Patch
Unit Details

Strength
Division
Type
Ground Unit
 
Existing/Disbanded
Existing
Year
1936 - Present

Description

The 2nd Marine Division (2nd MARDIV) is a division of the United States Marine Corps, which forms the ground combat element of the II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF). The division is based at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and headquartered at Julian C. Smith Hall.

The 2nd Marine Division earned renown in World War II, distinguishing itself at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa

The lineal forebearer of the 2nd Marine Division is the 2nd Marine Brigade, which was activated on 1 July 1936 at San Diego, California.

The 2nd Marine Division was officially organized on February 1, 1941 at Camp Elliott, California by change of designation from the 2nd Marine Brigade.


Reports To
II MEF
 
Active Reporting Units
 
Inactive Reporting Unit
 
2648 Members Who Served in This Unit


 

  • Abbe, Robert, Cpl, (1962-1966)
  • Acevedo, David, CWO3, (1988-2010)
  • Adames, Jorge, LCpl, (1955-1959)
  • Adams, Bryce, SSgt, (1992-2012)
  • Adams, Kenny, Cpl, (1955-1959)
  • Afalla, Janhenry, Sgt, (2004-Present)
  • Ahrens, Bill, Sgt, (1948-1956)
  • Aitken, Hugh, BGen, (1946-1980)
  • Ake, Curtis, GySgt, (1982-2002)
  • Akins, Allen, Sgt, (1973-1980)
  • Albert, David, Cpl, (1972-1975)
  • Alberts, Jeremie, Sgt, (2006-2014)
  • Albrecht, Travis, SSgt, (2000-Present)
  • Aleman, Mauricio, Cpl, (1970-1973)
  • Alexander, David, LCpl, (1988-1992)
  • Alexander, Jamaal, SSgt, (2002-Present)
  • Alexander, Jason, Cpl, (2004-2008)
  • Alexander, John, MGySgt, (1980-2005)
  • Alexander, Lionel, Cpl, (1982-1991)
  • Alexander, Tesha, Sgt, (2001-2005)
  • Alford, John, Sgt, (1992-2000)
  • Alires, Marco, Sgt, (2007-Present)
  • Alladin, Trevor, Sgt, (1980-1991)
  • ALLANSON, MATTHEW, Cpl, (1997-2001)
  • Allen, Anthony, SgtMaj, (1978-2009)
  • Allen, Eric, HM3, (2002-2008)
  • Allen, Joseph, Sgt, (1975-1987)
  • Allen, Marty, Cpl, (1992-1997)
  • Allen, Newell, Sgt, (1987-2002)
  • Allen, Norm, PFC, (1970-1970)
  • Allen, Robert 'Bob', Cpl, (1944-1946)
  • ALLEN, TROY, MSgt, (1988-Present)
  • Allena, Robert, SSgt, (1971-1978)
  • Allison, Adam, Sgt, (2005-Present)
  • Altizer, Emmett Carlton, PFC, (1943-1944)
  • Altman, Devin, Cpl, (2008-Present)
  • Alvarado, Larry, SgtMaj, (1976-2001)
  • Alvarado, Pedro, CWO3, (1979-2007)
  • Ambriz, Jose, CWO5, (1975-2005)
  • Ames, Steve, Sgt, (2002-2006)
  • Amman, Sean (Splinter), SSgt, (1996-Present)
 

