1st Combat Engineer Battalion
is a combat engineer battalion of the United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...
. The unit, nicknamed "The Super Breed", is based at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is the major West Coast base of the United States Marine Corps and serves as its prime amphibious training base...
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...
and falls under the command of the 1st Marine Division and the I Marine Expeditionary Force.
Provide mobility, counter mobility, survivability, and limited general engineering support to the 1st Marine Division.
- Headquarters and Service Company
A Headquarters and Service Company is a company sized military unit, found at the battalion level and higher in the United States Marine Corps. In identifying a specific headquarters unit, it is usually referred to by its abbreviation as H&S...
- Alpha Company
- Bravo Company
- Charlie Company
- Delta/Engineer Support Company
- Mobility Assault/Route Clearance Company
World War II
The battalion was formed on 24 February 1941 at Guantanamo Bay
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is located on of land and water at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba which the United States leased for use as a coaling station following the Cuban-American Treaty of 1903. The base is located on the shore of Guantánamo Bay at the southeastern end of Cuba. It is the oldest overseas...
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...
, as the 1st Pioneer Battalion
, 1st Marine Division to be a specialized unit to conduct shore party operations during Amphibious assaults, and to provide close combat engineer support to the Marine infantry. The average age of the enlisted men was about 18, and they referred to themselves as "draft dodger
Draft evasion is a term that refers to an intentional failure to comply with the military conscription policies of the nation to which he or she is subject...
s" because all were volunteers. They relocated during April 1941 to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island is an military installation located within Port Royal, South Carolina, approximately south of Beaufort, the community that is typically associated with the installation. MCRD Parris Island is used for the training of enlisted Marines...
, South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...
and again in September 1941 to "Tent City One" at Marine Corps Air Station New River
Marine Corps Air Station New River is a United States Marine Corps helicopter base in Jacksonville, North Carolina, in the eastern part of the state. In 1972, the airfield was named McCutcheon Field for Brigadier General Keith B. McCutcheon, one of the fathers of Marine Corps helicopter aviation...
, North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...
On 14 June 1942 the battalion traveled by a five-day train journey to San Francisco, with the final destination of Wellington, New Zealand which was not disclosed to personnel at the time. The sail to New Zealand was on the USAT John Ericsson (NY-307)
MS Kungsholm was a passenger liner owned and operated by the Swedish American Line from 1928 to 1941 on transatlantic services from Gothenburg to New York as well as cruising out of New York. It was built at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany...
, a former Swedish deluxe cruise liner the S.S. Kungsholms, departing from the Oakland Naval Base. They were redesignated on 12 January 1943 as the 1st Battalion, 17th Marines
and again on 30 June 1944 as the First Engineer Battalion
The battalion participated in combat during the Battle of Guadalcanal, Eastern New Guinea, Battle of New Britain
Operation Cartwheel was a major military strategy for the Allies in the Pacific theater of World War II. Cartwheel was a twin-axis of advance operation, aimed at militarily neutralizing the major Japanese base at Rabaul...
, Battle of Peleliu
The Battle of Peleliu, codenamed Operation Stalemate II, was fought between the United States and the Empire of Japan in the Pacific Theater of World War II, from September–November 1944 on the island of Peleliu, present-day Palau. U.S...
and the Battle of Okinawa
The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of World War II. The 82-day-long battle lasted from early April until mid-June 1945...
. Following the war they were sent to Tientsin, China in September 1945 as peacekeepers and returned to the United States during June 1947 to Camp Pendleton, California
The battalion deployed during August 1950 to Kobe, Japan, joining the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade
The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was a Marine infantry brigade of the United States Marine Corps that existed periodically from 1912 to 1950. It was an ad hoc unit formed for specific operations and therefore not considered a "permanent" USMC unit....
they were then sent in September 1950 to Inchon, Korea, and joined the 1st Marine Division.
During the war they participated in the following battles:
- Battle of Pusan Perimeter
The Battle of Pusan Perimeter was a large-scale battle between United Nations and North Korean forces lasting from August 4 – September 18, 1950. It was one of the first major engagements of the Korean War...
- Battle of Inchon-Seoul
The Battle of Inchon was an amphibious invasion and battle of the Korean War that resulted in a decisive victory and strategic reversal in favor of the United Nations . The operation involved some 75,000 troops and 261 naval vessels, and led to the recapture of the South Korean capital Seoul two...
- Battle of Chosin Reservoir
The Battle of Chosin Reservoir, also known as the Chosin Reservoir Campaign or the Changjin Lake Campaign ,Official Chinese sources refer to this battle as the Second Phase Campaign Eastern Sector . The Western Sector is the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River. was a decisive battle in the Korean War...
- East-Central Front
- Western Front
Following the armistice the battalion participated in the defense of the Korean Demilitarized Zone
The Korean Demilitarized Zone is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula that serves as a buffer zone between North and South Korea. The DMZ cuts the Korean Peninsula roughly in half, crossing the 38th parallel on an angle, with the west end of the DMZ lying south of the parallel and...
from August 1953 – April 1955. They returned to Camp Pendleton, California in April 1955 and were again redesignated on 1 May 1957 as the 1st Pioneer Battalion
The battalion was again redesignated on 1 May 1963 as the 1st Engineer Battalion
and redeployed during September 1965 to Camp Hansen
Camp Hansen is a United States Marine Corps base located in Okinawa, Japan. The camp is situated in the town of Kin, near the northern shore of Kin Bay, and is the second-northernmost major installation on Okinawa, with Camp Schwab to the north...
