Okinawa, Japan --
Okinawa, Japan – Every Marine and sailor assigned to III Marine Expeditionary Force will soon have a physical reminder of their place in the long line of Marines who have served honorably in the Pacific for generations.
The Warrior Card Program, launched by Lt. Gen. H. Stacy Clardy, III MEF Commanding General, directs commanders to present their Marines and sailors with a specialized card to signify their time in the Pacific, and serve as a reminder of the historic achievements of past III MEF Marines and sailors. Each card will be signed by the individual service member and bears a unique serial number.
“Every member of III MEF must remain faithful to their fellow Marines and sailors and affirm with their mind and actions that we are forward-deployed warriors prepared for crisis at a moment’s notice,” said Clardy. “When we look back at our heritage, it’s about more than just doing the right thing – it is about living up to the sacrifices and legacy of those who went before, and being prepared to fight now.”
III MEF was established as I Marine Amphibious Corps on Oct. 1, 1942, and spearheaded offensives throughout the Pacific theater during World War II. It was later designated as III Marine Amphibious Corps in 1945 and participated in the Battle of Okinawa, where more than 12,000 Marines, sailors, and soldiers lost their lives in the last major battle of the war. The U.S. military has retained a presence here ever since.
The force was reactivated during the Vietnam War and supported combat operations for the duration of the conflict. In 1988, the unit was redesignated as III Marine Expeditionary Force.
Since then, the Marines and sailors of III MEF have served in most major operations including the Persian Gulf War, Operation Restore Hope, and the global war on terror. III MEF regularly provides humanitarian assistance for allies and partners throughout the Indo-Pacific, including Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Nepal. Today, III MEF stands ready to respond to any crisis as the Marine Corps’ only forward-deployed Marine Expeditionary Force.
The Marines and sailors assigned to the MEF have a unique role as ambassadors of the United States to our partners and allies throughout the Indo-Pacific region. III MEF Marines and sailors are deployed throughout the largest geographic area under a combatant command. They represent the values and heritage of our historic command to citizens and service members from dozens of countries.
“The Warrior Card is intended to serve as a reminder of the Pacific warfighting heritage and that we are blessed to add to it – through our service in the III Marine Expeditionary Force,” said Sgt. Maj. Michael P. Woods, III MEF Sergeant Major.
Over the next several weeks, battalion commanders will issue Warrior Cards to each Marine and sailor in their unit. The Warrior Card highlights the core obligations of each Marine and sailor to the past, present, and future and reminds them all of the core values, mission, and heritage that have made III MEF and the Marine Corps what it is today.
“The Warrior Card also serves to remind our Marines and sailors that they are an integral part of the only forward deployed Marine Expeditionary Force, representing the best of our nation and prepared to defend our republic and our way of life,” said Master Chief Christopher W. Moore, III MEF Command Master Chief.