An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Aug. 11, 2022

Marines Commemorate Battle for Guadalcanal 80th Anniversary

By Chuck Little U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

CAMP H. M. SMITH, Hawaii -- Gen. Steven Rudder, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific (MARFORPAC), traveled to Honiara, Solomon Islands, as part of a U.S. interagency delegation led by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman from Aug. 7-9. The delegation, which also included U.S. Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy and other senior U.S. military officers, participated in several events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal, and further strengthened long-standing partnerships between the United States and the nations in attendance: Solomon Islands, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

Rudder was joined on the trip by other senior U.S. military officers, including fellow Marines Lt. Gen. Stephen Sklenka, deputy commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; Lt. Gen. George Smith, commanding general, I Marine Expeditionary Force; and Maj. Gen. Benjamin Watson, commanding general, 1st Marine Division. The delegation included U.S. military officers from units that also heroically fought during the battle: Vice Admiral Andrew Tiongson, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area; Rear Adm. Jeffrey J. Kilian, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Pacific/director, Fleet Civil Engineer, U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Navy; and Maj. Gen. Joseph Ryan, commanding general, 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army.

On Sunday, Aug. 7, the United States hosted a memorial ceremony on Skyline Ridge, the site of the World War II Guadalcanal American Memorial. The hour-long ceremony, which started at 7 a.m., was largely planned and executed by MARFORPAC Marines. The ceremony was the first time a joint service color guard marched on Guadalcanal, carrying the national ensign and flags from each of the military services that fought in the battle: the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Coast Guard. A quintet from the 1st Marine Division provided music for the event. In his remarks, Rudder highlighted the important impact of the battle.

“So we’re here to remember those sacrifices that were made; it changed the history of the Solomon Islands, and it changed the history of our nation,” Rudder said. “I do not want to pass up the opportunity to show my dear appreciation for the Solomon Islanders. They were instrumental in everything we did and they endured hardships that we can't imagine.”

“But it makes no sense to remember those sacrifices without looking to the future; and we pledge from Indo-PACOM and the United States Marine Corps, that we will look forward.”

Other speakers at the ceremony included American Battle Monuments Commissioner Mr. Bud Pettigrew and Deputy Secretary of State Mrs. Wendy Sherman.

Sherman, whose Marine father fought and was wounded on Guadalcanal, spoke of the impact of the battle on both the military and Solomon Islanders. “With the benefit of hindsight, it is easy for us gathered here today to recognize the Battle of Guadalcanal as a turning point in the Pacific theater, and indeed in the Second World War. But for the Marines patrolling the dense and humid jungle, who had to be wary of both enemy snipers and crippling disease; for the sailors who fought terrifying night battles in the seas around these islands; for the airmen who engaged in countless dogfights in the skies above, the future was unknown and unknowable. And in many of those places - like here in Solomon Islands - civilians saw their world upended as well, as bombs and mortars fell on their towns and villages, destroying the lives of innocents.”

During the ceremony, Sklenka and Rudder placed a wreath at the base of the monument on behalf of all U.S. service members.

Immediately following the U.S. ceremony, the Solomon Scouts and Coast Watchers (SSCW) Trust hosted a memorial event at the SSCW monument. At this ceremony, during which Ambassador Kennedy spoke, MARFORPAC provided a color guard at the request of the event organizers. Sklenka and Rudder laid a wreath at this ceremony on behalf of all U.S. service members.

Following the SSCW ceremony, the U.S. delegation traveled to the Point Cruz Yacht Club to attend a ceremony hosted by the U.S. Coast Guard, honoring Medal of Honor recipient Douglas Albert Munro. Afterward, the U.S. delegation traveled to the Japanese War Memorial Peace Park for a ceremony hosted by the Government of Japan. At both ceremonies, Sklenka and Rudder laid a wreath on behalf of all U.S. service members.
On Monday, Aug. 8, the U.S. delegation attended the fifth and final ceremony, which was hosted by the government of Solomon Islands. The event took place at the Bloody Ridge National Peace Park, which was named after an important battle fought by U.S. Marines in September 1942.

Throughout the seven-month battle for the island, American forces fought side-by-side with Allies from the Solomon Islands, Australia, Britain, New Zealand, the Kingdom of Tonga, and Fiji. The bravery, determination, and commitment of the Allied forces was critical to ensuring the strategic victory that marked a turning point of the war in the Pacific.

