1st Battalion, 4th Marines was originally activated in April 1911 and first saw combat action in November of 1916, in the Dominican Republic. In 1924, the battalion returned to its home base in San Diego, CA. From February 1927 to November 1941, the battalion was forward deployed for service in China. This service earned the battalion the title “China Marines”, and started the practice of integrating the Chinese dragon into the unit crest. In November 1941, the battalion redeployed from China to the Philippines. During World War II, its Marines and Sailors served in support of combat operations on Corregidor, Guadalcanal, Guam, and Okinawa. In the spring of 1965 the battalion deployed once again, for service in support of combat operations in South Vietnam. From 1965 to 1969, the battalion engaged in numerous conventional and counter-insurgency operations. These operations included, Operation Prairie, Operation Prairie III, Operation Prairie IV, Operation Beacon Hill, Operation Desoto, Operation Deckhouse, Operation Kentucky, Operation Purple Martin and Operation Napoleon Saline II. In 1977, the battalion moved to Twentynine Palms, CA and remained there until 1988. In January of 1989, the battalion was directed to move to Camp Pendleton, for service with the 1st Marine Regiment. In August 1990, the battalion deployed aboard ship to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. In the following decade, it executed numerous deployments at sea, conducting operations in places such as Southwest Asia, Eritrea, Kenya, and Somalia. From 2003 to 2009, the battalion executed numerous tours of duty in Iraq, executing combat operations in Nasiriyah, Al Kut, Bagdad, Najaf, Al Qaim, and Fallujah. Over the past four years, it has deployed in support of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, and is currently serving as the Ground Combat Element in support of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.