The 1st Battalion 4th Marines consists of the following subordinate units: Headquarters and Service Company, Company A (Alpha Company), Company B (Bravo Company), Company C (Charlie Company), Company D (Delta Company - not currently in use; company designation reserved for augmentation of a fourth rifle company into the battalion as needed) and Weapons Company.
The 1st Battalion 4th Marines is designed to locate, close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver, and repel the enemies´ assault by fire and close combat.
Although originally activated in April 1911 as part of the 4th Marine Regiment, it can be argued that the official date of birthday of the battalion is August 1, 1922, when first addressed as 1st Battalion 4th Marines in the Dominican Republic.
From February 1927 to November 1941, the battalion deployed to China, where 1/4 got it’s nickname, The China Marines, and began using a Dragon in their insignia.
During World War II the battalion fought at two of the bloodiest campaigns in the Pacific, Guam and Okinawa. When the hostilities officially ended, the battalion remained in Japan as part of the occupation forces.
In August 1990, the 1st Battalion 4th Marines deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Less than three years after that, 1/4 deployed to Somalia as part of the US-led multinational force, Unified Task Force (UNITAF), which operated in Somalia between December 5, 1992, till May 4, 1993.
As part of Operation Restore Hope, 1/4 and other USMC units provided humanitarian relief to the people that were endangered by the armed conflict.
The 1st Battalion 4th Marines also participated in Operation Safe Departure (Eritrea, June 1998), in "Edged Mallet" exercise (Kenya, February 2002), Operation Enduring Freedom (January 2002 to March 2002), in "Eastern Maverick" exercise (Qatar, March 2002), "Sea Soldier" exercise (Oman, April 2002) and Operation Iraqi Freedom, from March 2003 to April 2003.
From 2003 to 2009, the battalion executed numerous tours of duty in Iraq, executing combat operations in Nasiriyah, Al Kut, Bagdad, Najaf, Al Qaim, and Fallujah.