Erika I. Ritchie
The Orange County Register
CAMP PENDLETON — Marines and veterans celebrated the centennial anniversary of the 11th Marine Regiment with a battle colors ceremony honoring its history and heritage, Tuesday, Jan. 9 at Camp Pulgas.
The celebration, held indoors due to Tuesday’s rainstorms, brought together current and former Marines serving in the 11th Marine Regiment. It included a re-dedication of their battle colors, with awards and streamers presented from the unit’s World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War campaigns, as well as recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Most recently, elements of the 11th Marine Regiment participated in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria as a part of Operation Inherent Resolve.
“This ceremony offers a chance for Marines currently serving in the 11th Marine Regiment to reunite with veterans who served in the regiment during times of war and adversity during our country’s history,” said Capt. Paul Gainey.
“It allows the Marines currently serving to reach back to the regiment’s history and understand what is expected moving forward to the next 100 years of 11th Marines.”
The regiment, known among the Marines as the “Cannon Cockers,” is the artillery regiment under the command of the 1st Marine Division.
Each regiment and battalion has a set of colors made up of the national ensign (U.S. Flag) and organizational colors (Marine Corps flag).
These colors represent battles in which the unit has fought. The 11th Marines’ colors have been carried into battle since the formation of the unit on January 3, 1918. The colors are decorated with awards and campaign streamers that the 11th Marine Regiment has earned through its 100-year history.
The ceremony featured historical Marine Corps uniforms dating back to the Revolutionary War, worn by current members of the 11th Marines.
Tuesday’s event included Valentine Jones, the granddaughter of Lt. Gen. Pedro de Valle, the late general who served as the commanding officer of the 11th Marine Regiment and commanding general of the 1st Marine Division during World War II.
Jones, however, was unable to make the event due to the weather and remained at the San Diego airport. She was one of six honored guests– each representing Marines from an important chapter of 11th Marines’ history.
©2018 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)