Unit Citations - Display as Table
 
Associated Patches
2805.jpg 8491.png
 
Associations
 
Unit History
 
Battle/Operations History
 
Unit Timeline
Commanding Officers
Clayton B. Vogel Major General February 1, 1941 December 7, 1941 Charles F. B. Price Major general December 8, 1941 March 23, 1942 Joseph C. Fegan (Acting) Brigadier General M ... More
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2019
OEF-Afghanistan
All Operation Enduring Freedom operations conducted in or from Afghanistan.
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2001 - 2014
OIF/Iraqi Sovereignty (2009-10)
During 2008 and 2009, all non-U.S. foreign forces withdrew from Iraq. Withdrawal of all non-U.S. forces was complete by 31 July 2009. As of 1 January 2009, the Iraqi government became fully responsibl ... More
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2009 - 2010
OIF/Iraqi Surge (2007-08)
In the context of the Iraq War, the surge refers to United States President George W. Bush's 2007 increase in the number of American troops in order to provide security to Baghdad and Al Anbar Provinc ... More
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2007 - 2008
OIF/Iraqi Governance (2004-05)
In June 2004, under the auspices of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 the Coalition transferred limited sovereignty to a caretaker government, whose first act was to begin the trial of S ... More
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2004 - 2005
Operation Secure Tomorrow (Haiti)

On 23 February 2004 a team of 50 Marines departed the United States to beef up security for the US Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The Marines were part of the Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team ... More

Washington was being cautious, but a political solution may not be enough. President Bush was not able to completely ignore this kind of lawlessness in his own back yard. Critics claimed the US was washing its hands of this catastrophe, because Haiti does not matter to the US. After contributing to creating this situation, the US did not know how to neutralize it.

Haiti is a nightmare; a "crater rather than a country" and many have all but written off Haiti as a hopeless situation spiraling out of control. Given the ingredients for a rapid descent into murderous anarchy, it could be worse even than a coup. Many anticipated a new wave of desperate refugees and boat people heading for US coasts.

Many blamed President Aristide for the crisis, chagrined that the former "courageous reformer" and Haiti's "best hope" had fallen back on the thuggish forces and fear as the country's past despots. But some feared that as bad as Aristide might be, the rebel alternative was even worse.

A solution to Haiti's "desperate" situation could only come from the outside, but the commitment must not be a "charade" as in 1994, but a sustained occupation. What Haiti needs is a prolonged commitment instead of the long oblivion to which it has been subjected. Haiti calls for long-term supervision" to enable a culture of civic democracy" to take root.

On 29 February 2004 President Bush ordered US Marines into Haiti as part of an international stabilization force following the departure of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. By one estimate, it would take about two days for the ships and troops to reach Haiti from Norfolk, Virginia. In fact, the Marines arrived no later than a few hours after the President's announcement.

The mission of the U.S. forces being deployed is to secure key sites in the Haitian capital of Port au Prince for the purposes of:

  • Contributing to a more secure and stable environment in the Haitian capital to help promote the constitutional political process;
  • Assisting as may be needed to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance;
  • Protecting U.S. citizens as may be required.
  • Facilitating the repatriation of any Haitian migrants interdicted at sea;
  • Helping create the conditions for the anticipated arrival of a U.N. multinational force.

The initial contingent of US Marines arrived in the Haitian capital the evening of 29 February 2004. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld ordered additional US forces to deploy as necessary over several days to fill out the US contribution to the Multinational Interim Force [MIF]. The MIF, which could include as many as 5,000 troops from several countries, would be in place for 90 days. The United States, working with the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the Caribbean Community, contacted a number of countries that have expressed a willingness to contribute forces that would stay until replaced by a UN peacekeeping force. The initial leadership of the multinational interim force was the United States.

By 05 March 2004 a total of 500 French troops, 160 Chileans, 100 Canadians and assorted other nationals had also deployed to Haiti. The UN authorized Multinational Interim Force [MIF] for three months, during which time Haiti's interim president, Supreme Court justice Boniface Alexandre, was to organize new elections.

The Chilean congress approved om March 2, 2004, the dispatch of a battalion composed of 306 soldiers and 30 officers for a renewable period of 90 days, as part of the Multinational Interim Force. This included an initial dispatch of 120 special forces soldiers.

