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2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment

1st Marine Division


On order, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines conducts expeditionary, combined-arms, and mechanized operations in order to support theater engagement plans and contingency operations.

2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment Leaders

Lieutenant Colonel Timothy M. Bairstow
Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment

Sergeant Major Travis
Sergean Major 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines


Along with Sergeant Major Travis, allow me to welcome you to the most decorated infantry battalion in the Marine Corps – Second Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment, also known as “2/5.”

As an infantry battalion in the Marine Corps, we are prepared to deploy anywhere in the world to protect our nation’s interests.  Our task is demanding and it requires hard work from the team of dedicated warriors who make up this unit.

Our battalion motto – “Retreat Hell!” – comes from the 1918 battle of Belleau Wood.  As the Marines approached the site of what would be one the Marine Corps’ most famous battles, retreating French soldiers told the Marines they must retreat before the German onslaught.  Capt Lloyd Williams, at the time a company commander in 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, replied, “Retreat? Hell, we just got here!”  Our motto reflects the fighting spirit of the Marines and sailors who have served in 2/5 ever since that famous battle.

Marines in 2/5 will find the battalion is committed to being the best in the world at the skills required of an infantry unit.  We call this “brilliance in the basics.”  We are equally committed to physical fitness, our small unit discipline, and maintaining our core values of honor, courage, and commitment.

We recognize that the battalion is comprised of Marines (and sailors), most of whom have families.  We recognize that the Marines of the battalion can better accomplish their mission when the battalion takes care of them and their families.  Service in a deploying unit places heavy demands on Marines and their families – thank you for the sacrifices that you have made and continue to make on behalf of the unit’s mission.  Ensuring that our Marines and their families are cared for remains a top priority of the battalion.

Welcome to Second Battalion, Fifth Marines.  We look forward to serving with you.

Retreat Hell!


Lieutenant Colonel Timothy M. Bairstow                                                      
Commanding Officer                                                                                       
2d Battalion, 5th Marines                      


Sergeant Major Travis' Note to Families

The Commanding Officer and I understand that this may be your and your Marine’s or Sailor’s first deployment.  For some, this could be one of many deployments that your family has endured in this Marine Corps journey.  Whether you have been married 20 years or 20 days, the deployments do not get easier, however you should take comfort and pride in the support that you constantly provide for your Marine or Sailor.

The old adage of “failure to plan is planning to fail” could not be truer than when a family prepares for an upcoming deployment.  Take this time to start/build your support network, as well as educate yourself on the many resources that are available to you on this base and throughout the Marine Corps.  We are blessed to have a phenomenal Chaplain and the best Family Readiness Officer in the Marine Corps, supported by a Family Readiness team that is second to none. They are a group of true professionals that stand ready to provide you all the support that is required.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t assume that you are the only one that is having concerns.

I ask that you never forget that your husband/son is a United States Marine or Sailor.  The title may seem to be just a name, but the expectations are large.  The American people want and need him to do a mission and sometimes that mission will require him to be away for long periods of time, missing anniversaries, birthdays and holidays.  I ask that you continue to provide steadfast support of him and be extremely proud of him.

It is a pleasure to serve as the Sergeant Major for the best Battalion in the Marine Corps.  Why is this the best battalion in the Marine Corps?  Because your husband/son is a part of it.

Retreat Hell!

Sergeant Major Lonnie N. Travis                                                   
Battalion Sergeant Major                                                                                  
2d Battalion, 5th Marines