Ready to supplement the active-duty forces when needed, the Marine Corps Reserve is critical to the Marine Corps' ability to provide a balanced, prepared force. Marines in the Reserve go through the same intense training and work in the same Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) as their active-duty counterparts. However, with the ability to train part-time with a Marine Corps Reserve unit near home or school, these Marines can continue to pursue a full-time civilian career or an education.
Marines in the Reserve are a vital element of the overall combat readiness the Corps demands. They may be called upon to strengthen active forces in peacetime and in time of war, provide support during national emergencies or lead community service efforts.
United States Marine Corps Forces Reserve, 1st Battalion 23rd Marines (1/23) military unit maintain civilian commitments but are ready to support the Marine Corps in major combat assignments, humanitarian efforts and national emergencies.
The battalion´s mission is to locate, close with and destroy the enemy with fire and maneuver, and to provide trained combat and combat support personnel, and units to augment and reinforce the active component in time of war, national emergency, and at other times as national security requires; and have the capability to reconstitute the Division, if required.
The 1st Battalion 23rd Marines was activated on November 20, 1942 at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.
During World War II, the 1/23 participated in the Battle of Kwajalein (Roi and Namur) where they landed as part of the initial assault on January 31, 1944. Their assault objectives were the heavily defended Japanese occupied twin islands of Roi-Namur in the Kwajalein Atoll of the Marshall Islands in the Central Pacific. Roi-Namur were two tiny islands in the northern part of the atoll. It was the site of major Japanese three-runway airbase. 23rd Marines attacked Roi while the 24th Marines landed on Namur. The regiment secured Roi by the evening.
Their next action came during the Battle of Saipan which began on June 15, 1944, and with the Invasion of Tinian on July 25, 1944. The final combat action for 1/23 would come during the Battle of Iwo Jima.
In August 2004, the battalion arrived in Iraq, relieving 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines. They augmented the 7th Marine Regiment, helping to secure the area spanning the Hit-Haditha corridor, west of Ramadi, out to the Syrian border of the Al Anbar Province. Initial assignments for the battalion's companies in Iraq saw assignments in Ar-Rutbah, Al Asad Airbase and Hit. The battalion returned from Iraq in late March 2005.
In 2011, the 1/23 deployed to Panjwai district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan. While deployed, the Lone Star Battalion was successful in clearing the Taliban influence along a vital stretch of road in the Upper Sangin Valley. Unfortunately, two Marines died in an apparent friendly fire incident. Marine Staff Sgt. Jeremy Smith and Navy corpsman Benjamin Rast, were killed April 6, reportedly by a Hellfire missile fired from a U.S. Air Force Predator drone.