MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Marines and sailors serving with the 5th Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment rededicated their battle colors during a ceremony on the Las Pulgas parade field here, Oct. 3.
A battalion of Marines stood in formation as Maj. Timothy Flynn, the battalion’s executive officer, decorated the battalion colors with 18 streamers signifying unit awards, campaigns, expeditions and battles since the battalion was activated at New River, N.C., in May 1942.
Four batteries stood behind Flynn as he placed the streamers on the battle colors with help of Marines from the battalion. Usually there would be three batteries, but the battalion added a new battery to increase its capabilities.
The mission of 5th Battalion, 11th Marines is to provide long range, precision rocket-artillery fires in support of the Marine Air Ground Task Force, said Sgt. Maj. Rodrigo R. Macias, sergeant major of the battalion.
“I think this was a big moment in the battalion’s history,” Macias said. “We were honoring our fallen brothers by rededicating the colors and adding another battery to the unit.”
The battalion is currently the only active duty battalion in the Marine Corps that has High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems.
“Our battalion was constantly deploying and training to deploy so our Marines had little time to rest,” said 1st Lt. Christopher A. Winkler, the commanding officer of Quebec Battery. “By adding a new battery, those Marines can get a longer break.”
Quebec Battery has been gaining new Marines and equipment to join the battalion for four months while competing against the other batteries in training exercises and physical training events.
“My Marines have been excited about this moment since they began competing with the other batteries,” said Winkler, a 25-year-old native of Minneapolis. “They can’t wait to take their new guidon on a battalion run with the other batteries.”
The battalion also adopted a new unit insignia reflecting its present-day mission.
Marines of the battalion feel honored to be a part of the re-dedication ceremony, said Lance Cpl. Martin Espinoza, a motor technician operator serving with Quebec Battery.
“We carried streamers to pay respect to our fallen brothers,” said Espinoza, a 21-year-old native of Carson City, Nev. “Re-dedication was motivating for me to uphold a higher standard like the Marines who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”