One door closes, another opens
In Marine Corps news this month, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines cased its colors during the unit’s deactivation ceremony at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, on 13 January 2023.
Surely it is a bad sign when a famed unit– one that formerly counted Commandant Krulak, John Ripley of Dong Ha bridge fame, Ollie North, Dakota Meyer, and “Terminal Lance” Maximilian Uriarte– cases its colors on Friday the 13th.
The move will allow for the transformation of 3d Marines to the 3d Marine Littoral Regiment.
Of note, first stood up on 1 June 1942, 3/3 Marines were bled white in the liberation of Guam in July 1944, suffering over 400 casualties, half its strength.
Speaking of which, the Corps is marking the naming and reactivation of Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz, on Jan. 26, 2023, on Guam. MCBCB is named in honor of the late Brig. Gen. Vicente ‘Ben’ Thomas Garrido Blaz, the first Chamorro Marine to attain the rank of general officer.
Thirteen years old when the Japanese invaded Guam during World War II, Blaz worked in labor camps, building aviation fields, planting rice, and digging trenches until American forces retook the island in 1944. Post-war, following a BS from Notre Dame, he would serve in the Marines in both Korea and Vietnam.
The base will be the first Marine installation after Marine Barracks Guam was deactivated on Nov. 10, 1992. Ultimately 5,000 Marines will be stationed there, ironically “partially funded by a large monetary contribution from the Government of Japan,” as part of a pivot of Marines from Okinawa.
“MCBCB will play an essential role in strengthening the Marine Corps’ geographically distributed, operationally resilient, and politically sustainable posture in the Indo-Pacific region.”