On March 22, 2004 the Department of Defense named the multinational operation in Haiti "Operation Secure Tomorrow." By March 22, the U.S.-led multinational interim force has about 3,300 personnel from the United States, France, Chile and Canada deployed to Haiti in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1529. Operation Secure Tomorrow began Feb. 29, when multinational forces began arriving in Haiti to quell civil unrest throughout Port-au-Prince. Since then, the security situation in Port-au-Prince and throughout the country has steadily improved, providing the citizens of Haiti the promise of a stable, democratic government. Other objectives of Operation Secure Tomorrow include supporting the continuation of a peaceful and constitutional political process and preparing the environment for the arrival of a follow-on U.N. stabilization force.

By late April 2004 about 3,800 service members from four countries were in the Multinational Interim Force. The United States had about 2,000 service members in Haiti, France had more than 900, Canada had more than 500 and Chile had more than 300. The US contingent had expanded into Les Cayes in the south and Hinche in the central plateau. The French continued to expand the security zone in the northern part of the country. The Multinational Interim Force in Haiti had begun planning for a follow-on force by 01 June 2004. The follow-on force would have about 6,700 military personnel and would be in place to relieve the US led interim force.

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2004 - 2004
OIF/Liberation of Iraq (2003)
The 2003 invasion of Iraq lasted from 19 March to 1 May 2003 and signaled the start of the conflict that later came to be known as the Iraq War, which was dubbed Operation Iraqi Freedom by the United ... More
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2003 - 2003
Operation Shining Hope (Kosovo)
Operation Allied Harbor was NATO's first humanitarian operation. In the case of the Kosovo crisis, by the end of March 1999 these agencies were unable to cope with the massive influx of refugees into ... More
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1999 - 1999
Operation Provide Promise (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Operation Provide Promise was a humanitarian relief operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Yugoslav Wars, from 2 July 1992, to 9 January 1996, which made it the longest running humanitarian ai ... More
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1992 - 1996
NEO - Operation Assured Response (Liberia)

In 1996, the US Military assisted in safeguarding and evacuating Americans from Liberia when that nation's civil war reignited into factional fighting and general violence in Liberia. During the fi ... More

Between 9 April and 18 June, a US Joint Task Force Operation Assured Response evacuated 2444 people (485 Americans and 1959 citizens of other countries). The bulk of forces were from Special Operations Command Europe, and the last elements redeployed 3 August.

Liberia was a very small scale operation. It could have turned in to a very large operation. Overnight about 180 soldiers came out of Southern European Task Force [SETAF] and evacuated almost 2,000 civilians out of Monrovia to safety. It could have been a big problem, but it wasn't. While the group out of SETAF was evacuating civilians in Liberia; they were also recovering another company from Bosnia, going through a battle command training program at their headquarters, and getting ready to send the rest of the task force to train at Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels.

Air Force special operations forces led the evacuation effort, Operation Assured Response. Air Force KC-135 tankers and C-130 transports were put on alert in Europe to support 24-hour operations, while other mobility aircraft began to deliver critical medical supplies, food, water, fuel and communications gear. On April 9, less than 72 hours after the decision to deploy U.S. forces, the first MH-53 helicopter landed in Monrovia to begin the operation.

Those evacuated continued on US helicopters through Freetown, Sierra Leone, then on MC-130s to Dakar, Senegal, all under the cover of AC-130 gun ships. Throughout the rest of the week, the evacuation continued, as well as airlift of critical supplies to sustain the effort. By April 14, the evacuation was essentially complete, however, security and sustainment operations continued through Aug. 3. In this operation, Air Force special operations forces safely evacuated over 2,400 civilians representing 68 countries.

USAFE provided three KC-135s from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, two C-130s and an Emergency Medical Treatment Team from the 86th Airlift Wing, and a Flying Ambulance Surgical Team from the 52d Fighter Wing. The tankers, supported by about 100 people, deployed to Dakar, Senegal, 9 April. After flying over 50 missions and providing 1.5 million pounds of fuel to receivers, they returned to Mildenhall on 28 April. The C-130s and 51 people from the 37th Airlift Squadron flew to Dakar 10 April. They helped ferry people from Freetown, Sierra Leone, to Dakar and returned to Germany 19 April.

