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Veterans of the 7th Marine Regiment bow their heads during the invocation of the ceremony at Lance Cpl Torrey L. Gray Field, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Sept. 15th, 2017. The 7th Marine Regiment celebrated its 100th anniversary with a rededication of regimental battle colors and a parade of troops. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl Preston Morris)

Photo by Lance Cpl Preston Morris

“Magnificent Seventh” Celebrates 100 Years of Duty

21 Sep 2017 | Lance Cpl. Preston Morris Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

For 100 years, 7th Marine Regiment has served in every clime and place from Guadalcanal to Peleliu, Inchon to the Chosin Reservoir, in the jungles of Vietnam and the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan, the regiment answered America’s call to action.

On Sept. 15, 2017, “Magnificent Seventh’s” regimental battle colors were rededicated in a ceremony aboard the Combat Center. In attendance were Combat Center Commanding General Maj. Gen. William F. Mullen III and 1st Marine Division Commanding General Maj. Gen. Eric M. Smith. The 1st Marine Division Band provided music for the ceremony.

Also in attendance were Marilyn Paige, widow of 7th Marines veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Col. Mitchell Paige, Mayor Jan Harkin of the City of Palm Desert, and Vincent L. Mast, president of the Desert Cities Mitchell Paige Medal of Honor Chapter of the 1st Marine Division Association as well as several veterans of 7th Marines, who served during numerous conflicts to include World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the War on Terror.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my service in 7th Marines,” said Sam Huttenhower, a retired corporal who served with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines from 1942 to 1946. “To see these young men and women come after us and serve with distinction and dedication means a great deal to me.”

The 7th Marine Regiment was formed on August 14, 1917, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was immediately deployed to Cuba from 1917 to 1919. In its 100 year history it has been deactivated, reactivated and reorganized many times but the regiment still participated in every major conflict throughout the century. 7th Marines saw action in some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific theater of WWII, took part in the amphibious landing at Inchon, South Korea, fighting across the frozen Chosin Reservoir, and repulsed the North Vietnamese Tet Offensive at Chu Lai, Da Nang and Duc Pho.

After the attacks of September 11th, 7th Marines returned again to the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Over the course of the operation, RCT-7 saw fierce combat in Ramadi, Fallujah, Al Qiam and Al Anbar in Iraq. It was during Operation Iraqi Freedom that Cpl. Jason Dunham received the Medal of Honor, when he was killed in action after sacrificing his life by jumping on a grenade in Husaybah, Iraq in 2004. 7th Marines also supported Operation Enduring Freedom, and saw combat in Marjah, Sangin and Lashkar Gah.

“I ask that you take note of these streamers and recognize everything that these young men and women who stand before you do and the commitment they make,” said Col. William H. Vivian, commanding officer, 7th Marines.

Throughout its 100 years of proud history, 7th Marine Regiment remains one of the most highly decorated units in the Marine Corps, fostering Marines such as Chesty Puller and current Secretary of Defense James Mattis. The streamers that are attached to the regimental battle colors represent the sacrifices that the men and women of 7th Marines have and continue to make.

“You represent a proud lineage and from Peleliu to Baghdad you have brought fear into the hearts of your enemies and pride into the hearts of your predecessors,” said Smith. “Men like John Basilone and Chesty Puller brought early fame to this regiment, and it’s Marines like you who continue to uphold that honor.”

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