Military Wiki
9th Marine Regiment
9th Marines Insignia
courtesy of
  • November 10, 1917 — April 25, 1919
  • January 1, 1943 — December 31, 1945
  • October 1, 1947 — October 17, 1949
  • March 17, 1952 — July 21, 1994
  • April 18, 2007-present
Country United States
Branch USMC
Type Infantry regiment
Role Locate, close with and destroy the enemy with fire and maneuver
Part of 3rd Marine Division
III Marine Expeditionary Force
Garrison/HQ Deactivated
Nickname(s) Striking Ninth
Engagements World War II
* Battle of Bougainville
* Battle of Guam
* Battle of Iwo Jima
Vietnam War
* Operation Dewey Canyon
Operation Desert Storm
Lemuel C. Shepherd
Robert H. Barrow

The 9th Marine Regiment was an infantry regiment of the United States Marine Corps. Formed during World War II, it served until the early 1990s when it was deactivated to make room for three light armor reconnaissance battalions. Battalions of the Ninth Marine Regiment began to be reactivated in 2007 as part of the Marine Corps' plan to increase its end strength by 27,000 over the following five years.

Current Units[]

The regiment is composed of three infantry battalions and one headquarters company:


Early years[]

The 9th Marines were activated at Quantico, Virginia on November 20, 1917. A month later, they deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and were attached to the 3rd Marine Brigade. That same month, they redeployed with the brigade to Galveston, Texas in case of any German operation in the Caribbean or in Mexico. After World War I, the regiment was deactivated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 25, 1919.[1][2]

On December 1, 1925, the regiment was reactivated as a reserve organization whose mission was to train and maintain at a high degree of preparedness a group of “civilian” Marines.[2]

World War II[]

The 3rd Battalion 9th Marines was reactivated at Camp Elliot, San Diego on February 12, 1942. In the following months, the rest of the battalions were also reactivated on January 1, 1942 when the regiment officially re-formed. They were attached to the 3rd Marine Division at Camp Pendleton on September 16, 1943. The 9th Marines fought as part of the 3rd Marine Division on the islands of Bougainville, Guam, and Iwo Jima during WW2. The Regiment was deactivated at Camp Pendleton on December 31, 1945.[1]

Vietnam War[]

On March 8, 1965, 9th Marines came ashore at My Khe Beach (better known as China Beach) as the first conventional ground combat unit in South Vietnam.[3] Their mission was to defend the air base at Da Nang. The first significant contact was in April 1965. The regimental headquarters arrived in country in July of that year.

The Regiment saw action in Vietnam’s I Corps, primarily in Quang Tri and Thua Thien provinces, although a number of its earlier operations were also conducted in the southern I Corps provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Tin, and Quang Ngai. The 9th Marines served as a vital stop to the North Vietnamese penetrations across the DMZ and from along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Cambodia.

Some of its early operations included Double Eagle, Macon and Prairie.

In April and May 1967, elements of the regiment defeated two NVA Regiments in the Hills north of Khe Sanh. In Operation Buffalo, elements of the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines made contact north of Con Thien with regimental-size NVA forces in an engagement that lasted through May, accounting for over 1300 enemy dead.

In one of the most successful operations of the war, the regiment conducted Operation Dewey Canyon in the A Shau Valley, cut by the Song Da Krong river. The 9th Regiment exacted a deadly toll on the NVA. These actions precluded another build-up and assault from Route 622 from Laos into South Vietnam as the NVA had the year before during the Tet Offensive.

Operation Dewey Canyon netted, among other weaponry, 16 artillery pieces, 73 anti-aircraft guns, hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition, 92 trucks, and hundreds of thousands pounds of rice.

In the words of Gen Stillwell in his report to Gen Abrams on Operation Dewey Canyon:

“...this ranks with the most significant undertakings of the Vietnam conflict in the concept and results...”

The 9th Marines were part of the first redeployments from Vietnam in the summer of 1969. In July 1969 the regiment deployed to Camp Schwab, Okinawa and was reassigned in August 1969 to the 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade. The 9th MAB was then reassigned during November 1969 to the 3rd Marine Division (3 MarDiv).

Deactivation (1994)[]

The 9th Marines were deactivated in the budget cuts of 1994.[4] A nucleus of staff and support personnel were maintained to reconstitute the regiment when needed. This was done in the belief that the necessary riflemen would be easily recruited in time of emergency or war.

On September 2, 1994 the 2nd Battalion was deactivated and redesignated the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines and the 3rd Battalion was deactivated and re-designated the 3d Battalion, 4th Marines. On September 9, 1994 the 1st Battalion was deactivated and redesignated as the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines.

Reactivation (2007)[]

As part of the effort to expand the Marine Corps to 202,000 Marines by the end of 2011, the battalions of the 9th Marines began reactivation in 2007.[5] The 1st Battalion, 9th Marines (1/9) reactivated on April 18, 2007,[6] the 2nd Battalion reactivated in July 2007, and the 3rd Battalion reactivated in May 2008.[5][6][7] Each battalion falls under existing regimental headquarters — 1/9 with the 8th Marine Regiment, 2/9 with the 6th Marine Regiment and 3/9 with the 2nd Marine Regiment.[5]

Medal of Honor recipients[]

8 Marines from the 9th Marine Regiment have received the Medal of Honor:

Unit awards[]

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. During its existence 9th Marines were presented with the following awards:

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Rottman, Gordon L. (2002). U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle – Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War.. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31906-5. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Lineage: 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines". II MEF, USMC. 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  3. O'Neil Top Secret, p.225.
  4. Melson, Charles (1998). US Marine in Vietnam (1965-1973); Warrior Series #23. London: Osprey Military, a division of Reed Publishing Ltd. p.62
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Talton, Trista (May 24, 2008). "Battalion stands up — but where will it go?". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "MARADMIN 582/06 - Publication of Fiscal Years 2007 through 2013 Tables of Organization and Equipment (T/OE)". U.S. Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 11 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  7. "Marines: 9th Marines Returns From the Dead". Strategy Page. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 


  • O'Brien, J.T. (2004). Top Secret - A Ready Room History of Electronic Warfare and Photo Reconnaissance in Marine Corps Aviation from 1940 until 2000. Anaheim, California: Equidata Publishing Co.. ISBN 0-9714185-3-5. 
  • 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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