Thursday, May 5, 2011

Marines Depart for Camp Pendleton, then Afghanistan for duty

Today at 1 Pm, there was a deployment Ceremony for Bravo Company at the Londonderry Reserve Center. At 3PM, the 25th Marines, Bravo Company departed from the Londonderry Reserve Center boarded 3 buses to take them to Westover Air Base, where they will board planes to head for training at Camp Pendleton, California for a month and a half. They will then board airplanes again and fly to Afghanistan for duty. Semper Fi Marines and Corpsman, be safe!!! I was Honored to be one of the Guest Speakers today!
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  1. “New Englands Own
    1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment

    "New England's Own" Selected Marine Corps Reserve unit was originally established in Boston, Massachusetts, as an infantry company in the early 1920's. It was not until some years later that the unit attained battalion status.

    In April of 1926, Captain John J. Flynn was named the Commanding Officer of the 301st Company, USMCR, with Headquarters at the Marine Barracks, Charlestown Navy Yard. Building #5, the Navy Officer's Mess, was used for drill and formation until the Company was called to active duty on November 8, 1940.

    During its varied and illustrious history, the 1st Battalion, 25th Marines has undergone some redesignations. From its beginning as the 301st Company, the Battalion has been variously redesignated as an Artillery Company (December 29, 1928); the 301st Infantry Company (December 1, 1929); Company A, 1st Battalion, 19th Reserve Marines (February 15, 1933); 2nd Battalion, Fleet Marine Corps Reserve (February 1, 1935) - at that point a battalion had an authorized strength of 256 men, comparable to an infantry company in today's table of organization.

    There was an especially critical period in the life of "New England's Own" from 1931 to 1934. During those years, Congress discontinued all drill and administrative pay. Those stalwarts who stayed with the organization did so voluntarily. New members were required to purchase their own uniforms. The fact that the Battalion survived this critical period is a "banner" on their history.

    The 2nd Battalion continued as a unit until called to active service on the eve of World War II. The Battalion was sent to Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia, and then to Cuba where it was split in January 1941 to serve with various units serving in Cuba at the time.

    On May 1, 1943, the 1st Battalion, 25th Marines was formed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and was then shipped off to Camp Pendleton, California, to be assigned to the 4th Marine Division, During the war the 1st Battalion, 25th Marines saw action in the following island-hopping campaigns: Kwajalein, Saipan, Tinian and Iwojima. The Battalion earned special honors for its action on Iwo Jima. The Battalion played a critical role in the seizure of Hill 382 ("Turkey Knob") in an area that Marine,,, on Iwo Jima called the "Meat Grinder." For its actions, the Battalion earned a Presidential Unit Citation. The Battalion saw no further action during the war due to having to rebuild the Battalion after the heavy losses on Iwo Jima. The Battalion was deactivated on October 31, 1945.

    After World War II, on October 1, 1946, the 2nd Infantry Battalion was activated at the Naval and Marine Corps Training Center in South Boston under the command of Lieutenant Colonel James J. Dugan, who had established an excellent personal record as a member of the Battalion before the war and distinguished himself by outstanding service during World War II. Lieutenant Colonel Dugan remained as the Commanding Officer until July 1950, shortly before the Battalion was called to active duty during the Korean War. The service during the Korea War was short and the Battalion was quickly returned to Boston in October of 1951, where it grew into one of the largest Marine Reserve units in the country

  2. Continued

    On July 1, 1962, the Battalion was reorganized and re-designated in conjunction with the new concept and mission of the Marine Corps Reserve as the 1st Battalion, 25th Marines, 4th Marine Division, FMF, USMCR, with the Battalion Headquarters located in Boston, Massachusetts. On September 30, 1977, the Headquarters was relocated to Camp Edwards, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

    Since its reorganization in 1962, the Battalion has participated in a variety of training experiences, including desert maneuvers at 29 Palms, California; amphibious training in Little Creek, Virginia; mountain warfare training at Bridgeport, California; cold weather training in Norway, and numerous field exercises at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Attesting to the effective role which the unit played in these and other programs, the 1st Battalion, 25th Marines received the GENERAL HARRY SCHMIDT TROPHY for the most combat ready battalion in the 4th Marine Division in 1970,1989, and 1990- No other battalion in the 4th marine Division can claim that they have won this trophy in consecutive years.

    On November 25, 1990, the Battalion was again called to active duty to serve in the Gulf War against Iraq. The Battalion moved to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and was promptly moved into the Kuwait Theater of Operations on December 29, 1990. The Battalion was assigned as an independent battalion within the 1st Marine Division. While attached to the 1st Marine Division, it performed a variety of missions to include Rear Area Security and Enemy Prisoner of War Control. The Battalion was With the frontline units during the war, which made it one of the few Reserve units to see frontline service. During the Ground offensive the Battalion was to receive the responsibility of controlling over 8,500 Iraq POWs and processing them to rear areas of the 1st Marine Division. The Battalion was returned to the United States in April of 1991 and was deactivated at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts.

    On June 9, 2000, the Headquarters was relocated to Devens Reserve Forces Training Area, Massachusetts. The Battalion is still performing its mission of training for the possible call-up for active service in times of national emergency. Today the Battalion is spread over the New England area with the Headquarters and Service Company along with the Weapons Company located at Devens RFTA. Company A is located at Topsham, Maine; Company B is located at Londonderry, New Hampshire; and Company C is located at Plainville, Connecticut.

    1/25 mobilized in Jan 2003 and was sent to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina for 6 months. From there they went to Okinawa and performed missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The unit never went to Afghanistan or Iraq. They returned and demobilized in Dec 2003. The battalion was again mobilized in Dec 2005 and deployed to Iraq for a 7 month deployment stationed at Camp Baharia in vicinity of Fallujah. The unit returned in Oct 2006 and demobilized in Dec 2006.

    The unit was again mobilized on 1 May, 2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. They will execute three months of intensive training aboard Camp Pendleton, California before deploying to Afghanistan later in the year.


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