2nd Marine Division
Definition/Scope: The 2d Marine Division is the ground combat element of II MEF. Its backbone is the individual Marine infantryman whose basic mission is to locate, close with, attack and destroy, or capture the enemy. The origins of this division lay in the activation of the 2d Marine Brigade as part of the Fleet Marine Force on 1 July 1936. A year later the brigade deployed to Shanghai, China, returning in 1938 to San Diego, California. On 1 February 1941, the unit was redesignated as the 2d Marine Division. Its component regiments, the 2d, 6th, 8th, and 10th Marines, brought with them impressive histories of service in Vera Cruz (Mexico), World War I in France, and the Caribbean. In World War II, elements of the division served in Iceland, in Hawaii during the attack on Pearl Harbor, and on Samoa, then the full division in the Guadalcanal campaign, followed by the bloody assault of Tarawa for which it was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation, and on to Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa. 2nd Marine Division units helped to reinforce Guantanamo Bay during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and landed in the Dominican Republic in 1965 as part of Operation Power Pack. Other peacekeeping operations carried on by the Division include being part of the Multi National Peacekeeping Force in Lebanon from August 1982 until February 1984. The Division suffered the loss of 241 Marines and Sailors during the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing. Towards the end of the 1980s, Division Marines participated in Operation Just Cause, the invasion of Panama.
Acronym:2nd Mar DIV
Broader Terms:II Marine Expeditionary Force