8th Marine Regiment (United States)

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8th Marine Regiment
8TH20MARINES.jpg
8th Marines Insignia
Active
  • 9 October 1917 – 25 April 1919
  • 5 January 1920 – 1 July 1925
  • 1 April 1940 – 17 October 1949
  • 19 August 1950 – present
Country United States
Branch USMC
Type Infantry Regiment
Role Locate, close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver or repel the enemy's assault with fire and close combat.
Part of 2nd Marine Division
II Marine Expeditionary Force
Garrison/HQ Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune
Motto "More Than Duty"
Engagements World War II
* Battle of Guadalcanal
* Battle of Tarawa
* Battle of Saipan
* Battle of Tinian
* Battle of Okinawa
Operation Urgent Fury
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel Kenneth M. DeTreux

The 8th Marine Regiment is an infantry regiment of the United States Marine Corps. They are based at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and fall under the command of the 2nd Marine Division and the II Marine Expeditionary Force.

Subordinate units[edit]

The Regiment comprises four infantry battalions and one headquarters company:

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The 8th Marine Regiment was formed on 9 October 1917, at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia during the buildup for World War I. While training for war, the command was transferred to Fort Crockett, Texas to guard the nearby Mexican oil fields. The regiment was joined there by the 9th Marines to form the 3d Marine Brigade; the first Advance Base Force of World War I. As such, the Marines were held in reserve to establish and defend naval bases in the Atlantic Ocean or the West Indies, if required. The 8th Marines was inactivated at Philadelphia Navy Yard on 25 April 1919.

A year later, the regiment was reactivated for service in Haiti where Marines had been fighting the Cacos bandits since 1914. Through systematic patrolling which culminated in a number of brief, sharp clashes, the 8th Marines eliminated Haitian banditry that had lasted more than a hundred years. With its mission accomplished, the 8th Marines was inactivated again in 1925.

World War II[edit]

In 1940 the Regiment was formed once more, in San Diego, California. It was the first Marine Regiment to deploy into the Pacific waters to Samoa. After ten months of jungle training, while defending the Samoan Islands, the Regiment sailed to reinforce the engaged 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal. While there, the 8th Marines won its first Presidential Unit Citation. When the 8th arrived on Guadalcanal they were still wearing the Kelly Transitional helmet according to the book, 'My Helmet for a Pillow'.

Joining the 2nd Marine Division in New Zealand, the 8th Marines spent several months refitting for the Battle of Tarawa. In 76 hours of some of the bloodiest fighting in American history, the Marines seized that island and opened the door to the Japanese Empire. For its gallant performance, the 8th Marine Regiment received its second Presidential Unit Citation.

After refitting in Hawaii, the 8th Marines sailed for the Marianas, to storm the beaches of Saipan and Tinian, capturing key bases for the air war against Japan. Reinforced with artillery, the Regiment later joined the 1st and 6th Divisions in the Battle of Okinawa.

Post-war years[edit]

In the 1980s 2nd Battalion 8th Marines participated in Operation Urgent Fury, the successful liberation of the Island of Grenada and the rescue of American students. Immediately after departing Grenada, 2d Battalion, 8th Marines continued their deployment to join the Multi-National Peacekeeping Force in Beirut, Lebanon. They were withdrawn from Beirut on 26 February 1984, ending their duties as part of the Multi-National Peacekeeping Force and resuming their commitment as the Landing Force Sixth Fleet (LF6F) Battalion Landing Team.

From December 1990 to April 1991 the 8th Marines participated in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. 2d Battalion, 8th Marines participated in Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq from April to July 1991.

Global War on Terrorism[edit]

Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, partnered with Afghan National Police, patrol through Garmsir District, Helmand province, Afghanistan, 1 June 2012

8th Marines deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in the February 2005. They operated around the city of Fallujah, Iraq. The Marines secured the city ahead of the December 2005 national elections.[1]

8th Marines redeployed to Iraq in January 2009, taking over responsibility for the western Al-Anbar province from the 5th Marines. During this period, RCT-8 continued and completed the major retrograde of equipment out of Iraq, and also continued civil affairs operations to stabilize the Area of Operation. Due to the drawdown of forces throughout the country, RCT-8's deployment was cut short and they were ordered to redeploy home in September 2009, instead of their original departure date of January 2010.[2]

On 7 January 2011, the Department of Defense officially announced that RCT-8 would be deploying in early 2011 to Afghanistan for approximately one year in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]