2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines cased their colors during the unit deactivation ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii Jan. 21.
2/3 first activated 1 May 1942 at New River, NC as the 3rd Training Battalion and assigned to Divisional Special Troops, 1st Marine Division. A year later, the 2/3 was the first battalion to storm the beaches of Bougainville. During World War II, 2/3 participated in the battles of Bougainville, Northern Solomons, Guam and Iwo Jima. 2/3 fought in the streets and jungles of Vietnam, operating in Da-Nang, Quan Tri and Khe Sanh. The battalion also participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During the Global War on Terrorism, 2/3 made three combat deployments to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and two combat deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“Although our battalion colors will not fly tomorrow, our spirit – the nature and character of the Island Warrior – permeates throughout our corps,” said Lt. Col. Brandon H. Turner, 2nd Battalion commander. , 3rd Marines. “Our Marine Corps is moving forward, and we, always true to the cause, are also moving forward. Fortune smiles on the brave. We are and always will be the Island Warriors.”
“Although our battalion colors won’t fly tomorrow, our spirit – the nature and character of the Island Warrior – is spreading throughout our Corps.” Lt. Col. Brandon H. Turner, 2/3 Commander
During the ceremony, Col. Timothy S. Brady Jr, commanding officer of 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division, addressed the audience: “While today is a dark day in history as the Island Warriors decommissioning, today symbolizes a critical change for the Marine Corps. A change needed to answer the call again. A change that allows the Marine Corps to reorganize and establish new formations like the Marine Littoral Regiment: A unit ready to fight and win against any rising threat in the Pacific.
The battalion deactivates in accordance with Force Design 2030 as the 3rd Marines becomes the 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment, the Corps’ first such unit. The MLR transformation calls for the deactivation of certain units and capabilities in order to modernize the force for future combat. The MLR, integrated with the naval forces, will contribute to the control of the sea and the interdiction of the sea in actively contested maritime spaces.
3rd MLR will train and evolve to be ready to fight now as part of 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force. This new designation reflects the Corps’ ongoing efforts to ensure that Marines remain capable of fighting and winning on the battlefields of the future, should the need arise.