View Full Version : Skull's Alive

10-04-03, 11:18 AM
Submitted by: MCRD San Diego
Story Identification Number: 2003103184013
Story by MCRD San Diego, Public Affairs Office

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif.(October 3, 2003) -- Insignias give distinguishing meaning to units in the military. The U. S. Marine Raiders of World War II are no different, although the unit's existence was brief, its contribution was monumental in the history of the Corps.

The Raider patch originated with the creation of the 1st Marine division insignia following the Guadalcanal campaign.

The 1st Marine Division emblem consisted of the word "Guadalcanal" lettered in white on a red numeral "1" placed on a sky-blue diamond. The white stars of the Southern Cross surrounded the number. By July 1943, the 1st Marine Amphibious Corps had adopted a variation for its own patch, a white-bordered, red diamond, encircled by the white stars of the Southern Cross, on a five-sided blue background. Non-divisional corps units each had s specific symbol inside the red diamond. The emblem of the I MAC Raider Battalions was a skull.

The skull device originated with the 2nd Raider Battalion, which began using it not long after that unit came into existence. There was another emblem that featured a masked pirate with crossed scimitars. This was the original Raider logo.

The water-soluble decals were designed and produced by members of the 2nd Raider Battalion with help from its commanding officer, Maj. Evans F. Carlson. They were meant to leave a strong message as they were left on enemy dead, destroyed equipment and weapons. The papers stuck together in the humid tropics and proved impractical. The insignia eventually evolved with a skull in the center of a red diamond surrounded by white stars of the Southern Cross, on a five-sided blue background. The Raider legacy now continues with its logo incorporated in the new Marine Corps Detachment One, U.S. Special Operations Command insignia.

On June 20, the activation of this new unit, commanded by Col. Robert J. Coates, ushered in a new breed of well-trained warriors against the fight on terrorism. "Marines place a lot of stock in our heritage," said Lt. Col. James G. Kyser, commanding officer, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Camp Lejeune, N.C., who adopted the idea of incorporating the Raider logo.

"I couldn't think of any better way to tie in the legacy of the Raiders. I thought it was important for the Raiders to continue having something to hold on to."

"The Marine Recon community considers the Raiders as their founding fathers," said Kyser.

The detachment insignia was designed by Gunnery Sgt. Anthony C. Siciliano, U.S. Special Operations Command.

"What an honor and certainly a privilege to carry on their heritage," said Coates.

Information in this article was taken from the Marine Corps Detachment One, U.S. Special Operations Command Activation Ceremony program.


Marine Corps Detachment One, U.S. Special Operations Command logo.
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