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3d Marine Division

The Fighting Third

Okinawa, Japan
Thunder and Steel

By Lance Cpl. Kolby Leger | 3rd Marine Division | October 4, 2019

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OKINAWA, Japan—A U.S. Marine Regiment originally born in China, now based out of Japan, celebrates its 92nd anniversary by rededicating its Battle Colors.

The 12th Marine Regiment rededicated their Battle Colors on Oct. 4, 2019, during a ceremony in front of their headquarters building on Camp Hansen.

The rededication of the Battle Colors is a vibrant piece of Marine Corps history. Each battalion sized unit or larger maintains a set of colors and streamers. They are the pride of the unit and show how each unit was battle tested and proven.

Nicknamed, Thunder and Steel, 12th Marine Regiment was originally activated on Oct. 4, 1927, at Tientsin, China and assigned to 3d Marine Brigade as a supporting element. They were deactivated for a period of time but later reactivated on Sept. 1, 1942, and assigned to 3d Marine Division. They have been involved in operations such as World War II, Vietnam, and Operation Desert Storm.

“It’s not about the weapon system” said Colonel Michael Roach, commanding officer of 12th Marine Regiment, when speaking of his Marines’ adaptability. “We’re not tied to a weapon system, we create effects for the division that maintain lethality that competes and deters.”

12th Marine Regiment is comprised of two battalions and a headquarters battery spread across the Pacific in Hawaii and Okinawa, Japan. The regiment is responsible for supplying close fire support for its allies and suppressing targets that threaten the success of the supported unit.

“I would say we’re not only an artillery regiment, but we are a regiment of Marines in the 3d Marine Division,” said Roach. “The pacific is our home, it’s in our blood, it’s who we are.”           


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