, Okinawa. They remained there until January 1966 when they moved to Chu Lai
Chu Lai is a sea port, urban and industrial area in Dung Quat Bay, Núi Thành district, Quang Nam province of Vietnam. The city is served by Chu Lai Airport.-Vietnam War:...
in the Republic of Vietnam.
During the Vietnam War they participated in combat operation from January 1966 through April 1971, operating from Chu Lai and Da Nang
Đà Nẵng , occasionally Danang, is a major port city in the South Central Coast of Vietnam, on the coast of the South China Sea at the mouth of the Han River. It is the commercial and educational center of Central Vietnam; its well-sheltered, easily accessible port and its location on the path of...
1980s and 1990s
The battalion participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...
in Southwest Asia
Western Asia, West Asia, Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia are terms that describe the westernmost portion of Asia. The terms are partly coterminous with the Middle East, which describes a geographical position in relation to Western Europe rather than its location within Asia...
from August 1990 until March 1991. They would later take part in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...
from December 1992 – February 1993. Elements would participate in Fire-Fighting efforts in the Western United States during August and September 1994.
Global War on Terror
The battalion has participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom from March 2003 until the present. The battalion headquarters and 3 engineer companies were deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 as part of the NATO counterinsurgency offensive in the Helmand Province http://www.i-mef.usmc.mil/div/1ceb/deployed.asp
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. 1st CEB has been presented with the following awards:
||Presidential Unit Citation
The Presidential Unit Citation, originally called the Distinguished Unit Citation, is awarded to units of the Armed Forces of the United States and allies for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after 7 December 1941...
one Silver and two Bronze Stars
||Joint Meritorious Unit Award
The Joint Meritorious Unit Award is a military award that was established on June 4, 1981 by Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and was implemented by Department of Defense Directive 1348.27 dated July 22, 1982...
||Navy Unit Commendation
The Navy Unit Commendation of the United States Navy is an award that was established by order of the Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal on 18 December 1944...
with one Bronze Star
||Meritorious Unit Commendation
The Meritorious Unit Commendation is a mid-level unit award of the United States military which is awarded to any military command which displays exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service, heroic deeds, or valorous actions....
with one Bronze Stars
||American Defense Service Medal
The American Defense Service Medal is a decoration of the United States military, recognizing service before America’s entry into the Second World War but during the initial years of the European conflict.-Criteria:...
|| Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal is a service decoration of the Second World War which was awarded to any member of the United States military who served in the Pacific Theater from 1941 to 1945 and was created on November 6, 1942 by issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The medal was...
with four Bronze Stars
||World War II Victory Medal
The World War II Victory Medal is a decoration of the United States military which was created by an act of Congress in July 1945. The decoration commemorates military service during World War II and is awarded to any member of the United States military, including members of the armed forces of...
||Navy Occupation Service Medal
The Navy Occupation Service Medal is a decoration of the United States Navy which was issued to Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard personnel who participated in the European and Asian occupation forces following the close of the World War II. The decoration was also bestowed to personnel who...
with Asia clasp
||National Defense Service Medal
The National Defense Service Medal is a military service medal of the United States military originally commissioned by President Dwight D. Eisenhower...
with two Bronze Stars
||China Service Medal
The China Service Medal was a military medal awarded to U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard personnel. The medal was instituted on August 23, 1940 and featured a yellow ribbon with narrow red edge stripes...
||Korean Service Medal
The Korean Service Medal is an award of the United States military and was created in November 1950 by executive order of President Harry Truman. The Korean Service Medal is the primary United States medal for participation in the Korean War and is awarded to any U.S. service member, who...
with two Bronze Stars
||Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
The Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal is a military award of the United States military, which was first created in 1961 by Executive Order of President John Kennedy...
|| Vietnam Service Medal
The Vietnam Service Medal is a military award which was created in 1965 by order of President Lyndon B. Johnson. The distinctive design was the creation of sculptor Thomas Hudson Jones, a former employee of the Army Institute of Heraldry. The medal is issued to recognize military service during...
with two Bronze Stars
||Southwest Asia Service Medal
The Southwest Asia Service Medal is a military award of the United States armed forces which was created by order of President George H.W. Bush on March 12, 1991. The award is intended to recognize those military service members who performed duty during the years of the Persian Gulf War...
with two Bronze Stars
||Korean Presidential unit Citation
The Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation is issued by the government of South Korea to both Korean military and foreign units. The last major issuance of the decoration was during the Korean War when the decoration was bestowed to several U.S., U.K., and Commonwealth military units...
||Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Streamer
||Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Civil Action Medal
The Vietnam Civil Actions Medal was a decoration of South Vietnam which was first established in 1964. The decoration is a mid-level service award which was awarded to any member of the Vietnamese military who performed outstanding civic service to the state or who participated in civil service...
||Iraq Campaign Medal
The Iraq Campaign Medal is a military award of the United States armed forces which was created by Executive Order 13363 of President George W. Bush on November 29, 2004. The Iraq Campaign Medal was designed by the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry....
||Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
The Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal is a United States armed forces military award created by George W. Bush on March 12, 2003 by Executive Order 13289. It recognizes those military service members who have deployed overseas in direct service to the War on Terror from September 11,...
||Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal is a military award of the United States military which was created by Executive Order 13289 of President George W. Bush on March 12, 2003...