CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Noah Minner was once told it identified members of a permanent working party.
Cpl. Elias Pirkey heard from another Marine it signaled warrant officers-in-training.
These Marines, all landing support specialists, are referring to a small red patch, sewn to the utility trouser pocket and the distinctive eight-point utility cover.
Cpl. Kody Stallard laughingly described that he was told it was emblematic of Marine “combat barbers”, “underwater basic-weavers”, or “submarine door gunners”, among numerous other nonexistent military jobs.
Stallard stated he is often asked as many as two or three times a week why they wear the three-inch patch. The simple uniform modification’s legacy harkens back to the beaches of the bloody Pacific theater of World War II.
Amphibious landings at Guadalcanal suffered from confusion between which Marines were landing support and which Marines were the infantry. This confusion was so apparent, by accounts, that some landing support Marines headed inland with the infantry and some infantrymen stayed behind on the beach. The solution, a simple, red cloth square to modify their uniforms.
“The re-establishment of 2nd Landing Support Battalion comes during a time of significant transformation within the Marine Corps." Lt. Col. Randall L. Nickel, 2nd Landing Support Battalion commanding officer
Today, landing support specialists perform various duties to deliver and transport gear, personnel, and equipment on beaches and in landing zones, ports, and terminals used in support of operations and deployments.
We'll be seeing more of the red patch. In line with the commandant's planning guidance, Marine Logistics Groups across the Corps re-activated their landing support battalions after a 40 year hiatus. This brings all landing support specialists under one roof.
2nd Marine Logistics Group re-activated 2nd Landing Support Battalion during a ceremony at Camp Lejeune on October 16.
“The re-establishment of 2nd Landing Support Battalion comes during a time of significant transformation within the Marine Corps. Small landing support elements will be vitally important to enable throughput and sustainment of distributed forces,” said Lt. Col. Randall L. Nickel, commanding officer of 2nd Landing Support Battalion. “Whether this is accomplished in the littorals via amphibious ships or via aerial delivery, landing support to the Fleet Marine Force is essential to ensure mission accomplishment.”
Ready for Landing
Photo by Lance Cpl. Zachary Zephir
2nd Landing Support Battalion’s organic companies include: Headquarters and Service Company, Landing Support Company, Beach and Terminal Operations Company, and Landing Support Equipment Company.
The companies will be complementary in their support of battalion operations and will work within the Corps’ renewed focus on expeditionary advanced base operations, a warfighting concept enabling a persistent forward naval presence that has long been the hallmark of U.S. expeditionary forces.
“As the Marine Corps focuses on becoming proficiently trained and equipped as a naval expeditionary force-in-readiness, 2nd Landing Support Battalion will provide a critical link between the Navy and Marine Corps capabilities for dispersed maritime operations and the distribution of logistics across the operating areas,” said Sgt. Maj. Victor C. Mancini, sergeant major of 2nd Landing Support Battalion. “The Marines and Sailors of this battalion are excited to be part of the force transformation.”
The mission of 2nd Landing Support Battalion is to provide throughput support for II Marine Expeditionary Force and other Marine Air-Ground Task Force operations in order to enable the distribution of equipment, personnel, and supplies by air, ground, and sea.