Fortuna Favet Fortibus

3rd Battalion 8th Marines Unit Patch

Activation

3rd Battalion 8th Marine Regiment (3/8) was activated on November 1, 1940 in San Diego and assigned to 2nd Marine Division. 3/8's motto is "Fortuna Favet Fortibus," which means "Fortune Favors the Strong." During World War II 3/8 participated in the action at the Battle of Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian and Okinawa. Following the surrender of Japan, they re-deployed in September 1945 to Nagasaki, Japan and participated in occupation of Japan until February 1946. The battalion was deactivated March 26, 1946.

 
3/8 was reactivated on January 15, 1951 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division. During the 1960s they participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis from October to December 1962 and Operation Powerpack in the Dominican Republic in 1965.  

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Peacekeeping

In the 1980's, the Battalion was part of the Multi-Nation Peace Keeping Force in Lebanon from September 1982 to February 1983, and February through October 1984. Then in the 1990's, 3/8 participated in: 

  • Operation Sharp Edge in Liberia during August 1990
  • Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq during April and July 1991.
  • Operation Deny Flight, Bosnia, April - September 1995.
  • Operation Assured Response, Liberia, June - August 1996.
  • Operation Joint Endeavor, Adriatic Sea, October 1996.
  • Elements participated in security operations Haiti and Panama November 1997 - February 1998 and January - August 1999.
  • Operation Noble Anvil, Operation Shining Hope and Operation Joint Guardian, April 1999-October 1999

Since the September 11th attacks, 3/8 took a major role in the Global War on Terror, including participation in the Operation Enduring Freedom in Kabul, Afghanistan, December 2001 to September 2002. From March to June 2004, 3/8 participated in Operation Secure Tomorrow in Port au Prince, Haiti. 

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Fallujah 2005

In January 2005, 3/8 saw its first major combat deployment in support Operation Iraqi Freedom when it was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq. 3/8’s mission was to stabilize and pacify the region which just went through a major U.S. offensive. In Fallujah, 3/8 faced a resilient insurgency that coordinated attacks on Abu Ghraib Prison and other Forward Operating Bases in the Area of Operations. Most importantly, the battalion helped defend polling sites for Iraq’s first democratic elections. In August 2005, 3/8 returned home. During this deployment 3/8 lost 8 Marines, Killed in Action (KIA), and sustained over 114 casualties. 

Ramadi 2006

After a short turnaround following the operation in Fallujah, 3/8 was deployed from March to October, 2006, to Ramadi, Iraq. As many units that preceded 3/8, they quickly learned that Ramadi was one of the most dangerous cities in the Iraq War. Assigned to U.S. Army’s 1st Armor Division, 3rd Battalion 8th Marines were charged with securing the center of the city. This deployment quickly became a constant, day to day, urban combat battle against a well supplied insurgency. In less than 6 months the Battalion lost 17 Marines and Sailors, KIA, and sustained over 240 casualties. For this deployment 3/8 was awarded a Navy Unit Commendation.  

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22nd MEU and Afghanistan 2007-2009

After Ramadi, 3/8 served as the ground combat element of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) from February 2007 to February 2008, during which elements participated in Operation Sea Angel II in Bangladesh. 


In October 2008, 3/8 participated in Operation Enduring Freedom. Operating mainly in the Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 3rd Battalion 8th Marines (Reinforced), Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force covered a large and dangerous Area of Operations. In December 2008, the Marines of India Company provided security for Operation Backstop protecting large British logistics convoy that moved equipment and supplies for Coalition combat operations in Helmand Province, mainly Nowzad, Afghanistan. From October 2008 to May 2009 they have sustained 11 KIA and numerous casualties. 

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26th MEU and Afghanistan 2010-2011

In August 2010, 3/8 deployed as the ground combat element for the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and in January 2011 they detached and several support Marines from the MEU deployed to Afghanistan to establish and maintain security in portions of Helmand Province not previously permanently held by the International Security Assistance Force. Attached to Regimental Combat Team 8 as part of the International Security Assistance Force, the Marines provided security in portions of the Upper Gareshk Valley in order to allow the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to foster socio-economic development in the area. During this deployment 3/8 sustained 1 KIA.  

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Mission Continues

3/8 deployed to Afghanistan, again, in April 2012 until December 2012, and served in Marjah, Afghanistan. In 2014, 3/8 served as part of Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force- Crisis Response, SPMAGTF-CR. As part of SPMAGTF-CR, 3/8 assisted in evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, in July 26, 2014. 


For their participation in OIF and OEF they were awarded Navy Unit Commendation, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, and Afghanistan Campaign Medal. Marines and Sailors of 3/8 also became highly decorated with over 35 Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, 40 Navy Achievement Medals, over 350 Purple Hearts, 3 Bronze Stars with a "V" for Valor, and 1 Navy Cross.  

Fallen Brothers

Operation Iraqi Freedom 2005-2006

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Cpl. John T. Olson 

LCpl. Michael V. Postal   

LCpl. Taylor E. Prazynski   

LCpl. Marcus Mahdee   

PFC. Stephen P. Baldwyn   

LCpl. John T. Schmidt III  

LCpl. Robert T. Mininger   

GySgt. Terry W. Ball   

LCpl. Jacob W. Beisel  

SSgt. Eric E. McIntosh   

Cpl. Scott J. Procopio   

LCpl. Kun Y. Kim  

HM. Geovani Rafael Padilla Aleman  

PFC. Chase A. Edwards   

LCpl. Justin D. Sims  

LCpl. Richard Z. James   

LCpl. Kevin A. Lucas   

LCpl. Nicholas J. Whyte   

Cpl. Riley E. Baker   

Cpl. Julian A. Ramon   

Cpl. Timothy D. Roos   

LCpl. Adam R. Murray   

PFC. Enrique C. Sanchez  

Cpl. Joseph A. Tomci  

Cpl. Christopher T. Warndorf 

Operation Enduring Freedom 2008-2011

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LCpl. Alberto Francesconi   

LCpl. Jessie A. Cassada   

LCpl. Julian T. Brennan  

Sgt. David W. Wallace   

Sgt. Trevor J. Johnson   

LCpl. Kevin T. Preach  

SSgt. Daniel L. Hanson   

LCpl. Daniel J. Geary   

Cpl. Michael W. Ouellette   

Cpl. Anthony L. Williams   

LCpl. Blaise A. Oleski

LCpl. Andrew P. Carpenter