and rotating the four platoons to the Camp, and increasing the presence by additional platoons when the President was in residence.

In the 1971-72 time frame, a permanent Company, Marine Security Company-Camp David, was formed. Most of the security team at Camp David start out as "Boots," but when there is a NCO shortage they will recruit from the Barracks. Most Camp David Marines there for a normal 18 Month tour and then out to the fleet. They keep a few a little longer to hold a very limited NCO billets. The Guard Chief /Training SNCO are usually Gunny's that are recruited from the FMF infantry or recon unit.(allot of infantry training and tactics reinforced during training days) The 1stSgt and Co and XO usually rotate for 1 year tours from units at the Barracks

(Note - From Wikipedia, the on-line encyclopedia); "The Camp is alleged to be one of the most secure facilities in the world, as reported by a Department of Defense journal in 1998. The Facility is guarded by one of the United States Marine Corps' most elite units, MSC-CD (Marine Security Company, Camp David). Each Marine is hand picked from the infantry and sent through a battery of psychological and physical tests. He then must undergo specialized security training at the Marine Corps Security Forces School, in Chesapeake, Virginia. The Marines then report to Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. Assuming the Marines successfully complete all their schooling, they still must attain "Yankee White" security clearance. Only then will the Marines be eligible for the assignment at Camp David. After 12 months of service at Camp David, a Marine is awarded the Presidential Service Badge."

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For an excellent description and history of Shangri-La - Camp David, click here.

To view historical documents of the creation of Shangri-La - Camp David, click here.

"Shangri-La" to Camp David - The 1940's to the late 1950's.  To view this interesting account, which contains contributions by John Melvin, Bill Petit, Gene Smallwood, Bob Turner and Lee Miles, Click here.

For a detailed amd highly amusing account of duty at Camp David during the mid-1950's, Click here.

For Bob Capeci's story about Camp David security during the 1950's, Click here.

For Ed Crogan's story about a Camp David front gate security incident during the 1950's click here.

For more memories of Camp David by Joe Westner, click click here.

Bob Sears at Shangri-La - 1945

The "Toast Detail" - Camp Shangri-La, 1945

(Items submitted by Bob Sears)

Main Gate at Camp David - 1957 - Note anchor next to the
Gate House — After all, it's a Navy installation!

Cabins at Camp David - 1957
(Shown is James Albright, now deceased)

(Camp David Thanksgiving Menu - 1957) (Above items submitted by Joe Ruszkowski)

(Above items submitted by Joe Mryncza)

L-R): Gunny Ben Smith, Ceremonial Guard Company (deceased), M. Harold Macmillan,
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower, President
of the United States, 1953-61

(Submitted by Tom McHale)

President Eisenhower and Chairman Nikita Kruschev, U.S.S.R.
at Camp David - 1959

David Eisenhower bowling at Camp David.

The Gate House - 1959

The Mess Hall - 1959

Aspen Lodge and the Pond

Aspen Lodge from the South

(Items submitted by Bob Rowe)

Presidential Guard Duty at Camp David

Les Gillenwater at the Main Gate in 1960

(above item submitted by Les Gillenwater)

President Eisenhower and his wife Mamie in front of Aspen Lodge,
the Presidential Retreat

5-25-18 ... Additional information on this photo. A floor to ceiling reprint of this photo is on the wall at the Camp David Administration Building. The Navy sent me a larger print back in the early 1990's to identify the 3rd Platoon Marines in the back row-next to me is Bill Freeman (deceased). If memory serves me right, the photo was taken at around 9 AM on May 1, 1960. A few hours later, President Eisenhower heard about the downing of the U-2 (Gary F. Powers.) ... Don Keelan, Ceremonial Guard Company, 1957-1960, Arlington, VT

(above item submitted by Bob Rowe)

Aspen Lodge - 1971

Patrick Kevin Tow with President Reagan and the First Lady - 1981

1983 - President Reagan eats with the troops.

Celebrating winning the softball championship at Ft Richie
in rear - Cpl Soto and Cpl Shedd
in front - Cpl Nasse and then Capt (now MajGen) Zilmer

The 2nd platoon of B Company

Camp 3 Starboard watch

1981 Marine Corps Birthday - Camp David Style:

(Items submitted by Jerome Snowden)

Duty at Shangri-La (Camp David), Cabin C2 in the Fall of 1947 and includes:
B.J. Chilton (standing with cap), A. "Jack" Robertson (squatting), and 3rd person - unknown

Don Keelan's Camp David chart

Submitted by Don Keelan, CPA, Ceremonial Guard Company, 1957-1960, Arlington, VT

Don Keelan's article, "Straight Talking Marine"

Don Keelan's article, "The Camp David Story"

Anyone having additional submissions for this page should send them to: webmaster @

Contact us at:cgccontact @ - 8th&I Reunion Association

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8th & I Reunion Association

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