Historic 2/9 reactivated as Corps expands | MassCops

Historic 2/9 reactivated as Corps expands

Discussion in 'Military News' started by kwflatbed, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member


    Randy Davey Marine Lt. Col. Thad R. Trapp, the new commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, speaks to the crowd July 13 after the reactivation ceremony of 2/9 at Camp Lejeune

    By Trista Talton - Staff writer
    Posted : Saturday Jul 14, 2007 9:56:16 EDT

    CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — The Marine Corps’ great expansion during World War I gave birth to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines.
    Ninety years later, the Corps is expanding again — and 2/9 has been reborn. The battalion, first activated in October 1917 in Quantico, Va., was reactivated in a ceremony here July 13. The resurrection of 2/9 meant the end of the road for the Corps’ Anti-Terrorism Battalion, whose more than 700 Marines and sailors were transferred to 2/9.
    “This is not a standard change of command,” AT Battalion commander Lt. Col. Richard Jackson said. “It’s not a sad day for Anti-Terrorism Battalion. Now, it’s time to transition to the ... needs of today. I think as the years go by, people will really come to appreciate ... the significant contributions the Anti-Terrorism Battalion has made.”
    The AT Battalion was activated in October 2004 as a rapidly deploying force to fight terrorism.
    A little more than half of the Marines and sailors in the former battalion are deployed. Those with military occupational specialties that aren’t typical for an infantry battalion will be transferred to other units, 2/9 commander Lt. Col. Thad Trapp said.
    The reactivation of 2/9 is part of the Corps’ plan to expand by 22,000 Marines, bringing the end strength to 202,000 by 2011. In April, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines reactivated and, next year, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, will reactivate.
    Each battalion falls under existing regimental headquarters: 1/9 in 8th Marines, 2/9 in 6th Marines and 3/9 likely in 2nd Marines. The Corps does not plan to form a 9th Marines regimental headquarters.
    A small crowd of Marines, sailors, their families and former members of 2/9 attended the ceremony, where the AT Battalion’s flag was neatly wrapped for retirement and 2/9’s colors unfurled.
    Second Battalion, 9th Marines, is one of the Corps’ most combat-decorated battalions and one of the first to land in Vietnam. The battalion participated in the battles for Bougainville, the Northern Solomons, Guam and Iwo Jima during World War II. During the invasion of Guam, 50 percent of the battalion’s members were casualties.
    The unit was in Vietnam from July 1965 through August 1969, fighting in such places as Da Nang, Cua Viet, Than Cam Son and Hue. The battalion was deactivated in September 1994.
    “I want to promise you that I will uphold this legacy and the Marines will not let you down,” Trapp said to former battalion members.
    He joked that he’ll have his own father, Dick Trapp, looking over his shoulder to make sure he does a good job commanding the battalion. Dick Trapp was a mortar platoon commander in 2/9 during Vietnam.
    Lt. Col. Trapp said it’s an honor to command any battalion, but commanding a unit his father once served in makes his job particularly special to him. He said he does not know when the battalion will deploy.
    Patrick Pearce was in 2/9 during Vietnam from November 1966 through November 1967. He made the quick drive from a town west of Lejeune to attend the ceremony.
    “The 2/9 is the finest battalion in the Marine Corps,” he said. “This brought me to tears. I’m enthusiastic. I’d like to re-enlist, but I can’t.”


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