The unit insignia of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion adapts the insignia of the First Marine Division, being that "1st Recon" serves the division directly. The division insignia is a night sky blue diamond containing five white, five-pointed stars arranged as to represent the Southern Cross constellation. Also included is a scarlet "1" with the word "Guadalcanal" inside the number. All of this serves to commemorate the division's hard-fought victory on the island of Guadalcanal in the early stages of World War II. To this insignia, 1st Recon has added the motto, "Swift, Silent' Deadly". "Swift" stands for how a reconnaissance unit is inserted into, and extracted from, a mission, as well as how the mission itself is conducted, to include the rapid dissemination of intelligence. "Silent" refers to the manner in which reconnaissance forces use stealth to execute their mission while remaining unobserved and undetected by the enemy. "Deadly" characterizes the Recon Marine's ability to summon the massive firepower of supporting arms against the enemy. Also added is a white skull and crossbones with three round holes and a crack in the skull. The holes symbolize the pain, hurt, and agony Recon Marines often face, while the crack represents the ability to continue with the mission despite adverse conditions. Finally, represented in the insignia is a scarlet streamer with the gold words "1st Recon Bn" to remind us of the colors of our Corps.
1st Reconnaissance Battalion was activated on 1 March 1937 at Quantico, Virginia as the 1st Tank Company and assigned to the 1st Marine Brigade.
The Unit deployed during January through March 1940 to the Caribbean onboard the USS Wyoming. During March 1940 it was relocated to Quantico, Virginia and redeployed during November 1940 to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
On 1 February, 1941 the 1st Marine Brigade was redesignated as the 1st Marine Division. On 1 March 1941 the Unit was designated as 1st Scout Company, Division Special Troops and was relocated during April 1941 to Quantico, Virginia and then relocated again during September 1941 to New River, North Carolina.
In August 1942, the Unit was reassigned to 1st Tank Battalion.
On 1 April 1943 the Unit was redesignated as Company E ÒScoutÓ, 1st Tank Battalion.
On 10 April 1943 the Unit redesignated as Company D ÒScoutÓ, 1st Tank Battalion.
On 1 April 1944 the Unit was redesignated as Reconnaissance Company, Headquarters Battalion. During this period, the Unit participated in combat operations on Guadalcanal, New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Western Caroline Islands, and Okinawa.
During September of 1945 the Unit redeployed to Tientsin, China.
During June of 1947 the Unit was relocated to Camp Pendleton, California and redesignated on 22 March 1949 as Reconnaissance Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion.
The Unit was deployed during August of 1950 to Tokyo, Japan and then participated in the Korean War; operating from Pusan Perimeter, Inchon-Seoul, Chosin Reservoir, the Eastern-Central Front, and the Western Front.
From July 1953 to March 1955 the Unit participated in the Defense of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, and then relocated back to Camp Pendleton.
Reconnaissance Company was deactivated on 30 April 1958 and reactivated 1 May 1958 as 1st Reconnaissance Battalion and assigned to the 1st Marine Division.
The Battalion participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis from November through December 1962 and then deployed from August to September 1965 to Camp Schwab, Okinawa. The Battalion redeployed during March of 1966 to Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam.
The Battalion participated in the Vietnam War from March of 1966 to March of 1971 operating from Chu Lai and Da Nang.
The Battalion was relocated during March through April of 1971 to Camp Pendleton, California.
From September 1990 to April 1991 the Battalion participated in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
On 12 June 1992 the Battalion was deactivated.
The Battalion was then activated on 1 October 1993 as Reconnaissance Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, 1st Marine Division.
On 1 June 2000, it was redesignated as First Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division.
During January 2003, the Battalion deployed to Kuwait, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The Battalion deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom from March 2003 to June 2003, February 2004 to October 2004; September 2005 to April 2006, March 2007 to October 2007, and October 2008 to April 2009.
MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS