National Geographic Society

  • Connect:

About the Battalion

Facts and History Behind the Storied 2/5 Marines

Helmand Province, Afghanistan: Marines of Golf 2/5 1st platoon pose for the traditional deployment photograph of the 7 month deployment.

Marines of Golf 2/5 1st Platoon (View larger version)

Photograph by National Geographic Channel

Published
  • 2nd Battalion 5th Marines is the most highly decorated battalion in the Marine Corps.

  • The unit was formed in July, 1914 and has served in WWI, WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam, and has been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Their base is Camp Pendleton, California.

  • There are more than 1,000 Marines and sailors in the battalion.

  • The battalion deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom at the end of Feb 2012 as part of Regimental Combat Team 6 (RCT 6) and were part of Regional Command (Southwest).

  • The unit worked in Afghanistan in partnership with the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). Their goals included defeating insurgents and handing over security for the region to the ANSF as the coalition drawdown continues.

  • During the deployment, the unit conducted Operation Branding Iron in Helmand province around the area of Keshmesh Khan.

  • The battalion lost three Marines during the course of the deployment: Sgt Wade Wilson, Cpl Anthony Servin and Lance Cpl Joshua Witman.

  • Belleau Wood and Hue City are two of the unit’s most famous battles.

  • The unit and the battle for Hue City were portrayed in the movie ‘Full Metal Jacket.’

  • The unit’s motto ‘Retreat Hell!’ comes from the trenches of WWI in France when retreating French soldiers advised company commander Lloyd Williams to retreat at the Battle of Belleau Wood and he replied: ‘Retreat? Hell, we just got here!’

6 comments
Peter Nodre
Peter Nodre

I am very proud of my time as a corpsman with 2/5 G co. I can honestly say all marines are my friends and i was so honored to serve as your corpsman. God bless you all and continut to watch over 2/5  on every deployment. 

Donna Shelton
Donna Shelton

Thank you guys for all you do from a Mother of a 2/5 Marine. He was in your tour in Afghanistan - LCPL Nathan Hodges. I am so very proud of him & you all. God bless the 3 that are now serving in Heaven.....you all are Hero's in my book.

Donna Shelton

Thomas Hohmann
Thomas Hohmann

I too was a member of Golf 2/5, in Vietnam 1968-1969.  Great Marines!  Still in touch with them 43+ years later.  Semper Fi...

Jen Mather
Jen Mather

Love it.Many people don't seen to get the we still have Marines and other soldier over there and this show what they are doing for our freedom.Thank you for making this show.

Leanne H.
Leanne H.

Thank you so much for showing our Marines working hard to protect our freedoms.  The country needs to see what is really going on with our Marines.  We are still at war!! My son just came back from Afghanistan and it helped me to see what conditions he was living in and what he was doing. Thank you to all Marines. You are the best!!!!