In early April, elements of the Guam (LPH 5) amphibious ready group (ARG) and the 22nd MEU (SOC), were ordered to the vicinity of Monrovia, Liberia. Upon arrival, the 22d MEU (SOC) commanding officer assumed command of Joint Task Force-Assured Response (JTF-AR) which included Air Force, Navy and Marine forces. With additional support from an HC-4 MC-53E helicopter detachment and other Navy-Marine Corps aircraft, embassy security and transportation were provided and 309 noncombatants were evacuated -- including 49 U.S. citizens.

While on Mamba Station off the coast of West Africa in support of Joint Task Force Assured Response, USS Portland rendered assistance to an adrift cargo vessel. The "Duniya" requested fuel and water at about 7 p.m. on April 22, so Portland pulled alongside and stayed with the Duniya overnight to ensure the ship and crew's safety.

While still conducting this operation, elements of JTF-AR were ordered to Bangui, Central African Republic, to conduct similar operations. A special purpose Marine air-ground task force, embarked on the Ponce (LPD 15) and with 10 days' notice, relieved the Guam task force and assumed the duties of CJTF-AR. This was done to allow the Guam ready group and the 22nd MEU(SOC) to return to the Adriatic Sea and provide the European Command's desired over-the-horizon presence during the Bosnian national elections.

USS Ponce (LPD 15) returned to Norfolk after a two-and-a-half month mission of providing security and other assistance to the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia. Deploying with only 10 days notice, Ponce carried a crew of more than 300 Sailors and 700 Marines from Special Purpose Marine-Air-Ground Task Force 8, from Camp Lejuene, N.C. The move was taken by the U.S. government because of wide-spread civil disorder resulting from the six-year civil war in that country. The U.S. Embassy was the only Western Embassy to continue operations during this round of clashes. This was not the first time Ponce deployed to Liberian waters. In 1990, Ponce responded to "Operation Sharp Edge," guarding American interest and supporting troops assigned to the area at the time

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1996 - 1996
Operation Uphold Democracy (Haiti)
Operation Uphold Democracy (19 September 1994 – 31 March 1995) was an intervention designed to remove the military regime installed by the 1991 Haitian coup d'état that overthrew the elec ... More
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1994 - 1995
Operation Support Democracy (Haiti)
The U.S. and allied warships in CJTF 120 boarded over 600 ships during the operations’ first five months, and the big ships’ effectiveness soon drove embargo-busting smugglers to use vesse ... More
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1994 - 1994
Operation Restore Hope (Somalia)
The Operation Restore Hope was an operation of the United States and many of its allied countries in Somalia. The operation was protected by the United Nations. The United States was the leader of thi ... More
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1992 - 1993
Navy Unit Commendation
Criteria
The Navy Unit Commendation may be awarded by the Secretary of the Navy to any unit of the Navy or Marine Corps that distinguishes itself by outstanding heroism in action against an enemy (but not suff ... More
Descriptions
Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm
1991
Operation Desert Shield
In 1990, fellow Arab Gulf states refused to endorse Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's plan to cut production and raise the price of oil, leaving him frustrated and paranoid. Iraq had incurred a mountain o ... More
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1990 - 1991
Operation Desert Storm
On January 16, 1991, President George H. W. Bush announced the start of what would be called Operation Desert Storm—a military operation to expel occupying Iraqi forces from Kuwait, which Iraq h ... More
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1991 - 1991
Operation Provide Comfort (Iraq)
On 5 April, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 688, calling on Iraq to end repression of its population. On 6 April, Operation Provide Comfort began to bring humanitarian relief to ... More
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1991 - 1991
Operation Guantanamo (Cuba)

Colonel Gary A. Blair commands the Marine Barracks Ground Defense/Security Force at Guantanamo Bay. He recalled, "On November 13th, we accumulated three or four Coast Guard cutters out here in ... More

In addition to Coast Guardsmen assigned to each vessel, the additional 150 to 200 Haitians rescued and living aboard for a couple of weeks not only taxed living and sanitation conditions, but made feeding the multitude and simply moving about the ship difficult.

