3rd Marine Regiment
The 3d Marine Regiment first came into existence during the period of international unrest in the early twentieth century. The regiment was formed 20 December 1916, by consolidating Marine detachments from the various ships in the Atlantic Fleet then at anchor in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The early days of the regiment were highlighted by campaigns in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. During World War I, the regiment was heavily involved in the occupation and pacification of the Dominican Republic. As the Dominican crises subsided, the regiment's role in the Republic also lessened. Between wars, 3d Marines became a reserve unit stationed in San Francisco, eventually being disbanded in 1937.
The 3d Marine Regiment was reactivated on 16 June 1942, in North Carolina, as part of the World War II military expansion. The regiment fought and bled at Bougainville and Guam. Four medals of Honor were awarded to members of 3d Marines for actions during this period. Following World War II, the regiment was ordered to China to aid in the disarming of Japanese units and to assist the Nationalist government in the occupation of Northern China in an effort to deny land to the communists.
The regiment did not participate in the United Nations defense of South Korea, but continued to actively train in Hawaii and Japan to remain combat ready. 3d Marines was quick to respond to the call for forces in Vietnam, providing security for the Da Nang Air Base in early 1965. The regiment's experience level and ability to adapt led to many innovations including the Combined Action Company and the Civic Action Program. Ultimately, 3d Marines was to participate in 48 major operations in the Republic of Vietnam.
Following the retrograde of forces from Vietnam, the regiment was initially relocated to Camp Pendleton and assigned to the 5th Marine Amphibious Brigade. During April of 1971, the regiment became part of the 1st Marine Division. Two months later, the regiment was moved to Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, to assume the role of the ground combat component of the 1st Marine Brigade.
The 3d Marine Regiment was one of the first combat forces to deploy to Saudi Arabia in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990. The regiment, which became known as task Force Taro in honor of the state and people of Hawaii, became the first American unit to be engaged by Iraqi artillery, rocket and missile fire on 18 January 1991. Task Force Taro countered the Iraqi supporting attacks by conducting artillery raids into Kuwait as the first ground offensive actions of the war. Task force Taro was instrumental in the recapture of Khafji, was the first unit to advance into Kuwait, conducted the only helicopter borne assault of the war and secured the Marine Corp's final objective of the war, Kuwait International Airport. Following the cease-fire on 28 February 1991, the regiment redeployed to Saudi Arabia and subsequently completed its strategic redeployment to Hawaii two months later.
Effective 1 October 1994, the 1st Marine Brigade was deactivated and 3d Marine Division became the regiment's higher headquarters.
Bravo Co., 1st Bn., 3rd Marine Regiment, devil dogs boarded CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopters Jan. 16, 2003 en route to Schofield Barracks' Military Operations in Urban Terrain training facility to participate in an urban comat simulation. The training area was comprised of nearly 20 buildings with multiple floors, and dozens of windows, vantage points and hiding places for the enemy. The enemy in this particular exercise turned out to be 36 fellow 1/3 Marines from Alpha Co., which included the 3rd Marine Regiment's newly crowned super squad.