Unit HomeAbout
8th Marine Regiment

 

8th Marine Regiment

Camp Lejeune, N.C.
History

The 8th Marine Regiment was formed on 9 October, 1917, at Quantico, Virginia during the build up for World War I. While training for war, the command was transferred to Fort Crockett, Texas to guard the nearby Mexican oil fields. The Regiment was joined there by the 9th Marines to form the 3d Marine Brigade; the first Advance Base Force of World War I. As such, the Marines were held in reserve to establish and defend naval bases in the Atlantic or the West Indies, if required. The 8th Marines was deactivated at Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1919.

A year later, the Regiment was reactivated for service in Haiti where Marines had been fighting the Cacos bandits since 1914. Through systematic patrolling which culminated in a number of brief, sharp clashes, the 8th Marines eliminated Haitian banditry that had lasted more than a hundred years. With its mission accomplished, the 8th Marines was deactivated again in 1925.

In 1940 the Regiment was formed once more, in San Diego, California. It was a well-trained unit by the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor and became the first Marine Regiment to deploy into the Pacific waters to Samoa. After ten months of jungle training, while defending the Samoan Islands, the Regiment sailed to reinforce the engaged 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal. While there, the 8th Marines won its first Presidential Unit Citation.

A second test was not long in coming. Joining the 2d Marine Division in New Zealand, the 8th Marines spent several months refitting for operation GALVANIC, the amphibious assault on Tarawa. In 76 hours of some of the bloodiest fighting in American history, the Marines seized that island and opened the door to the Japanese Empire. The lessons of Tarawa were to influence the conduct of amphibious operations for the rest of the war. For its gallant performance, the 8th Marine Regiment received its second Presidential Unit Citation.

After refitting in Hawaii, the 8th Marines sailed for the Marianas, to storm the beaches of Saipan and Tinian, capturing key bases for the air war against Japan. Reinforced with artillery, the Regiment later joined the 1st and 6th Divisions in the battle for Okinawa.

After a year of occupation duty in Japan, the 8th Marine Regiment left the Far East for Camp Lejeune. For the past four decades it has provided landing forces for the 2d and 6th fleets in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Caribbean. A demanding tempo of training and deployments has been interrupted by service in Lebanon, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. In 1980, the 8th Marines provided security forces for the Haitian/Cuban Refugee operation.

Marines from the Regiment attracted worldwide attention in August 1982 when the 2d Battalion, 8th Marines landed in Beirut, Lebanon, to ensure the safe evacuation of the Palestine Liberation Organization. In May of 1983, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines arrived in Beirut as the BLT of the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit. In October of that year, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines suffered a devastating loss from a terrorist attack on the BLT headquarters.

Almost simultaneously 2d Battalion, 8th Marines participated in Operation URGENT FURY, the successful liberation of the Island of Grenada and the rescue of American students. Immediately after departing Grenada, 2d Battalion, 8th Marines races to join the Multi-National Peacekeeping Force in Beirut, Lebanon ending their duties as part of the Multi-National Peacekeeping Force and resuming their commitment as the Landing Force Sixth Fleet (LF6F) Battalion Landing Team.

In August 1990, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines participated in Operation SHARP EDGE in Liberia to protect American lives during that country's civil war. 3d Battalion, 8th Marines then relieved 2d Battalion, 4th Marines and successfully concluded SHARP EDGE in January 1991.

From December 1990 to April 1991 the 8th Marines participated in Operation DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. 2d Battalion, 8th Marines participated in Operation PROVIDE COMFORT in northern Iraq from April to July 1991 and 3d Battalion, 8th Marines participated during July 1991. During December 1991, 2d Battalion, 8th Marines deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during Operation TAKE CHARGE to assist in controlling masses of Haitian refugees. From September 1991 to March 1992, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines participated in the continuation of Operation Desert Storm in the Arabian Gulf.

During 1994 and 1996 elements of the Regiment participated in refugee control operations in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and embassy protection operations in Monrovia, Liberia and in Bangui, Central African Republic.

