The 3rd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment (3/7) is an infantry battalion of the United States Marine Corps. They are based at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms and consist of approximately 800 Marines. The battalion falls under the command of the 7th Marine Regiment and the 1st Marine Division. The battalion has seen combat in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and was a part of the main effort during the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003. They have since deployed five times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as three times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and continue operations in Afghanistan. The unit has a long, decorated history with countless achievements. Its members were described as "true professionals" by embedded reporters during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
|3rd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment|
|Active||1 January 1941 – present|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Part of||7th Marine Regiment|
1st Marine Division
|Garrison/HQ||Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms|
|Nickname(s)||The Cutting Edge|
|Engagements||World War II
Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command
|Commanding Officer||Lieutenant Colonel Steven M. "Honcho" Ford|
|Senior Enlisted||Sergeant Major R. K. Hampton|
|Edward H. Hurst|
Due to the situation in the Pacific, the 7th Marines were detached from the 1st Marine Division and sent to American Samoa with the Third Battalion being the first to arrive on 28 April 1942. Companies I and M landed at Wallis Island on 27 March 1942 along with Free French forces to deny the Island to Vichy France.
3/7 participated in the following World War II campaigns:
After the war 3/7 participated in the occupation of northern China from September 1945 to April 1946 and then deactivated 15 April 1946.
The battalion was reactivated 11 September 1950 at Kobe, Japan and assigned to the 1st Marine Division. They deployed in September 1950 to the South Korea and participated in the Inchon-Seoul. Following the recapture of Seoul, the 1st Marine Division was pulled out of northwest Korea and sailed to the east coast where they landed at Wonsan and began to march north towards the Yalu River.
The battalion was in Yudam-ni on the evening of 27–28 November 1950 when the Battle of Chosin Reservoir began. On the first evening, the Marines of "How Company" were overwhelmed on Hill 1403 by waves of Chinese attackers and were eventually ordered to pull back by the commanding officer (CO), Lieutenant Colonel William Harris The battalion continued to fight on the hills around Yudam-ni for the next few days until 1 December when the 5th Marines and 7th Marines were ordered to fight their way back to the 1st Marine Division’s main perimeter at Hagaru-ri. The 300+ remaining members of 3/7 provided the rearguard for the two regiments as they brokeout to Hagaru-ri and were the last Marines to leave the perimeter at Yudam-ni as it was being overrun by Chinese forces 3/7 consolidated with the rest of the division at Hagaru-ri and took part in the fighting breakout towards Koto-ri where, on 7 December, all of the 1st Marine Division’s regiments were together for the first time since the landing at Wonsan in October Of note during the battle, on the morning before their arrival at the Koto-ri perimeter, the battalion's CO, who during the battle was described as “coming apart” and having an “emotional breakdown and collapse”, disappeared and was never seen again.
During the rest of the war 3/7 took part in the fighting on the East Central Front. In October 1951 it performed the first battalion sized combat helicopter air assault in history in Operation Bumblebee. After the war the battalion participated in the defense of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, July 1953 to March 1955.
The 3rd Battalion, along with the rest of the 7th Marines, was deployed to Vietnam from Camp Pendleton in late May 1965. The 3/7, under the command of LTC Charles H. Bodley, embarked on the amphibious ships USS Iwo Jima, USS Talladega, and USS Point Defiance at Okinawa on 24–26 June and landed near the city of Qui Nhon on 1 July 1965.
On 18 August 1965, the 3/7 took part in Operation Starlite, the first regimental size operation by US forces since the Korean War. The 3/7, along with the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, and the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, made a combined amphibious-helicopter assault on fortified enemy positions on the Van Tuong Peninsula. The Marines landed behind enemy lines and, after seven days of fighting, drove the Viet Cong (VC) 1st Regiment into the sea.
In January 1966, the 3/7 took part in Operation Mallard along with the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines. It was a sweep of the area 20 miles southwest of Da Nang, in the area later known as the Arizona Territory. While the VC did not engage in major confrontations with the Marines during Operation Mallard, the area would later be a significant battleground for the 3/7 and other Marine battalions in the years to come.
In March 1966 the battalion took part in Operation Texas. On 18 March 1966 an Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) outpost on Hill 141 west of Quang Ngai City was overrun by the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) 36th Regiment. A reaction/relief force was promptly put together consisting of elements from 4 Marine battalions including 3/7 and an ARVN battalion. The allied forces were inserted by ground and air on 20 and 21 March and began closing around the PAVN forces. Over the next four days, Operation Texas claimed a total of 623 known PAVN dead, but at least 57 US Marines and sailors were killed in a series of bitter fights.
Along with the 1/7, 2/7 and elements of the 26th Marines and 51st ARVN regiment, the 3/7th also took part in Operation Oklahoma Hills from March through May 1969, an operation to clear PAVN base camps and infiltration routes out of the hills and valleys southwest of Da Nang, South Vietnam's second most important city and a major base for US operations at the time.