"That's when Navy Captain William McCamy (Naval Base Commander) decided to bring the Haitians ashore. That would give the migrants room to move around, and permit the cutters to return to the Windward Passage to rescue additional Haitians leaving their country for economic or political reasons.

"We began bringing them ashore, and Marine Barracks personnel became involved. We escorted the Haitians to Camp Bulkeley, where Barracks Marines had established a tent camp. And that's basically how it all began."

More fishing boats tried to make the trip from Haiti to the American installation at Guantanamo Bay; some succeeded and others sank. The initial compound at Camp Bulkeley quickly filled to overflowing and on November 22, 1991, the Joint Task Force (JTF) arrived, commanded by Marine Brigadier General George H. Walls Jr. Five more camps were constructed at McCalla Field, using the emergency and helicopter runways.

The concrete expanse measures 6,750 feet and provides solid support to hundreds of tents erected for the migrants. Concertina wire separated the various sections. Lights and shower facilities were installed. Portable heads ("Johns") were emplaced.

"We came down here in a humanitarian role," BrigGen Walls explained. "We provided food, medical care and shelter for the Haitians, while demonstrating how versatile and well prepared the men and women of the Joint Task Force are.

"Many came down here with less than 48-hours notice, expecting to stay for a lot shorter period of time than they have. Some were unsure about what they were going to do when they got here, because this is a one of a kind operation that has never been done before.

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1991 - 1991
Operation Just Cause (Panama)

On 17 December 1989 the national command authority (NCA) directed the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to execute PLAN 90-2. JTFSO received the JCS execute order on 18 Dec with a D-Day and H-Hour of 20 ... More

A. Protect U.S. lives and key sites and facilities.
B. Capture and deliver Noriega to competent authority.
C. Neutralize PDF forces.
D. Neutralize PDF command and control.
E. Support establishment of a U.S.-recognized government in Panama.
F. Restructure the PDF.

At Forts Bragg, Benning, and Stewart, D-Day forces were alerted, marshaled, and launched on a fleet of 148 aircraft. Units from the 75th Ranger Regiment and 82d Airborne Division conducted airborne assaults to strike key objectives at Rio Hato, and Torrijos/Tocumen airports.

On December 20, 1989, the 82d Airborne Division conducted their first combat jump since World War II onto Torrijos International Airport, Panama. The 1st Brigade task force made up of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, parachuted into combat for the first time since World War II. In Panama, the paratroopers were joined on the ground by 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment which was already in Panama. After the night combat jump and seizure of the airport, the 82nd conducted follow-on combat air assault missions in Panama City and the surrounding areas.

They were followed later by the 2d and 1st Bdes, 7th Inf Div (L), while the in-place forces comprised of the 3d Bde (-), 7th Inf Div (L); 193d Infantry Brigade (L) and 4-6 Inf, 5th Inf Div (M), assaulted objectives in both Panama City and on the Atlantic side of the Canal. By the first day, all D-Day objectives were secured. As initial forces moved to new objectives, follow-on forces from 7th Inf Div (L) moved into the western areas of Panama and into Panama City.

As the lead headquarters for SAC's tanker support, the Eighth Air Force tasked, executed, and directed 144 missions to refuel 229 receivers with over 12 million pounds of fuel. According to General Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Eighth’s "air refuelers did not just make a difference in this operation -- they made it possible." This mission introduced the F-117A Stealth Fighter to combat for the first time.

