MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII – 2d Battalion, 3d Marines cased their colors during the unit's deactivation ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii Jan. 21, 2022.
2/3 first activated May 1, 1942, at New River, North Carolina as 3d Training Battalion and assigned to Division Special Troops, 1st Marine Division. A year later, 2/3 was the first Battalion to storm the beaches of Bougainville. During World War II, 2/3 participated in the battles of Bougainville, The Northern Solomons, Guam, and Iwo Jima. 2/3 fought in both the streets and jungles of Vietnam, operating in Da-Nang, Quan Tri, and Khe Sanh. The battalion also participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During the Global War on Terror, 2/3 completed three combat deployments to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and two combat deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"Although our battalion colors will no longer fly tomorrow, our spirit – the nature and character of the Island Warrior – spreads throughout our Corps," said Lt. Col. Brandon H. Turner, commanding officer, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines. "Our Marine Corps moves forward, and we, ever faithful to the cause, move forward as well. Fortune Favors the Brave. We are and always will be the Island Warriors."
At the ceremony, Col. Timothy S. Brady Jr, commanding officer, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division, addressed the audience, "While today is a somber day in history as the Island Warriors deactivate, today symbolizes a critical shift for the Marine Corps; a necessary shift to once again answer the call. A shift that enables the Marine Corps to re-organize and establish new formations like the Marine Littoral Regiment: A unit ready to fight and win against any rising threat in the Pacific."
The battalion is deactivating in accordance with Force Design 2030 as 3d Marines becomes 3d Marine Littoral Regiment (MLR), the Corps' first such unit. The transformation of the MLR calls for the deactivation of certain units and capabilities in order to modernize the force for the future fight. The MLR, integrated with naval forces, will contribute to sea control and sea denial within actively-contested maritime spaces.
3d MLR will train and evolve to be ready to fight now as part of 3d Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force. This re-designation reflects the Corps' continued effort to ensure the Marines remain capable of fighting and winning on the battlefields of the future, should the need arise.