Marines Pillar – 1st Marine Division

Marines Pillar - 1st Marine DivisionThe 1st Marine Division is the oldest, largest and most decorated division of the US Marine Corps.  The division was activated onboard the USS Texas on 1 February 1941.  The 1st Division is a combat ready force of more than 22,000 Marines and Sailors.  The Division is comprised of Headquarters Battalion, 1st, 5th, 7th, and 11th Marine Regiments, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st and 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalions, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st and 3rd Combat Engineer Battalions and 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion.

The first major American campaign in the Pacific during World War II was Guadalcanal and it was during the Guadalcanal that the 1st Marine Division conducted its first combat operations as a division.  Due to the actions of the Division during Guadalcanal, the 1st Marine Division won its first Presidential Unit Citations of the war.  During battles of Peleliu and Okinawa the Division was awarded two more.  After the War they were sent to China for operation duty for two years.

Since their activation in 1941, the 1st Marine Division has participated in the Korean War, including the landing at Inchon, the largest amphibious operation conducted at that time, as well as the Battle of Chosin Reservoir where they pushed back enemy forces into the mountains while being surrounded by 40,000 Chinese.  The 1st Marine Division was sent to Guantanamo Bay during the Cuban Missile Crisis; sent to Vietnam; served in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm as well as Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.