CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan -- The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit unveiled its new insignia on Oct. 17th. The new crest adopts East Asian features aligning with the III Marine Expeditionary Force insignia. Further, the 31st MEU’s new crest boldly defines the Marine Air-Ground Task Force as a lethal warfighting organization ready to answer the nation’s call and respond to crisis.
The insignia’s center figure is an ominous East Asian sea dragon coiled around a three-pronged trident ascending from the depths of the sea. This fierce symbol emboldens the 31st MEU’s ability to projection power from any clime or place, according to Col. Robert “Bams” Brodie, commanding officer.
“We are a Ready, Partnered and Lethal Force prepared to meet the challenges of the Indo-Pacific theater,” said Brodie, who directed a revision to the insignia after taking command in June. “I am exceptionally proud of the Marines who designed our crest and overwhelmed by their creativity,” stated Brodie.
Pfc. Luis A. Marcial, a maintenance management specialist with the 31st MEU, hand-sketched the original concept of a sea dragon clutching a trident. Lance Cpl. Alexis Betances, a 31st MEU graphic designer, took the idea and designed the new insignia.
“Lance Cpl. Betances forged a symbol that encaptivates the themes lethality, strengthened alliances and encouraged new partnerships creating one of the most impressive insignias in the Corps. Her design symbolizes strength and power that instills confidence in our allies and partners while striking fear in our enemy’s hearts,” said Brodie.
The new insignia features the East Asian sea dragon paying homage to the 31st MEU’s relationship with the Marine Corps’ Asian partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific. The trident illustrates the MEU’s amphibious war-fighting nature. The Marine Corps’ Eagle, Globe and Anchor, located at the base of the trident, proudly identifies Marine Corps heritage. The three stars represent III MEF as well as the 31st MEU motto, “Ready, Partnered, Lethal.” Finally, the skull tucked inside the dragon’s mouth directly reinforces Defense Secretary James Mattis’ focus on lethality.
The crest defines the 31st MEU as a MAGTF ready to strike rapidly from air, land and sea. It is the type of insignia that pushes Marines to compete for a chance to serve as part of the 50-year old unit, according to Sgt. Maj. Edwin A. Mota, the 31st MEU’s senior enlisted Marine.
“Our new crest inspires a warrior spirit, and focuses our Marines on the tenets of discipline, strength and fierce courage in the face of adversity,” said Mota. “We confront a dynamic and unforgiving environment and the Marines of the 31st MEU are prepared to act.”
The insignia is a bold and visible symbol the unit’s strength and steadfast dedication to mission accomplishment, said Mota. “We are our nation’s 911 force, forward-deployed and always ready to fight and win.”