For "conspicuous gallantry and intrepity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty" and "in the face of vicious enemy fire" during a search and destroy mission in the Que Son-Hiep Duc Valley on 28 August 1969, in which he destroyed several of the enemy and silenced anti-aircraft guns and machinegunist, Lance Corporal Jose F. Jimenez of Kilo Company, 3/7, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
During the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War, 3/7 took part in Operation Desert Storm. The battalion arrived in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, in mid-January 1991, with the mission to be a foot-mobile infiltration force. For a month from mid-February onwards, 3/7—as part of Task Force Grizzly, which mainly consisted of 3/7 and 2nd Battalion 7th Marines—took up position along a berm near the Saudi–Kuwaiti border. There, 3/7 became the lead element of all U.S. forces in the region. The battalion moved out of Saudi Arabia and into Kuwait three days before the ground offensive began on February 24, and then became the first allied infantry force to enter Kuwait. After breaching two enemy minefields, 3/7 took over Ahmad al-Jaber Air Base, which was believed to be the main command post for all enemy forces in Kuwait. The battalion departed Saudi Arabia in early March.
From January to March 1995, elements of the battalion—namely Kilo Company, augmented with elements from India Company, Lima Company, and Weapons Company—participated in Operation United Shield in Somalia.
3/7 was part of the main effort, and took a major role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The premier infantry combat unit in the world, they originally deployed in January 2003, moved north in March and reached Baghdad by April - securing several cities, military bases, terrorist training facilities, and various other objectives along the way. They then moved south for a five-month security assignment doing stabilizing operations in Karbala until September 2003. During the assignment, India Company, 3rd Battalion 7th Marines operated in Mahmudiyah, Iraq in support of Task Force Scorpion during July and August 2003. Lima Company, 3rd Battalion 7th Marines were tasked out with the training of the Iraqi Police force, intelligence gathering, disruption and dismantling of the black market weapons trade, and both daytime and clandestine operations in coalition with CIA, Delta Force, and various other units in support to carry out special assignments. Lima Company's 3rd platoon, 2nd squad, is responsible for capturing and detaining some of the highest ranking Ba'ath Party members to date during covert operations south of Baghdad. India Company's training in the Kuwaiti desert and the subsequent invasion was covered in the TV documentary Virgin Soldiers which often airs on Discovery Times and Military Channel.
After returning to the United States in September 2003, the battalion re-deployed in February 2004 to Al Qaim—in western Al Anbar Province, abutting the Syrian border. Their area of responsibility included Husaybah, the primary border-crossing point between Syria and Iraq. They returned from that deployment in September 2004.
From September 2005 to March 2006 3/7 was stationed in Ar Ramadi and made FOB Hurricane Point (HP) and Camp Ramadi their main base of operations. They were faced with daily attacks for the entire deployment.
From May 2007 to November 2007 3/7 was once again stationed in Ar Ramadi and made FOB Hurricane Point (HP) and Camp Ramadi their main base of operations. They dispersed throughout the city to increase contact with the local residents. Since the prevalence of the Anbar Awakening, 3/7 Marines began conducting counter-insurgency (COIN) missions rather than the more "kinetic" operations on previous tours.
3/7 re-deployed in support of OIF again in August 2008, once again to the Al Qaim area—in western Al Anbar Province, abutting the Syrian border. Their area of responsibility was much larger than any other time, including Husaybah to the west, all the way east to Hit. Due to status of forces agreements with the Iraqi government, operations were very limited and the battalion served in an "operational overwatch" role for the Iraqi forces. They returned from that deployment in March 2009.
3/7 deployed to Helmand province, Afghanistan from March 2010 to October 2010. During this deployment, the Marines of 3/7 faced daily attacks and operated in various locations including Musa Qaleh, Marjah, and Sangin. In Sangin, 3/7 relieved the 40 Commando of the British Royal Marines and began clearing operations in some of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan. The Marines of 3/7 encountered heavy resistance and are reported to have experienced some of the highest amounts of enemy contact during the Global War on Terrorism.
In September and October 2011, 3/7 relieved 1/5 and elements of 1/6 in both the "green" and "brown" zones of the Sangin District for a second tour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The battalion conducted daily security patrols along with several clearing operations in an environment heavily laced with IED's. The battalion took 7 KIA and returned home in April 2012.
In September 2013, 3/7 returned to Northern Helmand province and relieved 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, in Afghanistan for a third tour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Battalion conducted distributed operations providing support to the Afghan Security Forces with companies located in Musa Q'ala, Sangin, Kajaki and FOB Shukvani in the Southern Musa Q'ala Wadi. This deployment was much different than the two previous as the Battalion was focused on supporting the Afghan Security Forces and conducting retrograde operations by transferring the Combat Outposts to the Afghan National Army. India Co, as well as Kilo Co, tactically enabled by British SAS and Afghan Special Forces, conducted various offensive operations in 5 districts within Afghanistan.
