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U.S. Army Garrison Presidio of Monterey Military Base Guide

The United States Army Garrison Presidio of Monterey is just under 120 miles south of San Francisco in California. The Presidio is the home location for the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, also known as DLI. This foreign language education center features eight language schools and the Emerging Languages Task Force.

Find information about Army Garrison Presidio of Monterey, including the main contact numbers for the base, basic services, base transportation, lodging for TDY and PSCing personnel, and childcare.

Presidio Of Monterey History

There is much pre-Army history in the area, but what we know today as the Presidio didn’t start until 1902 (comparatively late viewed next to some older Army installations) when it was a mere Army post known as Ord Barracks. The U.S. War Department later redesignated the site as the Presidio of Monterey.

The installation served as a training area from 1907 to 1917. Operations here included musket training, and by 1940, the site had expanded to become Fort Ord.

After a brief deactivation period following the end of World War Two, training began at the base once more, starting in 1945. The area that now includes the Presidio was under Fort Ord until 1994 when that installation was closed, and the Presidio became an independent entity.

1963 brought important mission changes at the Presidio: enter the Defense Language Institute. By 1976, there would be another redesignation, and the DLI operation was rebranded as the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. Today, these missions are the primary ones for the installation.

Presidio Of Monterey Surrounding Area

The Presidio of Monterey is 117 miles from San Francisco, California. California bases typically feature an elevated cost of living, so it is smart to discuss your relocation here with your sponsor or gaining unit command support staff to learn how to prepare for a PCS or TDY in the area.

Local attractions include the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. If you are into whale watching, private companies offer boat tours, kayaking, and plenty of other water-based activities.

California is famous for its wine country, there are many tours and events at regional wineries and growing operations. If you are interested in golf, you have a lot to discover here, starting with the Del Monte Golf Course and Monterey Pines Golf Club, and nearby Pebble Beach also holds an appeal for those who love the links.

The Presidio is closer to Santa Barbara than it is to Hollywood, but some will make the 5-hour plus drive south to visit movie industry heaven, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Hollywood Sign.

Mission and Units

The main mission at the Presidio Of Monterey is the operation of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. Support operations and tenant units operate here, too. They have included but are not limited to:

  • 229th Military Intelligence Battalion – A Company
  • 229th Military Intelligence Battalion – B Company
  • 229th Military Intelligence Battalion – C Company
  • 229th Military Intelligence Battalion – Command Group
  • 229th Military Intelligence Battalion – D Company
  • 229th Military Intelligence Battalion – E Company
  • 229th Military Intelligence Battalion – F Company
  • 311th Training Squadron – Air Force
  • 314th Training Squadron – Air Force
  • Center for Intelligence Dominance Detachment – Navy
  • DLIFLC/POM Staff Duty Office
  • Headquarters and Headquarters Command USA Element
  • HQ 14th Brigade Western Region ROTC
  • Marine Corps Detachment – MCD

In-Processing and Check-In

All new arrivals are directed to check in with their gaining unit or as directed by DLI regulations.

If you are PCSing or coming TDY to the Presidio, including incoming students, staff, and permanent party, and are arriving after duty hours, check-in at the BN Staff Duty Building 630 or call 831-402-4839 for information.

All new arrivals in uniform must attend a Joint Services In-processing Brief, held on Tuesday mornings. Your gaining unit or instructors will direct you where to go to attend this briefing. Family members are encouraged to attend.

Presidio Of Monterey Child Care

Due to high demand, it is best to start learning about your childcare options at the Presidio as soon as you have orders. Contact the Monterey Road Child Development Center at (831) 583-1050 to learn how to sign up for waiting lists, register a child or learn about costs. Full-day, part-day, and hourly care are offered, but some services may require reservations.

You may also have childcare options thanks to a program called Family Child Care (FCC), which offers a home care environment with a small number of children. FCC homes are inspected and regulated. They are typically located in on-base housing. Get more information on FCC by calling DSN (312) 768-7765.

Presidio Housing

There is high demand for on-base housing, and living on the local economy can be quite expensive. Expect waiting lists for on-base quarters regardless of family size.

Off-base housing is expensive, and advice from the Presidio official site includes a recommendation that military members PCSing to the area with families should delay moving the family to the area until housing has been secured on or off post.

Wait times for military family housing can be as long as 90 days during peak season. Those arriving at the base to attend classes at the Defense Language School at the Presidio of Monterey are likely to be given housing on the site of the former Fort Ord. When you arrive at the Presidio, expect to hand-carry the following documents to apply for housing:

  • DA FORM 137 Installation Clearance Record
  • PCS Orders or TDY orders, where applicable
  • DD Form 93 Emergency Data Card
  • DD Form 1746 Application for Housing
  • Dependent IDs and other identification

Check with your gaining unit for procedures that may be required if you are not a student. Unaccompanied or so-called geographic bachelors may be assigned housing based on the policies and procedures of their branch of service as operating at the Presidio or the schoolhouse they are attending.

