Headquartered in New Orleans but with subordinate units stationed throughout the United States, the 4th Marine Division is the Marine Corps Reserve’s ground combat element. Many of the Division’s units have been deployed in whole or in part in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom as part of the Global War on Terror. When not deployed, units of the “Fighting Fourth” take part in some five dozen training exercises each year. The exercises are conducted across a variety of locations with distinct climates and topography (jungle, mountain, desert, cold weather) mimicking possible real-world operational challenges and frequently focus on amphibious assaults and providing security.

The first of the units now in the 4th Marine to be activated was the 23rd Marine Regiment, which was formed in July 1942 and initially trained with the 3rd Marine Division. February 1943 saw the unit detached from the 3rd and sent to the 4th Marine Division, where they were joined by an artillery battalion from the 12th Marines that formed the basis of the 14th Marine Regiment; similarly, Engineer components of the 19th Marines made up the core of what became the 20th Marine Regiment. The 24th Marine Regiment, activated in March 1943, was subsequently divided two months later with one of the cadres forming the 25th Marine Regiment. The entire Division was officially activated on 14 August 1943 and departed the U.S. for the Pacific Theater in January 1944.

Over the next 13 months, the Division took part in four significant amphibious assaults: Kwajalein, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. The unit was awarded two Presidential Unit Citation and a Navy Unit Commendation for its outstanding performance in these battles.

Today, the 4th Marine Division consists of three Marine Regiments (14th, 23rd, and 25th; the 24th was deactivated in 2013), a tank battalion, an assault amphibian battalion, a combat engineer battalion, a light armored reconnaissance battalion, a reconnaissance battalion, and two force reconnaissance companies.
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