9th Marine Regiment

9th Marine Regiment
9th Marines insignia
Active 1917–1919; 1943–1945; 1947–1949; 1952–1994; 2007–2015
Country  United States of America
Branch  United States Marine Corps
Type Infantry
Part of 3rd Marine Division
III Marine Expeditionary Force
Nickname(s) "Striking Ninth"
Engagements World War II

Vietnam War

Operation Desert Storm
Lemuel C. Shepherd
Gordon D. Gayle
Robert H. Barrow
Stephen G. Olmstead

The 9th Marine Regiment was an infantry regiment of the United States Marine Corps. Formed during World War II, it served until 1994, when it was deactivated during the post Cold War drawdown. Battalions of the Ninth Marine Regiment, but not the regiment itself, were reactivated from 2007 to 2014 as part of the Marine Corps' growth during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The battalions have subsequently been deactivated again.

Subordinate units

The regiment was composed of three infantry battalions and the regimental headquarters company:


Early years

The 9th Marines were activated at Quantico, Virginia, on November 20, 1917. A month later, they deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and were attached to the 3rd Marine Brigade. That same month, they redeployed with the brigade to Galveston, Texas, in case of any German operation in the Caribbean or in Mexico. After World War I, the regiment was deactivated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 25, 1919.[1][2]

On December 1, 1925, the regiment was reactivated as a reserve organization whose mission was to train and maintain at a high degree of preparedness a group of “civilian” Marines.[2]

World War II

The 3rd Battalion 9th Marines was reactivated at Camp Elliot, San Diego on February 12, 1942. In the following months, the rest of the battalions were also reactivated on January 1, 1942, when the regiment officially re-formed. They were attached to the 3rd Marine Division at Camp Pendleton on September 16, 1943. The 9th Marines fought as part of the 3rd Marine Division on the islands of Bougainville, Guam, and Iwo Jima during WW2. The regiment was inactivated at Camp Pendleton on December 31, 1945.[1]

Post World War II

The regiment was reformed on 17 March 1952 at Camp Pendleton, California and assigned to the 3d Marine Division. It was deployed during August 1953 to Camp Gifu, Japan and then in June 1955 to Okinawa. The regiment alternated between Japan and Okinawa in the 1950s.

Vietnam War

On March 8, 1965, 9th Marines came ashore at Red Beach as the first conventional ground combat unit in South Vietnam, their mission was to defend the Da Nang Air Base.[3] The first significant contact was in April 1965. The regimental headquarters arrived in country in July of that year.

The regiment saw action in Vietnam’s I Corps, primarily in Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên Provinces, although a number of its earlier operations were also conducted in the southern I Corps provinces of Quảng Nam, Quảng Tín and Quảng Ngai. The 9th Marines served as a vital stop to the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) penetrations across the DMZ and from along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos.

Some of its early operations included Operation Double Eagle, Macon and Prairie.

In April and May 1967, elements of the regiment defeated two PAVN regiments in The Hill Fights north of Khe Sanh Combat Base. In Operation Buffalo, elements of the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines made contact north of Con Thien with regimental-size PAVN forces in an engagement that lasted through May, accounting for over 1300 enemy dead.

The regiment successfully conducted Operation Dewey Canyon in the A Shau Valley. The 9th Regiment killed many PAVN, preventing another build-up and assault from Route 622 from Laos into South Vietnam as the PAVN had the year before during the Tet Offensive. Operation Dewey Canyon netted, among other weaponry, 16 artillery pieces, 73 anti-aircraft guns, hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition, 92 trucks, and hundreds of thousands pounds of rice. This operation earned the regiment an Army Presidential Unit Citation.[4][5] General Richard G. Stilwell wrote in his report to COMUSMACV General Creighton Abrams on Operation Dewey Canyon: “...this ranks with the most significant undertakings of the Vietnam conflict in the concept and results...”[6]

The 9th Marines were part of the first redeployments from Vietnam in the summer of 1969. In July 1969 the regiment deployed to Camp Schwab, Okinawa and was reassigned in August 1969 to the 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade. The 9th MAB was then reassigned during November 1969 to the 3rd Marine Division (3 MarDiv).

