2nd Battalion, 1st Marines

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2nd Battalion, 1st Marines
2-1 Logo.svg
2nd Battalion, 1st Marines insignia
  • August 1, 1922 – July 20, 1924
  • March 1, 1941 – October 31, 1947
  • August 4, 1950 – January 24, 1989
  • September 9, 1994 – present
CountryUnited States
BranchUnited States Marine Corps
TypeLight infantry
RoleLocate, close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver
Part of1st Marine Regiment
1st Marine Division
Garrison/HQMarine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
Nickname(s)The Professionals, Ghost Battalion
Motto(s)No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy Gunsmoke
EngagementsWorld War II

Korean War

Vietnam War
War on Terror

LtCol John M. Hunt
James M. Masters, Sr.
Edwin A. Pollock
William W. Stickney
Charles F. Widdecke
Archie Van Winkle
William G. Leftwich, Jr.
Peter Pace

2nd Battalion, 1st Marines (2/1) is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based out of Camp Horno on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. Nicknamed "The Professionals," the battalion consists of approximately 1,200 Marines and sailors. Normally they fall under the command of 1st Marine Regiment and the 1st Marine Division.

Subordinate units[edit]


  • Activated August 1, 1922, at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, as the 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment and assigned to the 2d Brigade.
  • Participated in the occupation of the Dominican Republic, Deactivated July 20, 1924

World War II[edit]

Two Marines, Davis P. Hargraves with Thompson submachine gun and Gabriel Chavarria with BAR, of 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, advance on Wana Ridge on May 18, 1945.
Lt. Colonel William W. Stickney cuts a Thanksgiving cake with a Japanese officer's sword at Guadalcanal, as hungry Leathernecks look on.

Korean War and early 1960s[edit]

  • Reactivated August 4, 1950, at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and assigned to the 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force
  • Deployed during August 1950 to Kobe, Japan
  • Participated in the Korean War, September 1950 – July 1953,
  • Relocated during April 1955 to Camp Pendleton, California
  • Participated in the Battalion transplacement system between the 1st Marine Division and the 3d Marine Division
  • Participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis, October–December 1962

Vietnam War[edit]

Post War and the 1980s[edit]

  • Participated during April – May 1975 in Operation New Arrivals, the relocation of refugees from Indochina
  • Participated in the Battalion rotation between the 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa and Divisions stationed in the United States during the 1980s
  • Deactivated January 24, 1989
  • Reactivated September 9, 1994, at Camp Pendleton, CA, and assigned to the 1st Marine Division.

Global War on Terrorism[edit]

Marines from Echo Company passing the body of an alleged Iraqi insurgent during the First Battle of Fallujah.

As part of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, the battalion deployed to Kuwait in February 2003, and participated in the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. The battalion deployed in March 2004, to Fallujah, Iraq and took part in Operation Vigilant Resolve. They returned to Iraq in 2005 with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and engaged in combat operations during Operation Steel Curtain in Husaybah, Karabilah, and New Ubaydi, and Operation Iron Hammer in Hit. The battalion deployed to Okinawa to serve as the Ground Combat Unit for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit from January 1, 2007, until January 1, 2008. The battalion deployed to Iraq in January 2009 and returned in August of the same year.

The battalion deployed to Afghanistan in October 2010 through May 15, 2011, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. They operated in the Garmsir District, Helmand Province. In June 2012, the battalion returned to Okinawa as the Ground Combat Element for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. In March 2014, 2/1 deployed as the Ground Combat Element of the 11th MEU.

Marines with Golf Company, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, conduct daily morning section physical training on the flight deck of the USS Makin Island during Amphibious Squadron Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration (PMINT), off the coast of San Diego, California, in April 2014. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Rome M. Lazarus/Released)

Unit awards[edit]

A unit citation or commendation is an award bestowed upon an organization for the action cited. Members of the unit who participated in said actions are allowed to wear on their uniforms the awarded unit citation. 2/1 has been presented with the following awards:

Ribbon Unit Award
United States Navy Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg
Presidential Unit Citation with one Silver and four Bronze Stars
U.S. Navy Unit Commendation ribbon.svg
Navy Unit Commendation with three Bronze Stars
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg
Meritorious Unit Commendation with four Bronze Stars
Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg
Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal
American Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg
American Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
  Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one Silver and one Bronze Star
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation ribbon.svg
Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia clasp
China Service Medal ribbon.svg
China Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg
National Defense Service Medal with three Bronze Stars
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal ribbon.svg
Vietnam Service Medal with two Silver and three Bronze Stars
Presidential Unit Citation (Korea).svg
Korean Presidential unit Citation
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg
Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Streamer
Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Civil Action Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one Bronze Star
Iraq Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Iraq Campaign Medal with three Bronze Stars
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal ribbon.svg
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg
Korea Defense Service Medal
NATO Non-Article 5 medal for ISAF

Notable former members[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Shulimson, Jack; LtCol. Leonard Blasiol; Charles R. Smith; Capt. David A. Dawson (1997). U.S. Marines in Vietnam: 1968, the Defining Year. History and Museums Division, USMC. pp. 65–69.
  2. ^ Shulimson, p.160-175
  3. ^ Telfer, Gary (1984). U.S. Marines in Vietnam, Fighting the North Vietnamese 1967. History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. p. 52.
  4. ^ Telfer, p.141
  5. ^ Telfer, p.180-181
  6. ^ Shulimson, p. 723
  7. ^ Shulimson, p. 232
  8. ^ Shulimson, p. 316-320
 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.