The 1st Marine Division is a marine infantry division of the United States Marine Corps headquartered at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. It is a subordinate unit of the I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF).
It is the oldest and largest active duty division in the United States Marine Corps, representing a combat-ready force of more than 19,000 men and women. It is one of three active duty divisions in the Marine Corps today and is a multi-role, expeditionary ground combat force. It is nicknamed "The Old Breed".
The division is employed as the ground combat element (GCE) of the I Marine Expeditionary Force or may provide task-organized forces for assault operations and such operations as may be directed. The 1st Marine Division must be able to provide the ground amphibious forcible entry capability to the naval expeditionary force (NEF) and to conduct subsequent land operations in any operational environment.
The 1st Marine Division is currently organized around four regiments;
* 1st Marine Regiment
* 5th Marine Regiment
* 7th Marine Regiment
* 11th Marine Regiment
A number of smaller specialized units do not fall under a specific regiment, but report directly to the division commander. Among these units are the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, the 1st Tank Battalion, the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, and the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.
The division's regiments were in existence as early as 8 March 1911, when the 1st Marine Regiment was formed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The 5th Marines were created in Vera Cruz, Mexico on 13 July 1914. and participated in 15 major engagements during World War I, including Belleau Wood, Chateau Thierry, and St. Mihiel. On 7 August 1917, 7th Marines were activated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and spent the duration of World War I in Cuba and were disbanded after the war. The 11th Marines was formed in January 1918 at Quantico, Va., as a light artillery regiment. The regiment went to France as an infantry unit, providing a machine gun company and a guard company. Decommissioned and reactivated twice between the world wars, the regiment was re-formed in 1940 as a full-fledged artillery unit.
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. The 1st Marine Division has been presented with the following awards:
**Presidential Unit Citation Streamer with one Silver and three Bronze Stars 1942, 1944, 1945, 1950, 1950, 1951, 1966–1967, 1967–1968, 2003 Guadalcanal, Peleliu-Ngesebus, Okinawa, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq
**Joint Meritorious Unit Award Streamer 1992–1993 Somalia
**Navy Unit Commendation Streamer with one Bronze Star 1952–1953, 1990–1991 Korea, Southwest Asia
**Mexican Service Streamer April–November 1914 Vera Cruz
**Dominican Campaign Streamer June – December 1916
**Haitian Campaign Streamer with one Bronze Star August 1915 – August 1934
**Marine Corps Expeditionary Streamer
**World War I Victory Streamer with one Bronze Star
**American Defense Service Streamer with one Bronze Star 1941 World War II
**Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Streamer with one Silver and one Bronze Star
Guadalcanal, Eastern New Guinea, New Britain, Peleliu, Okinawa
**World War II Victory Streamer 1941–1945 Pacific War
**Navy Occupation Service Streamer with "ASIA"
**China Service Streamer with one Bronze Star September 1946 – June 1947 North China
**National Defense Service Streamer with three Bronze Stars 1950–1954, 1961–1974, 1990–1995, 2001–present **Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, War on Terrorism
**Korean Service Streamer with two Silver Stars
Inchon-Seoul, Chosin Reservoir, East-Central Front, Western Front
**Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamer 1992–1993 Somalia
**Vietnam Service Streamer with two Silver and three Bronze Stars July 1965 – April 1971, April – December 1975 Chu Lai, Da Nang, Dong Ha, Qui Nhon, Hue, Phu Bai, Quang Tri, Operation New Arrival
**Southwest Asia Service Streamer with two Bronze Stars September 1990 – February 1991 Desert Shield, Desert Storm
**Iraq Campaign Streamer
March 2004 – March 2005, March 2006 – February 2007
**Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Streamer
March – May 2003
**Global War on Terrorism Service Streamer 2001–present
**Korea Presidential Unit Citation Streamer
**Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Streamer
**Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Civil Actions Streamer