From March 2018 to October 2018 the battalion deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, 3/7 was spread across the Middle East including areas in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Jordan doing mainly anti - ISIL operations.
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. 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines has been presented with the following awards:
|Presidential Unit Citation Streamer with one Silver and four Bronze Stars||1942, 1944, 1945, 1950, 1950, 1951, 1965–1966, 1966–1967, 1967–1968, 2003||Guadalcanal, Peleliu-Ngesebus, Okinawa, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq|
|Navy Unit Commendation Streamer with two Bronze Stars||1952–1953, 1965, 1990–1991, 2004||Korea, Vietnam, Southwest Asia, Iraq|
|Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer||1968, 1968, 1969, 1990||Vietnam, Philippines|
|Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Streamer|
|American Defense Service Streamer with one Bronze Star||1941||World War II|
|Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Streamer with one Silver Star||Guadalcanal, Eastern New Guinea, New Britain, Peleliu, Okinawa|
|World War II Victory Streamer||1941–1945||Pacific War|
|Navy Occupation Service Streamer with "ASIA"||1945–1946||Northern China|
|China Service Streamer with one Bronze Star||September 1946 - June 1947||North China|
|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 Streamer with one Silver and two Bronze Stars||Korean War|
|Vietnam Service Streamer with two Silver and three Bronze Stars||July 1965 - April 1971, April - December 1975|
|Southwest Asia Service Streamer with two Bronze Stars||September 1990 - February 1991||Desert Shield, Desert Storm|
|Iraq Campaign Streamer||2003–present|
|Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Streamer||March - May 2003|
|Global War on Terrorism Service Streamer||2001–present|
|Korea Presidential Unit Citation Streamer|
|Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Streamer|
|Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Civil Actions Streamer|
The 1968 documentary A Face of War showed 3rd Battalion operations in Quảng Ngãi Province of Vietnam. Half the company and members of the camera crew were wounded during the filming, which took place in 1966 as U.S. commitments in Vietnam rapidly escalated.
In the 1999 film The Sixth Sense, Haley Joel Osment's character asks Bruce Willis' character, "Do you want to be a Lance Corporal in Company M, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines?" while offering him a toy soldier.
A Face of War is a 1968 documentary about the Vietnam War The New York Times called it "one of the great Vietnam documentaries.". The film was produced and directed by Eugene S. Jones (1925- ) a Korean War news photographer who rose to fame alongside his twin brother Charles Jones. The Jones brothers initially worked for the Washington Times-Herald before moving to NBC and traveling to Korea, where they made the first films from jet fighters in combat and the only films of the Inchon landing. Eugene was hired by NBC Special Projects, becoming a Today Show producer in the late 1950s before working on A Face of War.Battle of Sangin (2010)
The Battle for Sangin was an extended campaign during the War in Afghanistan. Third Battalion Seventh Marine Regiment initiated clearing operations. Third Battalion Fifth Marine Regiment continued and is credited with completing the clearing phase. Sangin is considered the bloodiest battleground of Afghanistan by both US and British alike. With both nations suffering the loss of over 100 killed in action, and several hundred moderate to severe casualties. The volatile campaign in the Sangin Valley has been extensively covered in the media by Wall Street Journal, Time, USA Today, and other publications.Camp Gannon
Camp Gannon is a United States Marine Corps military base in Iraq.
Situated near the border between Iraq and Syria, Camp Gannon is an abandoned warehouse complex in Husaybah, an area traditionally used by smugglers between the two countries.
In April 2005, 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines India Company repelled an organized attack of Iraqi insurgents (estimated numbers between 40 and 100) driving several vehicles full of gunmen, utilizing three explosive devices and the use of a fire truck as an attack vehicle.The camp was named in honor of Major Richard J. Gannon, commanding officer of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines. Major Gannon was awarded the Silver Star after being killed in action on April 17, 2004, attempting to save three members of his company.Forward Operating Base Hamidullah
Forward Operating Base Hamidullah or more simply FOB Hamidullah is a former Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan operated by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) under Operation Herrick (OP H) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
It was formerly FOB Nolay.Forward Operating Base Jackson
Forward Operating Base Jackson (FOB Jackson) was a United States military base located just west of Sangin Village, Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
The base was named after British soldier Private Damien Jackson of the 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment who was killed on active service.
It was initially used by the British Armed Forces as part of Operation Herrick (OP H) before being turned to the United States Marine Corps (USMC) during 2010.George H. Ramer
Second Lieutenant George Henry Ramer (March 27, 1927 – September 12, 1951) was a United States Marine Corps officer who posthumously received the Medal of Honor — the United States’ highest military decoration for heroism — for his actions in Korea on September 12, 1951, when he sacrificed his life during a fearless attack on an enemy position. He was the 27th Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Korean War.
