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2nd Tank Battalion
2nd Tank Battalion insignia.jpg
2nd Tanks Insignia
Active December 20, 1941 - present
Country United States
Allegiance United States
Branch USMC
Type Armor Battalion
Role Armor protected firepower and shock action.
Size Battalion
Part of 2nd Marine Division
2nd Marine Expeditionary Force
Garrison/HQ Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune
Nickname(s) Iron Horse
Motto(s) "Ace in the Hole"
Engagements World War II
*Battle of Tarawa
*Battle of Saipan
*Battle of Okinawa
Operation Urgent Fury
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Iraqi Freedom
*2003 invasion of Iraq
*Operation Phantom Fury
Lt Col Jon M. Lauder
Ceremonial chief Sgt. Major James E. Brooks

The 2nd Tank Battalion (2nd Tanks) is an armored battalion of the United States Marine Corps which is based out of the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. It falls under the command of the 2nd Marine Division and the II Marine Expeditionary Force.


World War IIEdit

The battalion formed on December 20, 1941 at Camp Elliott, San Diego, California, growing to the standard organization with a headquarters, service and four letter companies (Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog). Baker Company deployed to Samoa in January and Charlie Company sailed with the 2nd Marine Division to Tulagi, landing in an assault there on November 7, 1942 against heavy resistance. 2nd Tanks participated in every action of the 2nd Marine Division to include the Battle of Tarawa, Battle of Saipan and Battle of Okinawa. After a brief tour with the Japan occupation force, the battalion returned to its permanent garrison at MCB Camp Lejeune.

Korean WarEdit

With the coming of the Korean War, most of the battalion's personnel immediately augmented the 1st Tank Battalion. It also provided the cadre for the 8th Tank Battalion, a wartime expansion force battalion. Garrison duty on the East Coast of the US involved support to routine deployments in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. 2nd Tank Battalion units became involved in two interventions in Lebanon, the Cuban Missile Crisis deployment, the Dominican Republic and the Guantanamo Base defense effort.

Vietnam & Post-war yearsEdit

The Vietnam War again caused the battalion to provide replacements for the tank battalions deployed there. After the Vietnam War, peacetime deployments swelled with participation in NATO exercises. Units of the battalion also saw brief combat in the invasion of Grenada.

Gulf WarEdit


Marines from Company D, 2nd Tank Battalion, drive their M60A1 main battle tank during a breach exercise in Operation Desert Storm in 1991. The tank is fitted with reactive armor and an M-9 bulldozer kit.

The battalion as a whole saw its first combat since the Second World War in 1991, as it moved with the 2nd Marine Division to Saudi Arabia for the liberation of Kuwait. Augmented by companies of the 4th Tank Battalion, 2nd Tanks served as the division reserve for the four-day war in Kuwait.

Iraq WarEdit

Fallujah 2004 M1A1 Abrams

A Marine M1A1 Abrams, 2nd Tank Battalion, fires it main gun into a building to provide suppressive counter fire against insurgents in Fallujah, Al Anbar Province, Iraq during Operation Al Fajr, 2004.

The opening of 2003 found 2nd Tank Battalion preparing for deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Led by Lt Col Michael J. Oehl they deployed under the operational control of the 1st Marine Division and were attached to Regimental Combat Team 5 (RCT-5) upon arrival in theater. On March 20, 2nd Tank Battalion led RCT-5 and 1st Marine Division across the southern Iraqi border, initiating an attack that would ultimately result in the seizure of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and the destruction of the Saddam Hussein regime. 2nd Tank Battalion fought numerous engagements in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, to include battles in An Numaniyah, Al Aziziyah, and eastern Baghdad. Following the seizure of Baghdad, Company D and the AT-TOW Platoon supported Task Force Tripoli and their movement into Tikrit. Upon the cessation of combat operations, 2nd Tank Battalion participated in humanitarian operations in Baghdad. The battalion redeployed to MCB Camp Lejeune on May 29, 2003.

In November 2004 while deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom 2-2, Company C attached to Regimental Combat Team 1 (RCT-1), 1st Marine Division and Company A attached to Regimental Combat Team 7 (RCT-7), 1st Marine Division participated by assisting in portions of Operation Phantom Fury, the recapture of Fallujah.

Unit awardsEdit

A unit citation or commendation is an award bestowed upon an organization for the action cited. Members of the unit who participated in said actions are allowed to wear on their uniforms the awarded unit citation. 2nd Tanks has been presented with the following awards:

RibbonUnit Award
US Navy Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon
Presidential Unit Citation with three Bronze Stars
Navy Unit Commendation ribbon
Navy Unit Commendation
China Service Medal ribbon
China Service Medal
American Defense Service ribbon
American Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon
  Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one Silver Star and two Bronze Stars
World War II Victory Medal ribbon
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation ribbon
Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia and Europe clasp
National Defense Service Medal ribbon
National Defense Service Medal with two Bronze Stars
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Marine Corps Expeditionary ribbon
Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal
Southwest Asia Service ribbon
Southwest Asia Service Medal with three Bronze Stars
Iraq Campaign ribbon
Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary ribbon
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global war terrorism service ribbon
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

See alsoEdit



PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.
  • Rottman, Gordon L. (2002). U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle - Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War, 1939 - 1945.’’. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31906-5. 

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