From June to July of 1999 3d Battalion, 8th Marines participated in operation JOINT GUARDIAN in Kosovo. A year later elements of 8th Marines were called on again for Operation EASTERN ACCESS, April 2000 to May 2000, on the island of Vieques located near Puerto Rico.

The Marines and Sailors of this proud Regiment are acutely aware of their heritage and mindful of their current mission. Our motto, "MORE THAN DUTY," underscores our commitment to Corps and country.

Honors

Presidential Unit Citation Streamer With Two Bronze Stars

World War II, Guadalcanal – 1942, Tarawa – 1943, Okinawa – 1945

Navy Unit Commendation Streamer

Southwest Asia 1990 – 1991, Haiti 2003

World War I Victory Streamer

Haitian Campaign Streamer

Marine Corps Expeditionary Streamer With Two Bronze Stars

American Defense Service Streamer

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Streamer With One Sliver Star

World War II Victory Streamer

Navy Occupation Service Streamer With “Asia” And “Europe”

National Defense Service Streamer With Three Bronze Stars

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamer With Four Bronze Stars

Southwest Asia Service Streamer With Three Bronze Stars

Iraq Campaign Streamer

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Streamer

Global War on Terrorism Service Streamer

Lineage

1917 -1919
Activated 9 Oct 1917 at Quantico, Virginia, as the 8th Regiment.

Relocated during November 1917 to Fort Crockett, Texas

Assigned during August 1918 to the 3d Provisional Brigade

Relocated during April 1919 to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Deactivated 25 April 1919

1920 - 1925
Reactivated 5 January 1920 at Port-Au-Prince, Haiti and assigned to the 1st Provisional Brigade

Participated in operations against dissidents, January 1920 – June 1925

Deactivated 1 July 1925

1940 - 1949
Reactivated 1 April 1940 at San Diego, California,  as the 8th Marines, 2d Marine Brigade

2d Marine Brigade redesignated 1 February 1941 as 2d Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force

Assigned during December 1941 to the 2d Marine Brigade, 2d Marine Division

Deployed during October 1942 to American Samoa and detached from the 2d Marine Division

Detached during October 1942 from the 2d Marine Brigade

Assigned during February 1943 to the 2d Marine Division

Participated in the following World War II campaigns:
Guadalcanal
Tarawa
Saipan
Tinian
Okinawa

Deployed during September-October 1945 to Nagasaki, Japan

Participated in the occupation of Japan, October 1945 – June 1946

Relocated during June-July 1946 to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

Assigned during November 1948 to the 2d Provisional Marine Regiment

Deactivated 17 October 1949

1950 – 1989
Reactivated 9 August 1950 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and assigned to the 2d Marine Division

Elements participated in the landings in Lebanon, July-September 1958

Participated in the Cuban missile crisis, October-December 1962

Elements participated in the intervention in the Dominican Republic, May-June 1965

Participated in numerous training exercises throughout the 1970s

Elements participated as part of the multinational peace-keeping force in Lebanon, August 1982 – February 1984

Elements participated in the landings on Grenada – Carriacou, October-November 1983
1990 – 1999

Element participated in Operation Sharp Edge, Liberia, August 1990 – January 1991

Participated in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Southwest Asia, December 1990 – April 1991

Elements participated in Operation Provide Comfort, Iraq, April-July 1991

Elements participated in support of operations provide promise and deny flight, Bosnia, September-October 1993 and January 1994

Elements participated in support of Operation Support Democracy, Cuba and Caribbean area, October-November 1993 and May-July 1994

Elements participated in support of Operation Sea Signal, Cuba, June-July 1994

Elements participated in support of Operation Assured Response, Liberia, April-August 1996

Elements participated in support of Operation Albania, March-May 1997 and April-May 1999

Elements participated in support of operations in Kosovo, June-July 1999

2000-2012

Elements participated in Operations Iraqi Freedom, Iraq, March-May 2003, June 2004-January 2005 and June-October 2006

Elements participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, November 2003-May 2004

Participated in Operation Secure Tomorrow, Haiti, February -June 2004

Participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq, March 2005-February 2006

Participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, January 2011-January 2012