Air National Guard units participated in the operation because of their regularly scheduled presence in Panama for Operations CORONET COVE and VOLANT OAK. Only Pennsylvania's 193d Special Operations Group (SOG) was part of the integral planning process by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Air Staff for the invasion of Panama. The 105th Military Airlift Group (MAG) and the 172 MAG provided airlift support for the operation. They flew 35 missions, completed 138 sorties, moved 1,911 passengers and 1,404.7 tons of cargo which expended 434.6 flying hours. ANG VOLANT OAK C-130 aircrews flew 22 missions, completed 181 sorties, moved 3,107 passengers and 551.3 tons of cargo, which expended 140.1 flying hours. The ANG CORONET COVE units, the 114th TFG and the 18Oth TFG flew 34 missions, completed 34 sorties, expended 71.7 flying hours and expended 2,715 rounds of ordnance.

Urban terrain provides high potential for fratricide because of the likelihood of close quarters (high weapons density), recognition problems, and unfamiliar secondary effects of weapons. During Operation JUST CAUSE soldiers employed several ineffective and dangerous techniques to breach various fences, walls, and barred doors with grenades, rifle fire, and even anti-tank weapons. Direct fire support, even from just a block away, is very difficult to control. During JUST CAUSE mechanized forces providing fire support were told by brigade a light force had cleared a tall hotel building only to the second floor. In actual fact, it had cleared to the tenth floor and was fighting in a counter-sniper engagement. Seeing this fire and apparently some weapons protruding, the mechanized forces began to suppress. This drew return fire from the friendly light force for some seconds before coming under control. The extensive destruction of civilian housing seen by TV viewers around the world resulted rather from a style of fighting that is based on abundant firepower.

The high casualties and use of resources usually associated with all-out urban warfare did not occur. The United States suffered 23 KIA and 324 WIA, with estimated enemy casualties around 450. There were an estimated 200 to 300 Panamanian civilian fatalities. Some were killed by the PDF, others inadvertently by US troops. More civilians almost certainly would have been killed or wounded had it not been for the discipline of the American forces and their stringent rules of engagement (ROE). However, the United Nations (UN) put the civilian death toll at 500; the Central American Human Rights Defense Commission (CODEHUCA) and the Peace and Justice Service of Panama both claimed between 2,000 to 3000; the Panamanian National Human Rights Commission and an independent inquiry by former Attorney- General Ramsey Clark claimed over 4,000. Thousands were injured. As it turned out, the figure of Panamanian dead was large enough to stimulate debate over the need for the invasion to remove Noriega, but not large enough to generate a sense of outrage in Panama or abroad, or to turn the Panamanian people against the US intervention or the nation-building program that followed it.

The US troops involved in Operation Just Cause achieved their primary objectives quickly, and troop withdrawal began on December 27. Noreiga eventually surrendered to US authorities voluntarily. He is now serving a 40-year sentence in Florida for drug trafficking.

Operation JUST CAUSE was unique in the history of U.S. warfare for many reasons. As the largest single contingency operation since World War II, it focused on a combination of rapid deployment of critical combat power and precise utilization of forward deployed and in-country forces. Impressed by the smooth execution of JUST CAUSE, General Stiner later claimed that the operation was relatively error free, confining the Air-and Battle doctrine and validating the strategic direction of the military. He concluded, therefore, that while old lessons were confirmed, there were "no [new] lessons learned" during the campaign. Despite Stiner's assertions, Operation JUST CAUSE offers important insights into the role of force in the post Cold War period and the successful conduct of a peacetime contingency operation.

