A typical organization of a Marine infantry battalion (not reinforced), "the basic
tactical unit of infantry," was three rifle companies (228 men each), one weapons
company (215 men), and one headquarters and service company (224 men). (See
Chart # 8) Within the headquarters and service (H&S) company were: the battalion
headquarters, a company headquarters, a communication platoon, a recoilless rifle
platoon, a service platoon, an 81mm mortar platoon, a TACP, and a medical platoon.
Within the company headquarters inside this "H&S" company was a headquarters
section and a flamethrower section with one to four flamethrower squads. Beneath the
recoilless rifle platoon were four anti-tank (AT) sections with one to two recoilless rifle
squads to them. Inside the 81mm mortar platoon were four 81mm mortar sections that
each had a Forward Observer (FO) team and two 81mm squads.17
Each rifle company in the infantry battalion had within it a headquarters platoon,
three rifle platoons, and one weapons platoon. The rifle company numbered 228 men, 7
officers and 221 enlisted. Inside the rifle platoons were three rifle squads consisting of
three fire teams each, and a platoon headquarters. Each rifle platoon numbered 44
enlisted and 1 officer. The platoon headquarters consisted of the platoon commander
(usually a 2ndLt-for rank abbreviations, see list of abbreviations), a platoon sergeant
(Technical Sergeant was the usual rank of this billet), a platoon guide (Staff Sergeant),
and Item - in the third battalion. So, for example, if How Company, 7th Marines is mentioned, one should
know that it is in the Third Battalion 7th Marines, or 3/7. A regiment in Marine terminology is referred to in
plural and by its number: thus the 1st Marine Regiment is referred to as the "1st Marines." This terminology
will be adhered to hereafter in this work, without the quotation marks.
17 U.S. Marine Corps, MCS 3-30, Rifle Platoon Tactics, NAVMC-7700, (Quantico, VA: Marine Corps
Schools, 1958): 1-2.; U.S. Marine Corps, NAVMC-4161: PHIB-1O, Amphibious Operations: The
Battalion Landing Team in the Assault of a Defended Beach (Quantico, VA: Marine Corps Schools,
1947): 5; U.S. Marine Corps, Reference Data: Amphibious Operations, NAVMC-1048 (Washington,
D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1951); U.S. Marine Corps, NAVMC-4520: PHIB-3,
Amphibious Operations: Command and Organization of the Attack Force (Quantico, VA: Marine Corps
Schools, 1948). The following section is mostly drawn from these manuals.
Montandon, Joshua W. Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3938/. Accessed September 23, 2014.