3D Law Enforcement Battalion History
World War II
The structuring of U.S. Marine Military Police into battalions was first recorded during the second world war, in which the Provost marshal, Far East Command, realized that as operations pushed further into the theater, transporting prisoners of war to Australia would no longer be a feasible option. As a result of this conclusion, the Provost Marshal, Far East Command, request an additional 17,000 military police be provided in theater. Marine Corps Military police, organized into provisional military police battalions, would play a significant role in processing nearly 300,000 civilians and over 10,000 prisoners of war during Operation Iceberg, the campaign to seize the island of Okinawa.
During the Vietnam War, Marines were once again organized into military police battalions. The 3d Military Police Battalion, 3d law Enforcement Battalion's direct descendent, fell under Force Logistics Command, Fleet marine force pacific, and was located in San Francisco, California. On 1 May 1967, the 3d Military Police Battalion embarked towards Danang, Republic of Vietnam, with 31 Marine Officers,1 Navy Officer, 521 Marine enlisted, and 6 Navy enlisted under the command of LtCol C. H. Sullivan. The 3d Military Police Battalion took control of the Brig, conducted drug interdiction operations, and engaged in combat with the enemy. In addition, 3d Military Police Battalion also provided personnel security details for the Vice President, Secretary of Defense, and a multitude of general and flag officers. In over 3 years of continuous operations in the Republic of Vietnam, enemy fire claimed the lives of 26 Marines and sailors, and over 150 additional Marines were wounded. On 23 August 1970, the 3d Military Police Battalion bordered the USS Juneau (LPD-10) at Danang Harbor and departed for the United States. On 11 September, the battalion disembarked at Long Beach California. On 15 October, the 3d Military Support Company was deactivated by the order of the Commanding General, 5th Marine Amphibious Brigade.
Marine Corps Bulletin 5400 (MCBUL 5400) was released in September 2011, nearly 31 years after the deactivation of 3d Military Police Battalion. It called for the reactivation of the 1st, 2d and 3d Military Police Battalions, now designated as Law Enforcement Battalions in each Marine Expeditionary Force. The 1st Law Enforcement Battalion will be headquartered in Camp Pendleton, CA, the 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion will be headquartered in Camp Lejeune, NC, and the 3d Law Enforcement Battalion will be headquartered in Camp Hansen, Okinawa. This brief history of the battalion is what brings here today for this most auspicious occasion.