1st Battalion, 6th Marines has a special place in my heart. It was the first Battalion I was assigned to where I first went to combat with. As a very new Captain, I was assigned to a rifle company and as 1/6 trained our asses off, we were assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and sailed for a month to Afghanistan. My company area of operation was within the Tarin Kowt district in 2004 as reflected in the video. With a battalion with so much heritage and pride behind it, we reflected that as we kicked the dog shit out of bad guys when the opportunity arose. We only had one casualty (Corporal Payne) who was with LAR, and their unit was ambushed by a much larger force. Once we got the word they were under attack, the Battalion Commander launched my company as the quick reaction force (QRF) and 130 Marines strong. As we airlifted via CH53 helos we were bringing a lot of ass to the fight. In air, we learned the fate of Cpl Payne and that we would be landing in a hot Landing Zone (LZ). It was a shit storm. The fight that Cpl Payne was in began as small arms fire, then turned to RPGs then as both sides (good and bad) ran out of ammo, it turned to grenades and hand to hand. There were three warriors “in the fight” Cpl Payne, a Corpsman and a Marine private. With Payne down and the other two out of ammo, they fled and barricaded themselves between two boulders ready to fight with the K-Bar knives. When we showd up, the remainder of the badguys fled and the search was on for the two other warriors.
“Man are we glad to see you” voiced by a very scared Corpsman and rightfully so.
After securing the warriors, and Cpl Paynes remains, we learned that Cpl Payne killed the majority of the bad guys with his tenacity and fight. By accurately throwing grenades as he was out of ammo, he devastated key role players that were attacking him. A large Marine, at lease 6’4 took on at least six bad guys single handedly. After the fact, we renamed our Battalion forward operating (which was really only a couple of tents in the middle of hell) base after him. He is a warrior.
I again got to serve next to 1/6 in 2008 in Ramadi and yet again I was with 2d Battalion, 2nd Marines I got to serve next to 1/6 again in Helmand Province. As depicted in the video, Marines with 1/6 and the 5th Marines are the only units to wear the sexy little green rope on their shoulder aka the French Fourragere. Chicks dig it!
Happy Anniversary 1/6. Semper Fi
Time for a C-Gar