In her remarks at the Skyline Ridge ceremony, Deputy Secretary of State Sherman reflected on what came out of the battle for Guadalcanal 80 year ago. “Today - as we have been every day since the war ended - former combatants are united here as partners in peace. We have built schools and clinics together, conducted scientific research together, shared vaccines to combat the pandemic together. We have helped each other recover from natural disasters, protected each other from the impacts of climate change. We have celebrated and mourned and grown together. And above all - forged in the experience of the Second World War and made deeper with each passing year - we have built profound and enduring ties with each other, as one Pacific family.”

- 30 –

Imagery from the event can be found on the Defense Visual Information Distribution System here:
Video package can be found here:

Lt. Gen. Rudder’s remarks and B-roll can be found here:

Media queries can be directed via e-mail to


Like Us
Follow Us



One-of-a-kind U.S. Army Laboratory Strengthens Partnership with South Korean Allies
U.S. Army Col. Matthew J. Grieser, the commander of the 1st Area Medical Laboratory, shakes hands with Republic of Korea Army Brig. Gen. Dae-wee Lee, the commander of the ROK CBRN Defense Command, at the ROK CBRN Defense Command Headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.  The 1st Area Medical Command has worked to build stronger ties and forge greater interoperability with South Korean counterpart commands on the Korean Peninsula, including the ROK CBRN Defense Command and ROK Armed Forces Medical Command.
Sept. 1, 2022 - SEOUL, South Korea -- A one-of-a-kind U.S. Army medical laboratory has worked to build stronger ties and forge greater interoperability with South Korean counterpart commands on the Korean Peninsula.Leaders from the 1st Area...

U.S. Coast Guard Arrives for Planned Port Visit in Cairns, Australia
The Sentinel-class fast response cutter USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) crew moors in Cairns for engagements with Australian Defence and Home Affairs partners and local representatives, Aug. 31, 2022. The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a routine deployment in Oceania as part of Operation Blue Pacific, working alongside Allies, building maritime domain awareness, and sharing best practices with partner nation navies and coast guards. Op Blue Pacific is an overarching multi-mission U.S. Coast Guard endeavor promoting security, safety, sovereignty, and economic prosperity in Oceania while strengthening relationships with our regional partners.
Sept. 1, 2022 - CAIRNS, Australia -- The Sentinel-class fast response cutter USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) crew arrived in Cairns on Aug. 31, for engagements with Australian Defence and Home Affairs partners and local representatives."A...

U.S., Philippines Conduct Training on Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, and Nuclear Threat Response
Personnel from DTRA, BFP, SPMC, and local first responders participate in a CBRN emergency response training in Davao City from August 15 to 26.
Sept. 1, 2022 - MANILA, U.S. Embassy in the Philippines -- The United States government, through the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), partnered with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Southern Philippines Medical Center...

MRF-D 22 Ground Combat Element Integrates into 1st Brigade to Enhance Combined Littoral Lethality
U.S. Marines with Marine Rotational Force-Darwin 22 and Australian Army soldiers secure an objective during exercise Predator's Run 22 at Mount Bundey Training Area, NT, Australia, Aug. 27, 2022. Predator's Run 22 is a multinational exercise that simulates littoral combined arms maneuver in a large-scale force-on-force environment.
Sept. 1, 2022 - DARWIN, Australia -- The Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) 22 ground combat element (GCE), led by 3d Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment (3/7), participated in exercise PREDATOR’S RUN, integrating into the Australian Defence...

Pacific Air Forces Deputy Commander Recognizes Kadena Innovation Milestones
Lt. Gen. James Jacobson, center, Pacific Air Forces deputy commander, and Brig. Gen. David Eaglin, left, 18th Wing commander, listen to Master Sgt. Timothy Blas, right, 18th Component Maintenance Squadron TF34 engine maintenance section chief, as he provides information on a recent munitions exercise at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Aug. 17, 2022. The U.S. Air Force’s posture in the Pacific provides ready and lethal capabilities that deter adversaries and aid in Japan's defense (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sebastian Romawac)
Sept. 1, 2022 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- U.S. Air Force Deputy Commander of Pacific Air Forces, Lt. Gen. James Jacobson, visited Kadena Air Base, Japan, Aug. 16-19, 2022, to learn about Kadena operations on Okinawa and observe the quality...