San Diego's Military Community

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San Diego is home to the nation's largest concentration of military personnel.  More than 15,000 active duty service members transition out of active duty service in San Diego each year. More than half of those transitioning want to stay in San Diego, which is the number one destination for veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. There are more veterans in San Diego than there are active duty personnel. More than 240,000 veterans reside here in America's finest city.

As a current or former service member, or spouse of a current or former service member, you won't find a more ideal place to attend law school than in San Diego.

Active Duty

According to a recent SDMAC Military Impact Study:

  • San Diego is home to the nation’s largest concentration of military personnel
  • There are more than 100,000 active duty service members in San Diego.  These active duty service members are split roughly evenly between the Navy and the Marine Corps. The largest installations are:
    • Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
    • Marine Corps Base and Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton
    • Naval Base Point Loma
    • Naval Base Coronado
    • Naval Base San Diego
  • San Diego is home to 60% of the ships in the fleet of the U.S. Navy, and 1/3 of the active duty force of the U.S. Marine Corps
  • The military and its spending in the region accounted for 26% of the jobs in San Diego in 2011


According to the San Diego Chamber of Commerce "Military Employment in San Diego" Report:

  • More than 240,500 veterans reside in San Diego and another 370,000 live in Los Angeles County
  • Military veterans make up more than 13% of the population of San Diego County
  • San Diego County is estimated to have the third-highest number of veteran residents of any county in the nation
  • 13.5% of San Diego County businesses are owned or jointly owned by veterans
  • San Diego County is “the number one destination in the nation for newly returning veterans”
  • San Diego veterans are comparatively young.  The population between eighteen and thirty-five years old is approximately double that of national figures
  • San Diego veterans are “younger and better educated” than the national average
  • 35% of San Diego-area veterans hold a bachelor’s degree or higher