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3rd Combat Engineer Battalion
Branch Flag of the United States Marine Corps.svg United States Marine Corps
Allegiance United States
Service history
Active September 1942 – 6 June 1995
1 October 2007 – present
Motto “Demolition is the Mission”
Battles World War II
*Battle of Bougainville
*Battle of Guam
*Battle of Iwo Jima
Vietnam War
Operation Desert Storm
Commanders LtCol Dwyer

3rd Combat Engineer Battalion (3rd CEB) is a combat engineer battalion of the United States Marine Corps. The unit is based at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California. The battalion began reactivation on 7 October 2007 and continues to build to full mission capability planned for 2009. The battalion is expected to be based on Guam once construction of facilities are complete.


Provide mobility, counter mobility, survivability, and limited general engineering support.

Current unitsEdit


World War IIEdit

The battalion was first formed on 16 September 1942 as 1st Battalion, 19th Marine Regiment. Two years later on 16 August 1944 they were re-designated the 3d Engineer Battalion. The battalion was deactivated at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California on 30 November 1945[1] From August 1957 until January 1962, the battalion was designated 3d Pioneer Battalion.

Vietnam WarEdit

The 3d Engineer Battalion deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in July 1965 and remained in country until October 1969[2] During this time the battalion operated from Da Nang, Dong Ha, Gia Le, Quang Tri, Cua Viet, Camp Carroll, Cam Lo, and the Vandegrift Combat Base. After Vietnam the battalion was moved to Camp Schwab, Okinawa, only to be relocated in November 1970 to Camp Hansen, Okinawa. On 15 May 1976 the battalion was redesignated as the 3d Combat Engineer Battalion.[3]

1970s through the 1990sEdit

In September 1975, the Battalion was redesignated as 3d Combat Engineer Battalion.

3d CEB provided three companies to Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm between August 1990 and March 1991. “Alpha” Company deployed from Marine Corps Base Hawaii with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, “Bravo” Company deployed via amphibious shipping 15 August 1990 from Okinawa, and “Charlie” Company landed in Saudi Arabia five days before the air war began. The Marines from 3d CEB participated in breaching operations with “Task Force Grizzly” and “Task Force Papa Bear.”[4] Once in country, Alpha Co, 3rd CEB was soon assigned to 1st CEB and was referred to as "Alpha 3rd", to distinguish them from Alpha Company, 1st CEB. One platoon from Bravo Company, 3rd CEB, 3rd Mar Div, Okinawa, arrived in country via amphibious shipping and was added to "Alpha 3rd'" to become the company's 3rd platoon. 1st CEB supported Taskforce Ripper, [the lead element of 1st Mar Div during Desert Storm]. "Alpha 3rd'", was designated an Obstacle Clearing Detachment and was assigned to operate along with 1st Battalion 5th Marines, Company A, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion and Company A 1st Tank Battalion as the lead element of Task Force Ripper to breach minefields. Alpha Company 3rd' performed one minefield breach on the 1st mine field belt, and one breach on the second minefield breach which was defended by the Iraqi forces. "Alpha Company '3rd" also supplied a squad of engineers to conduct breaching operations for Task Force Shepard.

In 1995, 3d CEB was deactivated. Their numbers were dispersed to other combat engineers units throughout the Marine Corps. The battalion was renamed Combat Engineer Company and was folded into Combat Assault Battalion of the 3rd Marine Division.

Reactivation and the Global War on TerrorEdit

Alpha Company was stood up in Twentynine Palms, California in the autumn of 2007. The company, minus its 2nd Platoon, deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and fell under the command of Regimental Combat Team 5 during 2008. The 2nd Platoon deployed at about the same time to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines operating throughout Helmand and Farah Provinces.

Bravo Company was stood up in November 2008 with three full strength line platoons. The battalion will also have a full company to facilitate the use of the new Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV).

3d Combat Engineer Battalion deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom during 2010.

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 appropriate ribbon of the awarded unit citation. 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion has been awarded the following:

Streamer Award Year(s) Additional Info
PUC 1B Presidential Unit Citation Streamer with one Bronze Star 22–28 February 1945, 15 July 1965 – 15 September 1967 Iwo Jima, Vietnam
Navy Unit Commendation streamer (USMC) Navy Unit Commendation Streamer 15 May – 9 July 1991 Operation Sea Angel I
Meritorious Unit Commendation (Navy-Marine) Streamer Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer 1–25 May 1968 Vietnam
APC 4B Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Streamer with four Bronze Stars 1 November – 15 December 1943, 4 January – 4 June 1944, 21 July – 15 August 1944, 22 February – 16 March 1945 Treasury – Bougainville, Consolidation of Solomon Islands, Marianas, Iwo Jima
Streamer WWII V World War II Victory Streamer 1942–1945 Pacific War
NDS 3B National Defense Service Streamer with three Bronze Stars 1950–1954, 1961–1974, 1990–1995, 2009 – present Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, War on Terrorism
Korean Service Medal - Streamer Korean Service Streamer 23 August 1953 – 27 July 1954 Korea
VSS 2S Vietnam Service Streamer with two Silver Stars June 1965 – October 1969 Vietnam
ACM 1B Afghanistan Campaign Streamer with one Bronze Star 2010 Helmand Province (Consolidation III)
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal streamer Global War on Terrorism Service Streamer 2009 – present
VMUA PALM Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Streamer 15 July 1965 – 20 September 1969

Notable membersEdit

See alsoEdit


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.
  1. Rottman (2002), p.221.
  2. "Marine units in Vietnam". 3rd Marine Division Association. Retrieved 7 December 2007. 
  3. "3d Combat Engineer Battalion Lineage". 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  4. "Organizations and units Serving Proudly". Marine Corps Engineering Association. 2007. Retrieved 7 December 2007. [dead link]

External linksEdit

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