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1989 - 1989
US Multinational Force Lebanon Peacekeeping Mission

The U.S. Multinational Force (USMNF) operated in Beirut, Lebanon from 25 August 1982 to 26 February 1984. During this period four different MAUs served as peacekeepers. The terrorist bombing of the ... More

Israeli-Palestinian fighting in July 1981 was ended by a cease-fire arranged by U.S. President Ronald Reagan's special envoy, Philip C. Habib, and announced on July 24, 1981. The cease-fire was respected during the next 10 months, but a string of incidents, including PLO rocket attacks on northern Israel, led to the 06 June 1982, Israeli ground attack into Lebanon to remove PLO forces. Israeli forces moved quickly through south Lebanon, encircling west Beirut by mid-June and beginning a three-month siege of Palestinian and Syrian forces in the city.

Throughout this period, which saw heavy Israeli air, naval, and artillery bombardments of west Beirut, Ambassador Habib worked to arrange a settlement. In August 1982, he was successful in bringing about an agreement for the evacuation of Syrian troops and PLO fighters from Beirut. The agreement also provided for the deployment of a three-nation Multinational Force (MNF) during the period of the evacuation, and by late August 1982, U.S. Marines, as well as French and Italian units, had arrived in Beirut. On 10 August 1982 the alert posture of the Mediterranean Amphibious Ready Group was heightened in light of a likely deployment as part of a peacekeeping force to oversee the evacuation of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) forces from West Beirut.

The 32d Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) from Camp Lejeune deployed to Beirut to oversee the safe departure of thousands of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) fighters out of the war-torn city. On 24 August (EDP), the first of 800 Marines began going ashore at Beirut as part of a joint U.S.-French peacekeeping force. When the evacuation ended, these units departed. On 8 September, following the removal of the PLO forces from West Beirut, the Marines redeployed aboard the MARG ships. The US Marines left on 10 September 1982.

In spite of the invasion, the Lebanese political process continued to function, and Bashir Gemayel was elected President in August, succeeding Elias Sarkis. On September 14, however, Bashir Gemayel was assassinated. On 15 September 1982, Israeli troops entered west Beirut. During the next three days, Lebanese militiamen massacred hundreds of Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in west Beirut. Bashir Gemayel's brother, Amine, was elected President by a unanimous vote of the parliament. He took office 23 September 1982.

MNF forces returned to Beirut at the end of September 1982 as a symbol of support for the government. On 22 September 1982, following the Phalangist Christian force massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps, the Mediterranean Amphibious ready Group was ordered to the Eastern Mediterranean. President Ronald Reagan ordered the 32d MAU back into Lebanon to support the Lebanese Armed Forces where it was soon relieved by Camp Lejeune's 24th MAU. The 1st Battalion, 8th Marines Headquarters building was located at the Beirut International Airport and housed the Battalion Landing Team (BLT). From 27 September through 21 January 1983, two carriers were tethered to Lebanon to provide support for the Marine Corps forces ashore. On 11 February 1983, the response posture for carrier support was relaxed as the situation had stabilized. In February 1983, a small British contingent joined the U.S., French, and Italian MNF troops in Beirut.

On 17 May 1983, an agreement was signed by the representatives of Lebanon, Israel, and the United States that provided for Israeli withdrawal. Syria declined to discuss the withdrawal of its troops, effectively stalemating further progress.

The USMNF was initially successful; but, as the strategic and tactical situations changed, the peacekeepers came increasingly under fire. Opposition to the negotiations and to US support for the Gemayel regime led to a series of terrorist attacks in 1983 and 1984 on US interests, including the bombing on 18 April 1983 of the US embassy in west Beirut (63 dead), and of the US embassy annex in east Beirut on 20 September 1984 (8 killed).

Just before 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 23, 1983, a Mercedes truck passed a Lebanese checkpoint on the airport road without halting. The truck turned into the airport parking lot, circled twice and picked up speed for a deadly run at the headquarters building. Orders prohibited Marines from being locked and loaded, but small arms fire probably would not have made much difference, according to reports. A sentry did get some shots off with a pistol, however. The driver of the speeding van was determined to put a huge dent in the American presence in Lebanon. After breaking through several barriers, it sped between two sentry boxes and crashed through more obstacles, penetrating the building's first floor before detonating tons of explosives, taking the lives of 241 Marines, Sailors and soldiers, a majority of which were stationed at Camp Lejeune. Most died in their sleep or were crushed as the building collapsed, while a handful have died in the years that followed due to injuries sustained from the bombing.

