Sunday, April 4, 2010


I checked in to the 1st Marine Division at the end of November 1999 and was given orders to 5th Marine Regiment, "the most highly decorated Marine Corps Regiment," as the Embarkation Chief. Walking through the halls of the Command Post (CP), upon check-in, it was clear to me that this unit was rich in military history with all the Battle Streamers hanging from the Battle Colors and combat-related photographs that lined the walls. The 5th Marine Regiment was activated on June 8, 1917 and have fought in every battle from WWI to the Global War On Terrorism. Their actions in France during WWI earned them the right to wear the Fourragère - one of only two in the Marine Corps (the other being the 6th Marine Regiment).

Tonight's episode of the Pacific follows Corporal Eugene Sledge and Private First Class Robert Leckie from the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines ("3/5") 2nd Battalion 1st Marines, respectively.

On November 10, 2000, I attended the Marine Corps Ball at Primm, NV with 3/5 and there was absolutely no shortage of camaraderie and esprit de corps. Jillian wasn't too happy, though, when a young Marine accidentally splattered juice from a chicken serving tray on her gold dress.

In January of 2001, I was transferred to be a Marine Recruiter (2001-2004) and missed the initial push into Iraq with "The Fighting 5th" Marines.

Corporal Eugene Sledge

Private First Class Robert Leckie

Marines hit three feet of rough water as they leave their LST to take the beach at Cape Gloucester, New Britain. December 26, 1943.

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