Second Lieutenant Ramer, who had been an enlisted U.S. Navy sailor during World War II, was cited after leading an attack by the third platoon of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. Although he and most of his men were wounded while fighting their way through vicious machine-gun, mortar and small-arms fire, he continued to lead the assault on the enemy-held hilltop, personally destroying an enemy bunker and directing his capture of the position.
When the enemy immediately began an overwhelming counter-attack, he ordered his men to withdraw and fought single-handedly to cover the withdrawal and the evacuation of three fatally wounded Marines. Wounded a second time, he refused aid, ordered his men to shelter and continued to fight until he was fatally wounded as the enemy overran his position.Jason Dunham
Jason Lee Dunham (10 November 1981 – 22 April 2004) was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions while serving with 3rd Battalion 7th Marines during the Iraq War. While on a patrol in Husaybah, his unit was attacked and he deliberately covered an enemy grenade to save nearby Marines. When it exploded Dunham was gravely injured and died eight days later.Lester W. Weber
Lester William Weber (July 30, 1948 – February 23, 1969) was a United States Marine who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam in February 1969.List of Korean War Medal of Honor recipients
This list represents all of the 145 United States military personnel who received the Medal of Honor for valor in combat during the Korean War. 103 Medals of Honor were awarded posthumously.
The Korean War was an escalation of border clashes between two rival Korean regimes (each of which was supported by external powers) with each Korean regime trying to topple the other through political and guerrilla tactics. In a very narrow sense, some may refer to it as a civil war, though many other factors were at play. After failing to strengthen their cause in the free elections held in South Korea during May 1950 and the refusal of South Korea to hold new elections per North Korean demands, the communist North Korean Army moved south on June 25, 1950 to attempt to reunite the Korean peninsula, which had been formally divided since 1948. The conflict was then expanded by the United States and the Soviet Union's involvement as part of the larger Cold War. The main hostilities were during the period from June 25, 1950 until the armistice was signed on July 27, 1953.List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (1965)
This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War in 1965, conducted by the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States and their allies.List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (1967)
This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War in 1967, conducted by the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States and their allies.List of allied military operations of the Vietnam War (M–S)
This article is a list of known military operations of the Vietnam War, a war fought by the United States to try to stop communism in Southeast Asia, conducted by the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam, the United States and allies consisting of Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, and the Philippines. This is not a complete list. Operations are currently listed alphabetically, but are being progressively reorganised as a chronology.Operation Desoto
Operation Desoto was a US Marine Corps operation that took place in Đức Phổ District, lasting from 27 January to 7 April 1967.Operation Lejeune
Operation Lejeune was an operation conducted by the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division in Đức Phổ District, Quảng Ngãi Province, lasting from 7 to 22 April 1967.Operation Piranha
Operation Piranha was a US Marine Corps operation that took place on the Batangan Peninsula southeast of Chu Lai, lasting from 7 to 10 September 1965.Operation Starlite
Operation Starlite (also known in Vietnam as Battle of Van Tuong) was the first major offensive regimental size action conducted by a purely U.S. military unit during the Vietnam War. The operation was launched based on intelligence provided by Major General Nguyen Chanh Thi, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) commander in northern I Corps area. Lieutenant General Lewis W. Walt devised a plan to launch a pre-emptive strike against the Viet Cong (VC) 1st Regiment to nullify the threat on the vital Chu Lai Air Base and Base Area and ensure its powerful communication tower remained intact.
The operation was conducted as a combined arms assault involving ground, air and naval units. U.S. Marines were deployed by helicopter insertion into the designated landing zone while an amphibious landing was used to deploy other Marines.Operation Texas (Vietnam)
Operation Texas was a US Marine Corps and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) operation that took place northwest of Quảng Ngãi, lasting from 20–25 March 1966.Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command
Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command (SP-MAGTF-CR-CC) is a Marine Air-Ground Task Force that is based at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.
It is a self-mobile, self-sustaining force of Marines and sailors, capable of responding to a range of crises. The unit is specifically trained to support U.S. and partner interests throughout the United States Central Command area of responsibility, to include embassy reinforcement, support to noncombatant evacuation operations, tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief. The unit also takes part in bilateral and multilateral training exercises with regional partners. It is commanded by a U.S. Marine colonel (O-6).Wayne Maurice Caron
Wayne Maurice Caron (November 2, 1946 – July 28, 1968) was a United States Navy hospital corpsman who was killed in action while serving with a Marine Corps rifle company in the Vietnam War. For heroic actions above and beyond the call of duty on July 28, 1968, he was posthumously awarded the United States military's highest decoration for valor—the Medal of Honor.