View Full Version : 1st Marine Division, Division Forward COC, March 20-23, 2003

01-11-18, 03:17 PM

I'm researching the combat history of the 1st Marine Division during the invasion of Iraq, specifically the period March 20-23, 2003.

One aspect or level of detail I've not been able to find is any reference to specific engagements by the division's forward COC during that period. In other words, during that period was the forward COC ever engaged in a firefight or otherwise directly under fire by the enemy during that period?

I've read a few unit histories and general histories on the subject, but have come up empty so far on this detail. There's one source that strongly implies that the COC was engaged at some point but no details which seems weird. One would think that such an event would be of note.

Thanks in advance for any help folks can provide. I certainly appreciate it!

Best Regards,
A Curios (and frustrated!) Armchair Historian :)

Zulu 36
01-12-18, 05:55 AM
I recall reading about the 1stMarDiv forward headquarters being attacked in Desert Storm during the advance through the burning oil wells in Kuwait in 1991. A light armored vehicle company assigned as security was instrumental in beating off the attack.

I don't remember reading about anything similar in 2003. Could be, but I don't recall.

01-12-18, 02:12 PM
Thank you for your reply Zulu 36, I truly appreciate it.

I believe that you're correct about GW1.

Re: OIF, I still can't find anyone or anything indicating that the COC came under attack. In fact, the only indirect reference I have is that an individual who served with the COC during the period in question received the CAR and that was the only period during his entire career during which he could have earned the CAR (I'd rather not name the individual to honor his privacy and service.)

I guess it's not a big deal, just one of those mysteries that would seem to be easily solvable but to date has proven insurmountable! :-)

Thanks again!!!

05-18-19, 12:24 PM
I was with 2nd LAR the first ones across the border from the staging area not counting 1st force recon who parachuted onto Safwan Hill just west of our breach point. I don't recall the COC ever being directly attacked but I believe every member of Regimental Combat Team 1 received both a CAR and a PUC. You'd have to check but that's probably why that marine got it unless he was one of the grunts doing security. The op tempo was so high people gear and units were getting shifted around constantly. There were a lot of "running gunfights" because we had specific objectives we HAD to get to in their "cut the head off the snake" approach so there might have been an instance where the COC was fired upon but broke contact and kept moving because that first two weeks everything was mobile. There were no FOBs or defensive positions. The only other time I can think of was I believe the evening of March 24th we were pushing up Hwy 7 to get to a bridge that HAD to be secured for our tanks and ran smack into a republican guard tank battalion. As far as I know that's the only time in Iraq an American unit was overrun and the commander called "slingshot" on the radio to bring in all available air assets. If the COC was with us that night but I don't know.