Inactivation (1994)

The 9th Marines were inactivated in the budget cuts of 1994.[7] A nucleus of staff and support personnel were maintained to reconstitute the regiment when needed. This was done in the belief that the necessary riflemen would be easily recruited in time of emergency or war.

On September 2, 1994, the 2nd Battalion was inactivated and redesignated the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines and the 3rd Battalion was inactivated and re-designated the 3d Battalion, 4th Marines. On September 9, 1994, the 1st Battalion was inactivated and redesignated as the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines.

Reactivation (2007)

As part of the effort to expand the Marine Corps to 202,000 Marines by the end of 2011, the battalions of the 9th Marines began reactivation in 2007.[8] The 1st Battalion, 9th Marines (1/9) reactivated on April 18, 2007, the 2nd Battalion reactivated in July 2007,[9] and the 3rd Battalion reactivated in May 2008.[8][9][10] Each battalion falls under existing regimental headquarters — 1/9 with the 8th Marine Regiment, 2/9 with the 6th Marine Regiment and 3/9 with the 2nd Marine Regiment.[8]

Medal of Honor recipients

10 Marines from the 9th Marine Regiment have received the Medal of Honor:

Regiment awards

The 9th Marines earned the following awards:

United States Navy Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg Navy Presidential Unit Citation[5][11]

Army Presidential Unit Citation[4][5]

Navy Unit Commendation[5]

Gold star
2 Navy Meritorious Unit Commendations[5]

Red ribbon with two broad dark yellow stripes Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal[citation needed]

China Service Medal[citation needed]

Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Width-44 yellow ribbon with central width-4 Old Glory blue-white-scarlet stripe. At distance 6 from the edges are width-6 white-scarlet-white stripes.
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/4 campaign stars[12][13]

World War II Victory Medal

Bronze star
Width=44 scarlet ribbon with a central width-4 golden yellow stripe, flanked by pairs of width-1 scarlet, white, Old Glory blue, and white stripes
National Defense Service Medal w/1 Bronze Star

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal[citation needed]

Vietnam Service Medal

Notable former members

See also


  1. ^ a b Rottman, Gordon L. (2002). U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle – Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31906-5.
  2. ^ a b "Lineage: 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines". II MEF, USMC. 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-22. [dead link]
  3. ^ O'Brien, J.T. (2004). Top Secret - A Ready Room History of Electronic Warfare and Photo Reconnaissance in Marine Corps Aviation from 1940 until 2000. Anaheim, California: Equidata Publishing Co. p. 225. ISBN 0-9714185-3-5.
  4. ^ a b Department of the Army (4 June 1973). "General Orders 20, 73" (PDF). Washington, DC: Headquarters, Department of the Army. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e Department of the Navy (31 Jan 2014). "NAVMC 2922" (PDF). Quantico, VA: Manpower Management Division, HQMC Military Awards (MMMA) Department of the Navy, Headquarters United States Marine Corps. Retrieved Apr 17, 2014. [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ The Leatherneck. Leatherneck Association. 1994. p. 14.
  7. ^ Melson, Charles (1998). US Marine in Vietnam (1965-1973); Warrior Series #23. London: Osprey Military, a division of Reed Publishing Ltd. p.62
  8. ^ a b c Talton, Trista (May 24, 2008). "Battalion stands up — but where will it go?". Marine Corps Times. Archived from the original on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
  9. ^ a b "MARADMIN 582/06 - Publication of Fiscal Years 2007 through 2013 Tables of Organization and Equipment (T/OE)". U.S. Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 11 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-08.
  10. ^ "Marines: 9th Marines Returns From the Dead". Strategy Page. Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved 2007-01-08.
  11. ^ "Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual NAVPERS 15,790". Transcribed by HyperWar Foundation. 1953. p. 15. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  12. ^ The 4 stars awarded for 1) the Consolidation of Northern Solomons (Consolidation of Solomon Islands campaign), 2) Occupation and defense of Cape Torokina (Treasury-Bougainville operation), 3) Capture and occupation of Guam (Marianas operation), & 4) Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima (Iwo Jima operation)
  13. ^ "Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual NAVPERS 15,790". Transcribed by HyperWar Foundation. 1953. p. 149. Retrieved 17 April 2014.

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