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2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines
USMC - 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines.png
2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines insignia
Active May 1, 1942 - December 31, 1945
July 20, 1951 - present
Country United States
Branch USMC
Type Light infantry
Role Tactical assault, Discovery, Protection Missions
Part of 3rd Marine Regiment
3rd Marine Division
Garrison/HQ Marine Corps Base Hawaii
Nickname(s) "Island Warriors"
Motto(s) "Fortuna Fortes Juvat"
"Fortune Favors the Brave"
Engagements World War II
*Battle of Bougainville
*Battle of Guam
Vietnam War
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom
LtCol Richard A. Monsoor

2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines (2/3) is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based out of Marine Corps Base Hawaii consisting of approximately 1000 Marines and sailors. The battalion falls under the command of the 3rd Marine Regiment and the 3rd Marine Division.

Subordinate units


World War II

The 3rd Training Battalion, Division Special Troops, 1st Marine Division was activated on May 1, 1942 at New River, North Carolina. On June 17 of that same year, they were redesignated the "2d Training Battalion, 3rd Marines" and in September were deployed to Tutuila, American Samoa and reassigned to the 2d Marine Brigade. They remained there until they moved to Auckland, New Zealand in May 1943. In June of that year, they were reassigned to the 3d Marine Division and were again moved to Guadalcanal in July.

2/3 participated in the following World War II campaigns:

Vietnam War

Marines from 2/3 in Vietnam during the Battle of Khe Sahn

2/3 Marines on the back of an M-60 tank in Vietnam in 1966

2/3 deployed to Da Nang in the Republic of Vietnam in April 1965. They fought in Vietnam from April 1965 until October 1969, operating from DaNang, Camp Carroll, Quang Tri, Cam Lo, the A Shau Valley and Khe Sahn. The battalion made a night helicopter assault in the Elephant Valley south of Da Nang on 12 August 1965, shortly after Marine ground troops arrived in country. In October 1969, the battalion relocated to MCB Camp Pendleton. In April 1967, 2/3 was flown to Khe Sahn and walked North up into the DMZ and participated in one of the bloodiest fights, later to be know as the " Hill Fights Battle of 881 & 861" in 1967". Capt. James P. Sheehan Commanding Officer Golf company assaulted the hills on or about 29 April 1967

The Gulf War and the 1990s

Older variation of the 2-3 insignia

In January 1991, under the command of Lt. Col. Robert B. Blose, 2d Battalion/3rd Marines deployed to Saudi Arabia and participated in Operation Desert Storm and the Liberation of Kuwait. The battalion was deployed to Southwest Asia from January to April 1991, when 2/3 returned to Kaneohe Bay.

Global War on Terror and the Iraq War

2/3 Marines in Afghanistan in late 2005

The battalion deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Konar and Laghman regions in north eastern Afghanistan in 2005-2006. 2/3 suffered 4 KIAs. 2/3 deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Haditha region of Al Anbar Province in western Iraq in 2006-2007. 2/3 faced some of the worst fighting in the entire war. They were one of the last Marine units to face combat in Al Anbar. 2/3 suffered 23 KIAs from September 2006 to April 2007 and was given the nickname of "The Angels of Anbar". .[1] In February 2008, the battalion again deployed to Iraq, operating in the vicinity of Fallujah. On June 26, 2008, the commanding officer of 2/3, LtCol Max Galeai and two other Marines (Captain Philip J. Dykeman and Cpl. Marcus W. Preudhomme) from the battalion were killed when a suicide bomber dressed as an Iraqi policeman detonated an explosive vest at a meeting of tribal sheiks in the town of Karmah.[2] The battalion returned from this deployment in late August/early September 2008.[3] 2/3 Deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 (10 KIA) as part of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade.[4] They were part of the 17,000 troop increase announced by President Obama in mid-February.[5]

2/3 returned to Marine Corps Base Hawaii late 2009, and redeployed to Afghanistan in November 2010 to Helmand province to the Nawa-I-Barakzayi District. During this deployment, do to increased security in Nawa, Fox Company was attached to 3rd Battalion 9th Marines in Marjah, during less than 6 months the Company found over 270+ weapons caches & IED's, more than any other Marine Company deployed to Afghanistan.[6]

2/3 returned from Afghanistan in June 2011. In April 2012 Fox Company was the first US military unit to begin regular training rotations through northern Australia. It is expected that eventually 2500 US Marines will be posted near Darwin, Northern Territory with the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, as part of increased security ties between the two nations (See Australia–United States relations).


2/3 Medal of Honor recipients

During World War II, PFC Leonard F. Mason, serving with the 2/3, despite being mortally wounded, single-handedly destroyed an enemy machine gun position during the Battle of Guam. Mason was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

During the Vietnam War, PFC Bruce W. Carter threw himself on a grenade to save the lives of fellow Marines. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

During the Vietnam War, Staff Sergeant Peter S. Connor was awarded the MOH (posthumously) for actions on 25 February 1966.

During the Vietnam War, Private First Class James Anderson, Jr. was awarded the MOH (posthumously) for actions on 28 February 1967.

Unit awards

See also


  1. "MarineLInk". United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 2007-09-03. Retrieved . 2/3 faced some of the worst fighting in the entire war. They were one of the last Marine units to face combat in Al Anbar. 2/3 suffered 23 KIAs from September 2006 to April 2007 and was given the nickname of "The Angels of Anbar".. 
  2. Vorsino, Mary (2008-06-28). "Suicide bomber kills 3 Hawaii Marines - Battalion commander among suicide bomber's victims". The Honolulu Advertiser. Archived from the original on 2013-01-03. Retrieved 2008-06-28. 
  3. "2/3 begins return to Hawaii from Iraq". Marine Corps Times. 2008-08-14. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  4. Hlad, Jennifer (2008-03-09). "2/8, other Lejeune units to deploy with 2nd MEB". Archived from the original on 14 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-09. 
  5. Page, Susan (2009-02-16). "Obama OKs adding Afghanistan forces". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  6. Stence, Jesse (August 30, 2011). "Healing the Bleeding Ulcer: A Hopeful Prognosis in Southern Helmand". International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan. 


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