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5th Marine Regiment

The 5th Regiment consist of one headquarters company and four infantry battalions, one of which is deployed outside the continental United States at all times. The infantry battalions are the basic tactical units that the regiment accomplishes its mission of locating, closing with and destroying the enemy by fire and close combat. The 5th Regiment is located in the San Mateo (62) Area.

The 5th Marine Regiment was activated at Philadelphia, Penn as the 5th Regiment of the Marines. It deployed during June and July 1917 to St. Nazaire, France and assigned to the 1st Division (Army). It was reassigned furing October 1917 to the 4th Brigade of Marines, 2nd Division (Army). It participated in the offensive campaigns Aisne, Aisne-Marne, St. Mhiel, and Meuse-Argonne. It participated in the Toulon-Troyon, Chateau-Thierry, Marbache, and Limey defensive campaigns.

On June 25, 1950, eight divisions of the North Korean People's Army, equipped with Soviet tanks, mobile artillery and supporting aircraft, crossed the 38th parallel and invaded the Republic of Korea. On June 30, President Harry S. Truman ordered a naval blockade of the Korean coast and authorized the Commander in Chief Far East, General of the Army Douglas A. MacArthur, to send U.S. ground troops into Korea. On July 2, MacArthur recommended that a Marine Corps regimental combat team be deployed to the Far East. The Joint Chiefs of Staff approved his request the following day. On July 7, the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was activated at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. The core of the ground element was the 5th Marines, while Marine Aircraft Group 33 made up the air element of the brigade. Just five days after its activation, the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, with a strength of over 6,500, sailed from San Diego en route to Pusan, Korea.

Regimental Combat Team (RCT) 5 deployed to Kuwait during January and early February 2003 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Upon arrival in theater, the RCT was organized for combat and integrated with the equipment from Maritime Prepositioned Squadron 2. From mid-February through late March, the RCT conducted planning and rehearsals in preparation for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. The major subordinate units in the task organization for Regimental Combat Team 5, included: Headquarters Company, Fighting Fifth Marines, 1st Marine Division; 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalions, Fighting Fifth Marines, 1st Marine Division; 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Battalion, 1st Marine Division; 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division; and Company B, 1st Combat Engineer Battalion (CEB), 1st Marine Division. 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division, and Combat Service Support Company (CSSC) 115, 1st Force Service Support Group provided direct support to the RCT. 7th Battalion, Royal Horse Artillery, 1st United Kingdom (UK) Army Division reinforced 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines and a British NBC Decontamination Platoon also supported the RCT. Additionally, the RCT was reinforced by: detachments from Headquarters and Service Company, 2nd Amphibious Assault Battalion; VMU-1, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing; Aviation Support Liaison Team 5, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing; detachment, 1st Intelligence Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force; US Army Psychological Operations Teams; and detachments from Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division. RCT-5 crossed the line of departure with 7,503 Marines, Sailors, soldiers, and British soldiers supported by over 2,000 vehicles including tanks, light armored vehicles, and other pieces of rolling stock. Following the successful seizure of the strategically important Rumayla Oilfields during the "Opening Gambit", all British units detached. The RCT's personnel strength remained between 6,000 and 7,000 for most of the war. For several days during the advance to Baghdad, the RCT joined an additional 900 Marines and Sailors of 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division.

From 20 March 2003 through 20 April 2003, RCT-5 moved over 1,000 kilometers and destroyed the enemy in a number of pitched battles on its way to Baghdad and beyond. The RCT combat losses included 12 killed in action and 126 wounded. The Marines of the RCT spent 18 days in MOPP 1 or 2. Throughout, the RCT was challenged by extended lines of communication, austere weather, and extremely limited resources. The RCT accomplished all assigned missions with minimal loss of friendly life or equipment due to the speed of action maintained by individual Marines and leaders. Once the RCT attacked across the Iraqi border, it continued to press the enemy and keep him off balance.




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