On 3 December 1983, two F-14s flying over Lebanon were fired upon by Syrian antiaircraft artillery. On 4 December 1983, aircraft from Kennedy and Independence were launched against Syrian targets; two were shot down, and one U.S. airman was taken prisoner by Syrian troops.

The virtual collapse of the Lebanese army in February 1984, following the defection of many of its Muslim and Druze units to opposition militias, was a major blow to the government. As it became clear that the departure of the US Marines was imminent, the Gemayel Government came under increasing pressure from Syria and its Muslim Lebanese allies to abandon the May 17 accord. On 26 February 1984, the withdrawal of the USMC contingent of the international peacekeeping force was completed. The Lebanese Government announced on 05 March 1984 that it was canceling its unimplemented agreement with Israel.

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1982 - 1984
Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada)
Grenada, one of the smallest independent nations in the Western Hemisphere and one of the southernmost Caribbean islands in the Windward chain, has an area of only 133 square miles. The population is ... More
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1983 - 1983
NEO - Operation Powerpack (Dominican Republic)
USS Boxer (LPH-4) was acting as flagship for Amphibious Squadron 10 when she answered an urgent call on 25 April from the United States Embassy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She steamed to the ... More
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1965 - 1965
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as the Caribbean Crisis or the Missile Scare, was a 13-day (October 16-28, 1962) confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union concerning American b ... More
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1962 - 1962
Operation Bluebat (Lebanon)
Tension in the Middle East began to increase in 1957, when it seemed as though Syria was about to fall to communism. Acting on his recent increased commitment to the region, and in order to protect ne ... More
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1958 - 1958
US Occupation of Germany
Upon the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, the victorious Allied powers asserted their joint authority and sovereignty over 'Germany as a whole', defined as all territories of the former German ... More
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1945 - 1955
US Occupation of Japan
The Allied occupation of Japan at the end of World War II was led by General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, with support from the British Commonwealth. Unlike in the oc ... More
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1945 - 1952
Defense of Iceland Base
On 7 July 1941, the defence of Iceland was transferred from Britain to the (still officially neutral) United States, by agreement with Iceland, and US marines replaced the British. Iceland's strategic ... More
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1941 - 1945
Battle for Okinawa
The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg. was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of World War II. The 82-day-long battle lasted ... More
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1945 - 1945
Battle for Saipan

The Battle of Saipan was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands from 15 June–9 July 1944. The Allied invasion fleet embarking ... More

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1944 - 1944
Battle of Tinian (1944)
The 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions landed on 24 July 1944, supported by naval bombardment and artillery firing across the strait from Saipan. A successful feint for the major settlement of Tinian Town d ... More
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1944 - 1944
Navy Presidential Unit Citation
Criteria
The Presidential Unit Citation may be awarded to units of the Armed Forces of the United States and cobelligerent nations for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy occurring on or aft ... More
Descriptions
THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY WASHINGTON The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION to the SECOND MARINE DIVISION (REINFORCED) consisting of Divisi ... More
1943
Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-43)
The Guadalcanal Campaign, also known as the Battle of Guadalcanal and codenamed Operation Watchtower by Allied forces, was a military campaign fought between 7 August 1942 and 9 February 1943 on and a ... More
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1942 - 1943
Battle of Tarawa
The Battle of Tarawa (US code name Operation Galvanic) was a battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II, fought from November 20 to November 23, 1943. It took place at the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbe ... More
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1943 - 1943
Defense of Shanghai International Settlement (China)
Defense of the International Settlement during the Sino-Japasese engagements Sept 19, 1937 to Feb 16, 1938
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1937 - 1938
 
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