“Hey, coming down to the final stretch over here. Hope to see you all soon. Thanks again for everything!” — Nick Kirven, April 2005
Nick Kirven was killed in action on 8 May 2005, almost a year before I joined the Marine Corps. I never met him. The closest I ever came was through his brothers in arms, many of whom were getting ready to leave either 3rd Battalion or the Marine Corps in November 2006 when I was assigned to his old unit, Kilo Company 2nd Platoon. His memory was kept alive through their behavior: their rigorous instance of proper combat drills, occasional references to some terrible day in Afghanistan, or just their general anger that a close friend had been taken from them.
“I was K Company, Third Battalion, Third Marine Regiment, and Third Marine Division. So we’re K-3-3-3… which I’ve ordered for my license plate.” — Paul Torian, 2002
One of the initial impetuses for this project was my former commanding officer, Captain Nicholas ‘Nick’ Nuzzo, who suggested in early 2007 that I make a presentation for Kilo Company on the history of the unit. I obviously couldn’t — it’s been hard enough doing research on the battalion, let alone a single company, but one of the side-effects was that I discovered Paul Torian (1920-2004). Read more
“Sir, my question is, now that the 3rd Marines have been allowed to show their abilities to the world, are we going to be entering into combat rotations in the near future?” — Question by unknown 1/3 Marine to Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld, December, 2004
Third Battalion is just one part of the Third Marine Regiment, the main ground force in the Third Marine Division (3/3/3: the source of its callsign, ‘Trinity’), and a unique unit in the Marine Corps. Because of Hawaii’s isolated location and lack of higher-ups, the regiment has an unusual amount of autonomy and a reputation to match. Read more
While most of the posting I’ve done so far is related to the 2004-2005 deployment, the main reason is because those are the only records I have available. I’m still continuing my search for more recent command chronologies, but otherwise the next on my list will have to be the battalion’s 2006 deployment to the Haditha Triad in Iraq.
I am not looking forward to it. Read more