1st Battalion 7th Marines

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1st Battalion, 7th Marines
1batallon 7regimiento 1division marines.png
1st Battalion, 7th Marines insignia
Active 1 April 1921 – present
Country United States
Allegiance United States of America
Branch United States Marine Corps
Type Light infantry
Size 1,200
Part of 7th Marine Regiment
1st Marine Division
Garrison/HQ Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms
Nickname First Team
First of the Seventh
Motto "Pride, Devotion, Loyalty"
Engagements

World War II

Battle of Guadalcanal
Battle of Peleliu

Korean War

Battle of Chosin Reservoir

Vietnam War

Operation Desert Storm
Operation Restore Hope
Operation Iraqi Freedom
2003 invasion of Iraq

Operation Enduring Freedom
Commanders
Current
commander
Lieutenant Colonel Seth E. Yost
Notable
commanders
Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller
Raymond G. Davis
James Mattis

The 1st Battalion, 7th Marines (1/7) is an infantry battalion of the United States Marine Corps. It is based at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, consists of approximately 1,000 Marines, and is part of the 1st Marine Division.

Famous Marines who have served in 1/7 include Lieutenant General Lewis "Chesty" Puller and Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone.

History[edit]

The 1st Battalion, 7th Marines was created on 1 April 1921 in San Diego, California. In September 1924, the Battalion was deactivated with its personnel being absorbed by the newly organized 4th Marine Regiment. For the next twenty years the Battalion was activated, re-designated and disbanded on numerous occasions until being reborn on 1 January 1941.

World War II[edit]

Just over a year after its rebirth, the Battalion deployed to take part in the Pacific Theater during World War II, where its personnel saw their first action of the war at Guadalcanal. Under its commander, Lieutenant Colonel Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, the Battalion distinguished itself many times over for valor and bravery as it valiantly held its positions against the onslaught of a regiment of seasoned Japanese attackers. It was also during this campaign that the legendary Sgt "Manila John" Basilone was awarded the Medal of Honor for defending the regiment from a comprehensive Japanese assault using only a machine gun. Throughout the remainder of the war, the "First Team" distinguished itself throughout many campaigns, including the Battle of Cape Gloucester, the Battle of Peleliu and the Battle of Okinawa.

The battalion deployed to North China for occupation duty at the end of the war.

Korean War[edit]

Following World War II, the "First of the Seventh" was sent to Camp Pendleton in California where it was deactivated on 5 March 1947. However, in response to the invasion of South Korea by the communist North Korea, the battalion was again called into action. On 21 September 1950, the unit carried out an amphibious landing at Inchon. Once more the "First Team" distinguished itself in the battle as it took part in operations such as 'Hook', 'Reno' and 'Vegas', as well as fighting its way to and from the Chosin Reservoir. It was during this war that such names as 1st Lt Frank Mitchell, SSgt Archie Van Winkle and Lt Col Raymond C. Davis, became part of Marine Corps history when each were awarded the Medal of Honor.

Following the cessation of hostilities in Korea and through 1965, the Battalion spent time both in Camp Pendleton and Okinawa while maintaining its combat readiness.

Vietnam War[edit]

In August 1965, the battalion was once again called to service, this time in the Republic of Vietnam. For the next five years, the "First Team" participated in numerous operations such as 'Starlite', 'Piranha' and 'Oklahoma Hills'. During these operations and many others, the battalion was honored repeatedly, earning the Presidential Unit Citation Streamer four times and the Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer three times; while Robert R. Ingram would be awarded the Medal of Honor in 1966.[1]

Five Marines from the battalion were responsible for the only war crime attributable to the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. On 19 February 1970, in the village of Son Thang-4 just southwest of Danang, a five man patrol from the unit executed five women and eleven children. One member of the team was convicted of premeditated murder.[2]

Gulf War[edit]

The 1st Battalion, 7th Marines was the first unit to man defensive positions in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield in August 1990. The unit was an integral member of Task Force Ripper. As Desert Shield became Desert Storm, the battalion participated in the diagonal thrust to the perimeter of Kuwait City, spearheading the liberation of Kuwait from Iraq. The battalion returned to Twentynine Palms in March 1991.

Somalia[edit]

On 11 December 1992, the first elements of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines arrived at Mogadishu, Somalia for Operation Restore Hope. Battalion operations were conducted in Baidoa, Bardera, Oddur, Afgoye and Mogadishu. The battalion relieved Task Force Mogadishu for occupation of the Stadium Complex in Mogadishu on 25 January 1993. The following night, Lance Corporal Anthony Botello was killed by a sniper while on night patrol in the city.[3] He was the only other marine other than Pfc. Domingo Arroyo of 3/11 to be killed in action in Somalia. The Battalion turned over their mission and area of operations in Mogadishu to the 10th Baluch Battalion on 24 April 1993 and returned to Twentynine Palms.