Related: Basic Allowance for Housing Calculator


The Presidio of Monterey Commissary is located at:

Presidio of Monterey Commissary
Ord Military Community
4240 Gigling Road
Seaside, CA 93955

PCS and TDY Lodging

High demand and other variables may affect your ability to get on or off-base temporary lodging. Book as far in advance as you can for the best results. Don’t be surprised if you have no off-base options if you come to the area during peak PCS or TDY season, peak tourist season, or natural disasters such as wildfires or flooding.

Contact the Presidio Lodging Office at 831-645-1199 or DSN 312-768-1199. Pet-friendly units are typically not available.

For Naval Postgraduate School lodging, call 831-372-6133 or 800-628-9466. You also have the option to try Navy Gateway Inn and Suites (formerly bachelor officer quarters) which offers lodging for those traveling on PCS orders. For reservations, call 831-656-2060.


There is no government shuttle service from nearby airports to the Presidio. Depending on demand and other factors, you may be able to use base taxi and shuttle services between on-post destinations. Students assigned to the Defense Foreign Language Institute are encouraged to use a free Monterey-Salinas shuttle bus service on post.

Monterey Regional Airport is the closest to the Presidio. Discuss your arrival with your sponsor or someone from your gaining unit to learn how to navigate California’s unique travel conditions, rush hour, etc.

Vehicle Registration

The Presidio is not open to the public and all drivers must provide military ID, copies of orders, and submit to searches or inspections as mission needs require.

You may be required to obtain a base decal. All vehicles operated in the state must comply with California state law regarding safety equipment, strict emissions testing and must have state-required insurance coverage.

Presidio Of Monterey Schools

The Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (MPUSD) serves all military housing areas at the Presidio. Those living off base in Monterey, Seaside, Marina, Del Rey Oaks, and Sand City may also send school-age children to an MPUSD school, depending on location.

Those living elsewhere may have one of the following options:

  • Pacific Grove Unified School District
  • Carmel Unified School District
  • Salinas Union High School District
  • Salinas City Elementary School District
  • Washington Union School District
  • North Monterey County Unified School District

Contact Presidio School Support Services at DSN (312)768-6904 to learn more about required documents and transfer procedures.

Colleges and Universities

The Presidio Education Center is located at:

Bldg 636 B. Rifle Range Road, Presidio of Monterey, 93944
DSN: 768-5325

The Center provides guidance counselors on a walk-in basis to help military personnel and adult family members find education programs and services.

The Education Center has announced, “We no longer provide test administration for the ACT and SAT at the POM Education Center. Also, DANTES no longer funds these exams for Service Members. DANTES sunset the College and Career Readiness Exams Reimbursement Program for ACT, SAT, GED, GRE, GMAT, and PRAXIS on Wednesday, 30 June 2021. These exams are still available at cost and can be scheduled at participating National Testing Centers.”

The Presidio Education Center administers the following tests to service members at no cost.

  • Selection Instrument for Flight Training (SIFT)
  • Armed Forces Classification Test (AFCT)
  • Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE)
  • DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
  • Air University Firefighter Exams

Local colleges in the area and college resources include but may not be limited to:

  • California State University Monterey Bay
  • Middlebury Institute of International Studies
  • Monterey College of Law
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Brandman University ( UMAS GLOBAL)
  • Golden Gate University
  • Excelsior College
  • Hartnell College

Related: Ultimate GI Bill Guide

Presidio Contacts

Tin Barn W, Rifle Range Road
BLDG 518
Monterey, CA 93944

Important Contact Numbers:

  • Emergency – 911
  • Hospital Medical Treatment Facility – (831) 242-5234
  • ID CAC Card Processing – (831) 242-5209
  • Base Operator – (831) 242-5119
  • Suicide Prevention Hotline – 800 273-8255
  • Central Registration Child Development Center – (831) 242-7184
  • Family Child Care – (831) 242-5032
  • Presidio of Monterey Army Health Clinic – EFMP Enrollment – (831) 242-5741
  • Family Advocacy Program Manager – (831) 242-7653
  • Family Center – (831) 242-7660
  • New Parent Support Program -(831) 242-7653
  • School Age Services – (831) 242-7822
  • Victim Advocate Services – (831) 242-7653
  • Presidio of Monterey Dental Clinic – (831) 242-5613
  • Presidio of Monterey Army Health Clinic – (831) 242-5234
  • Monterey Bay Military Housing Office – Welcome Center – (831) 644-0400
  • Navy Lodge Monterey – (831) 372-6133
  • Presidio of Monterey Lodging Reservation Office – (831) 645-1199
  • Personnel Support Office and ID Card Section – (831) 242-5949
  • Army School Liaison Officer – (831) 242-6904

Related: Ultimate Military Benefits Guide

About the author

Editor-in-Chief | + posts

Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.