Combat Assault Battalion

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Combat Assault Battalion
Combat Assault Battalion's Insignia
ActiveFebruary 16, 1942 – October 12, 2018
Country United States of America
Branch United States Marine Corps
TypeMechanized/Engineering Battalion
RoleAmphibious Assault
Part of3rd Marine Division
III Marine Expeditionary Force
Nickname(s)The Iron Fist
Motto(s)"Sui Generis"
EngagementsWorld War II

Korean War
Vietnam War OEF

Edwin B. Wheeler

Combat Assault Battalion was a mechanized battalion of the United States Marine Corps and subordinate element of the 3rd Marine Division and the III Marine Expeditionary Force. The unit was last based at Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan.


To conduct Amphibious Assault, Light Armored Reconnaissance and Combat Engineer operations across the ROMO in the Pacific AOR in support of MAGTF expeditionary operations.

Subordinate units[edit]

  • Headquarters and Services Company
  • Combat Engineer Company
  • Light Armored Reconnaissance Company
  • Assault Amphibian Vehicle Company


World War II[edit]

Combat Assault Battalion was activated February 16, 1942 at New River, North Carolina as the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion, 1st Marine Division. They relocated during May 1942 to Wellington, New Zealand and participated in the following World War II campaigns:

The battalion was deactivated November 17, 1945 at San Diego, California but were again reactivated May 1, 1946 at Camp Pendleton, California as the 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion, 1st Marine Division.

Korean War[edit]

Participated in the Korean War from the Pusan Perimeter in operations from Inchon to Seoul, Chosin Reservoir, East to Central Front, and the Western Front. Following the war they participated in the defense of the Korean Demilitarized Zone from August 1953 to March 1955. They were relocated during March 1955 to Camp McGill, Japan.

Vietnam War[edit]

Combat Assault Battalion was reassigned March 16, 1965 to the 3d Marine Division and relocated to Camp Hansen, Okinawa. They deployed during July 1965 to Danang, Republic of Vietnam where they were engaged in combat operations from July 1965 through July 1969. They relocated during July 1969 to Camp Schwab, Okinawa. On April 1, 1976 they were re-designated as the 1st Tracked Vehicle Battalion with two companies of M60A1(RISE Passive) Tanks and two companies of AAV-7's.

1980s and 1990s[edit]

Re-designated November 10, 1988 as the 1st Armored Assault Battalion. Again re-designated September 30, 1992 as the Combat Support Group and finally became Combat Assault Battalion on October 5, 1994.


Combat Assault Battalion was deactivated in October, 2018 with the Battalion assets divided between the rest of the 3d Marine Division. Most of the Battalion's assets including AAVs and LAV-25 mechanized vehicles were transferred to 4th Marine Regiment. The Battalion's Combat Engineer Company was be reallocated to other Marine units, including 3d Marine Regiment and 1st Combat Engineer Battalion.

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 appropriate ribbon of the awarded unit citation. The Battalion's flag is decorated with the appropriate streamers. Combat Assault Battalion, and those units for which it carries lineage and honors, was awarded the following:

Streamer Award Year(s) Additional Info
PUC 1B.PNG Presidential Unit Citation Streamer with one Silver and one Bronze Star 1942, 1944, 1945, 1950, 1951, 1965–1967, 1968 Guadalcanal, Peleliu, Okinawa, Korea, Vietnam War
Navy Unit Commendation streamer (USMC).svg Navy Unit Commendation Streamer with two Bronze Stars 1952–1953, 1968, 2002–2003 Korea, Vietnam, Western Pacific
Meritorious Unit Commendation (Navy-Marine) Streamer.jpg Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer with one Bronze Star 1967–1968, 1968 Vietnam War
Streamer APC.PNG Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Streamer with one Silver Star and one Bronze Star 1942–1945 Guadalcanal, Finschhafen, New Britain, Peleliu, Okinawa
Streamer WWII V.PNG World War II Victory Streamer 1942–1945 Pacific War
WWIIV ASIA.PNG Navy Occupation Service Streamer with "ASIA"

NDS 3B.PNG National Defense Service Streamer with three Bronze Stars 1950–1954, 1961–1974, 1990–1995, 2001–present Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, War on Terrorism
Korean Service Medal - Streamer.png Korean Service Streamer with two Silver Stars August 1950 - March 1955 Pusan Perimeter, Inchon-Seoul, Chosin Reservoir, East-Central Front, Western Front, Defense of the Demilitarized Zone
VSS 2S.PNG Vietnam Service Streamer with two Silver Stars July 1965 - July 1969 Da Nang, Cua Viet
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal streamer.png Global War on Terrorism Service Streamer 2001–present
Streamer KPUC.PNG Korea Presidential Unit Citation Streamer

VMUA PALM.PNG Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Streamer

See also[edit]



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