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3rd Marine Regiment
3rd Marine Regimental Crest.jpg
3rd Marine Regiment Insignia
Active December 20, 1916 -
Country United States of America
Branch United States Marine Corps
Type Infantry regiment
Role Destruction, tactical offensive, conservation, exploration missions
Part of 3rd Marine Division
III Marine Expeditionary Force
Garrison/HQ Marine Corps Base Hawaii
Nickname(s) 3rd Marines
Motto(s) Fortuna Fortes Juvat

World War II

Vietnam War

Operation Desert Storm

Operation Enduring Freedom

Operation Iraqi Freedom

  • Haditha
  • Al-Karmah
Ceremonial chief US-O3 insignia.svg Travis Matter
Colonel of
the Regiment
US-O6 insignia.svg Richard A. Monsoor

The 3rd Marine Regiment is an infantry regiment of the United States Marine Corps based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. They fall under the 3rd Marine Division and the III Marine Expeditionary Force.

Current units

The regiment comprises three infantry battalions, and one headquarters company.

Headquarters Company 3rd Marines
1st Battalion 3rd Marines
2nd Battalion 3rd Marines
3rd Battalion 3rd Marines


Early years

The 3d Marine Regiment was originally formed as part of the 1st Provisional Brigade, created in March 1911.[1] A 3d Regiment was formed on 14 March 1911 by consolidating Marine detachments from the various ships of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet then at anchor within Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.[2] The regimental commander was Lieutenant Colonel Ben H. Fuller, who later became the 15th Commandant of the Marine Corps (1930-1934). Until 17 June 1911, the 3d Regiment was stationed at Camp Meyer, Deer Point, Guantanamo Bay. Companies E, F, and H reverted to their original assignments as ships' detachments on 10–11 June, while the rest of the regiment's letter companies did so on 17 June, at which time the 3d Regiment was disbanded.[3]

Another provisional regiment, tentatively designated as the 3d, was formed on 21 April 1914 from Marine detachments of the ships that had converged on Vera Cruz. It was commanded by Major Albertus W. Catlin of USS Arkansas. Assigned to support the activities of the 2d Marine Regiment already ashore, the 3d landed the same day it was formed.[4] During the same period, another 3d Regiment was assembled at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 22 April 1914, under the command of Colonel Franklin J. Moses. It departed for Vera Cruz on board SS Morro Castle the next day.[5]

With the arrival of Colonel Moses' 3d Regiment at Vera Cruz on 30 April, all Marine units, except Major Catlin's command, were placed under the operational control of United States Expeditionary Forces, United States Army.[6] Major Catlin's 3d Regiment was disbanded the same date, with its personnel returning to their respective ships.[7] During its stay in Mexico, Colonel Moses' command performed outpost and patrol duty and, at the same time, improved sanitary and living conditions within its sector.[8]

Colonel Moses died of pneumonia on 26 September, six days after being evacuated to the hospital ship, USS Solace.[9] He was succeeded by Major John H. Russell, who later became the 16th Commandant of the Marine Corps (1934-1936). The 3d Regiment left Vera Cruz on 23 November, arrived at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 4 December, and was disbanded the following day.[10]

The regiment was reactivated on December 20, 1916 from assets of the 1st Marine Regiment in the Dominican Republic. They were attached to the 2nd Brigade and deactivated on August 1, 1922.[11]

World War II

The 3rd Marine Regiment was reactivated on June 16, 1942, at New River, North Carolina, as part of the World War II military expansion. They deployed to American Samoa on September 14, 1942 and were attached to the 2nd Marine Brigade. The regiment redeployed to New Zealand on May 23, 1943 and were reassigned to the 3rd Marine Division at that time.[11] The regiment fought at Bougainville and Guam. Four Medals of Honor were awarded to members of 3rd Marines for actions during this period.

Following World War II, the regiment was ordered to China to aid in the disarming of Japanese units and to assist the Nationalist government in the occupation of Northern China in an effort to deny land to the communists.

Vietnam War

3rd Marines was one of the first Marine units into South Vietnam when it provided security for the Da Nang Air Base in early 1965. Ultimately, 3d Marines was to participate in 48 major operations in the Republic of Vietnam.

Following the retrograde of forces from Vietnam, the regiment was initially relocated to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California and assigned to the 5th Marine Amphibious Brigade. During April 1971, the regiment became part of the 1st Marine Division. Two months later, the regiment was moved to Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, to assume the role of the ground combat component of the 1st Marine Brigade.

1980s & 1990s

3rd Marines was one of the first combat forces to deploy to Saudi Arabia in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. The regiment, which became known as Task Force Taro in honor of the state and people of Hawaii, became the first American unit to be engaged by Iraqi artillery, rocket and missile fire on January 18, 1991. They countered the Iraqi supporting attacks by conducting artillery raids into Kuwait as the first ground offensive actions of the war. Task force Taro was instrumental in the recapture of Khafji, was the first unit to advance into Kuwait, conducted the only heliborne assault of the war and secured the Marine Corp’s final objective of the war, Kuwait International Airport.

Following the cease-fire on February 28, 1991, the regiment redeployed to Saudi Arabia and subsequently completed its strategic redeployment to Hawaii two months later.


The 3rd Marines has deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the Global War on Terror. One of their officers, Stephen J. Boada won the Silver Star for actions there. He became the first Marine in the regiment and from Hawaii to be awarded one of the major awards for valor since the Vietnam War. An NCO from 1st Battalion 3rd Marines, Cpl Kristopher Kane, was later awarded a Silver Star for actions during the Second Battle of Fallujah.[12] The regiment deployed to Afghanistan in late 2008 and became Regimental Combat Team 3 during Operation Khanjar in Helmand Province, and returned to Helmand from late 2009 through May 2010, when it participated in Operation Moshtarak.

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.
  1. Benis M. Frank, A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE 3D MARINES, Air War College, accessed May 2012. Hereafter Frank, AWC.
  2. "Muster Rolls," 3d Regt, Mar 1911 (Unit Diary Section, Personnel Department, HQMC), via Frank, AWC
  3. Muster Rolls for 3d Regt, June 1911, via Frank, AWC.
  4. Clyde H. Metcalf, "A History of the United States Marine Corps" (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1939), p. 302ff, via Frank, AWC.
  5. "Muster Rolls," Field and Staff, 3d Regt, April 1914, via Frank, AWC.
  6. "Muster Rolls," 3d Regt, Apr 1914, via Frank, AWC.
  7. "Muster Rolls," for Marine Detachments of USS Arkansas, USS Florida, USS Louisiana, USS MICHIGAN, USS MINNESOTA, USS NEW HAMPSHIRE, USS NEW JERSEY, USS SOUTH CAROLINA, USS UTAH, AND USS VERMONT, April 1914, via Frank, AWC.
  8. "CMC Report," 1914, p. 304; Metcalf, "USMC Hist," p. 304.
  9. "Muster Rolls," 3d Regt, September 1914, via Frank, AWC.
  10. "Muster Rolls," 3d Regt, December 1914, via Frank, AWC.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Rottman, Gordon L. (2002). U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle – Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War.. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31906-5. 
  12. Although Kane's award predates Boada's, Boada's award was presented first.

External links

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