Operation Iraqi Freedom[edit]

color photo of three Marines entering a partially destroyed palace
Marines enter a palace in Baghdad

In January 2003, the Battalion was deployed on Operation Iraqi Freedom. It crossed the Kuwaiti border into Iraq on 18 March; its first mission was to seize the strategically prominent oil pumping and control station in Az Zubayr. This station was so important because more than 50% of Iraq's oil was controlled by it.[4] The Battalion saw significant combat action on its way to Baghdad and in the streets of the Iraqi capital. On 23 April, the Battalion turned over control of their sector to the U.S. Army and took up positions in the city of An Najaf. After countless extensions, the Battalion returned to Twentynine Palms, on 5 October 2003.

In August 2004, the Battalion deployed once more, but this time to Western Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. There the Battalion conducted security operations in the cities and roadways along the Euphrates River and Syrian border to include Husaybah, Karabilah, Sadah, Ubaydi, Al Qa'im, Haditha, Hit and Haqlania. Involved in combat operations on a daily basis, battalion personnel conducted mounted and dismounted urban patrols, cordon knocks, Main Supply Route (MSR) security, sweep operations, and border security to clear the Battalions' Area of Operation (AO) of enemy insurgents.

Marines with 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment in 2010

In March 2006, the Battalion again deployed to Iraq and operated near the Iraqi-Syrian border, conducting dismounted urban patrols, weapons cache sweeping and vehicle checkpoints.[5] It returned in September 2006.[6]

1/7 returned to Western Al Anbar in August 2007. Assigned to AO Hīt, the Marines conducted thousands of combat patrols and weapon cache sweeps. The Task Force found over 22,000 pieces of ordnance during the deployment and captured over 200 suspected terrorists and criminals. TF 1/7 was partnered with two Iraqi infantry battalions and two police districts. The training and development of the Iraqi units was so successful that the city of Hit was the first city within the Al Anbar Province to be returned to Iraqi control. The Battalion returned to 29 Palms in March 2008.

In February 2009, 1/7 returned to the Al Anbar province. Assigned to Fallujah and Al-Karmah, it was tasked to maintain security in the area with close cooperation with Iraqi police, the Iraqi Army and Provincial Security Forces. Upon departing the region in August and September 2009, the battalion turned over the AO to Iraqi control before returning to the United States.

Operation Enduring Freedom[edit]

In March 2012, 1/7 deployed to Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency operations and support the transition of authority from U.S. forces to the Afghan National Security Forces. The battalion returned in October 2012. In March 2014, 1/7 again deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Marines with Weapons Company, 1/7, land during a mission in Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 28, 2014.

Medal of Honor recipients[edit]

John Basilone in his Marine Corps uniform
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War

Notable Marines[edit]

  • Christopher Van Etten Wounded Afghanistan veteran, & up & coming model[7][8]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ SuicideCharley.Com (2 July 2008). "Suicide Charley Medal Of Honor Recipients". SuicideCharley.Com News. Archived from the original on 2 December 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Warren, "American Spartans", p. 350
  3. ^ http://battleofmogadishu.com/in-memoriam/died-in-somalia/anthony-botello
  4. ^ Gordon (2006), p.220-21.
  5. ^ Corporal Antonio Rosas (2 July 2006). "Marines battle the elements while facing insurgents and improvised explosive devices". Marine Corps News. Archived from the original on 4 July 2006. Retrieved 3 July 2006. 
  6. ^ "1/7 Marines return from third deployment to warm welcome". OP-29-Online. 6 October 2006. Retrieved 7 October 2006. 
  7. ^ http://unstoppableheroes.com/chris-van-etten/
  8. ^ http://www.underwearexpert.com/2014/08/model-week-chris-van-etten/

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

Bibliography
  • Gordon, Michael R.; General Bernard E. Trainor (2006). Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq. New York: Random House. ISBN 1-4000-7539-4. 
  • Owen, Joseph R. (1997). Colder Than Hell: A Marine Rifle Company at Chosin Reservoir. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-8041-1697-0. 
  • Solis, Gary D. (1997). Son Thang: An American War Crime. United States Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-743-0. 
  • Warren, James A. (2007). American Spartans: The U.S. Marines: A Combat History from Iwo Jima to Iraq. Pocket Books. ISBN 978-1-4165-3297-2. 
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