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U.S. Navy HM3 Ruben De La Torre, a corpsman with 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, posts security during the Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation (MCCRE) on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Sept. 21, 2019. 5th Marines conducted a regimental-sized MCCRE that included 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, and the Regimental Headquarters to increase the combat proficiency and readiness of the regiment. The MCCRE took place over a 10-day period and served as a proof of concept for future regimental-sized MCCREs. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alexa M. Hernandez)
U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy Corpsman with 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, participate in a simulated casualty evacuation during the Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation (MCCRE) on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Sept. 18, 2019. 5th Marines conducted a regimental-sized MCCRE that included 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, and the Regimental Headquarters to increase the combat proficiency and readiness of the regiment. The MCCRE took place over a 10-day period and served as a proof of concept for future regimental-sized MCCREs. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alexa M. Hernandez)
U.S. Marines with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, hike up a hill during the Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation (MCCRE) on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Sept. 23, 2019. 5th Marines conducted a regimental-sized MCCRE for 1st Battalion, 5th Marines and 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, as well as the Regimental Headquarters to increase the combat proficiency and readiness of the regiment. The MCCRE took place over a 10 day period and served as proof of concept for future regimental-sized MCCREs. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alexa M. Hernandez)
U.S Marines and Sailors with Echo Company, 2nd battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division conduct Bastard FEX III at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Aug. 14, 2019. Bastard FEX III is an opportunity for the Marines to conduct offensive and defensive operations at the platoon and company levels in preparation for future deployments. (U.S. Marine Corps video by Sgt. Mason Roy)
U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Shane Armstrong, an artillery cannon operator with 5th Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, checks a stack of M270 rockets during exercise Steel Knight (SK) 19 at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Dec. 7, 2018. SK19 is an annual training exercise and assesses the 1st Marine Division’s ability to conduct ground combat operations against a peer or near-peer adversary. The exercise challenges the division’s commanders, staff, and units in a dynamic scenario against a reactive and opposing force to refine the units’ command and control, interoperability, and fundamental warfighting skills. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Audrey M. C. Rampton)
A U.S. Marine Corps M142 High-mobility artillery rocket system fires a M270 rocket during exercise Steel Knight (SK) 19 at Army Facility Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, Dec. 7, 2018. SK19 is an annual training exercise and assesses the 1st Marine Division’s ability to conduct ground combat operations against a peer or near-peer adversary. The exercise challenges the division’s commanders, staff, and units in a dynamic scenario against a reactive and opposing force to refine the units’ command and control, interoperability, and fundamental warfighting skills. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Audrey M. C. Rampton)
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Ramon Trevino, an infantry Marine with 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, participates in a decontamination drill during Steel Knight 2019 (SK19) on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Dec. 06, 2018. SK19 is an annual training exercise and assesses the 1st Marine Division’s ability to conduct ground combat operations against a peer or near-peer adversary. The exercise challenges the division’s commanders, staff, and units in a dynamic scenario against a reactive and opposing force to refine the units’ command and control, interoperability, and fundamental warfighting skills. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Rhita Daniel)
U.S. Marine Corps LCpl. Jeremy Yeager, a machine gunner with 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, participates in a simulated air assault during Steel Knight 2019 (SK19) on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Dec. 05, 2018. SK19 is an annual training exercise and assesses the 1st Marine Division’s ability to conduct ground combat operations against a peer or near-peer adversary. The exercise challenges the division’s commanders, staff, and units in a dynamic scenario against a reactive and opposing force to refine the units’ command and control, interoperability, and fundamental warfighting skills. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Rhita Daniel)
U.S. Marines with 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, participate in a simulated air assault during Steel Knight 2019 (SK19) on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Dec. 05, 2018. SK19 is an annual training exercise and assesses the 1st Marine Division’s ability to conduct ground combat operations against a peer or near-peer adversary. The exercise challenges the division’s commanders, staff, and units in a dynamic scenario against a reactive and opposing force to refine the units’ command and control, interoperability, and fundamental warfighting skills. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Rhita Daniel)
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Ramon Trevino, an infantry Marine with 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, participates in a training flight in preparation for Steel Knight 2019 on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Nov. 27, 2018. SK19 is an annual training exercise and assesses the 1st Marine Division’s ability to conduct ground combat operations against a peer or near-peer adversary. The exercise challenges the division’s commanders, staff, and units in a dynamic scenario against a reactive and opposing force to refine the units’ command and control, interoperability, and fundamental warfighting skills. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Rhita Daniel)
A U.S. Marine with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment participates in a training flight in preparation for Steel Knight 2019 on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Nov. 27, 2018. SK19 is an annual training exercise and assesses the 1st marine Division’s ability to conduct ground combat operations against a peer or near-peer adversary. The exercise challenges the division’s commanders, staff, and units in a dynamic in a dynamic scenario against a reactive and thinking opposing force to refine the units’ command and control, interoperability, and fundamental warfighting skills. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Rhita Daniel)
News
From temporary to permanent: the story of the 1st Marine Division White House

By Lance Cpl. Cameron Fina | 1st Marine Division | January 30, 2019

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The building has withstood the test of time. It has seen generations of Marines enter and leave its halls. It has seen Marines off to several wars from the shores of Pacific Islands, the mountains of North Korea, the jungles of Vietnam and the deserts of the Middle East. It has served as the operational and cultural epicenter of the 1st Marine Division- the most storied and consequential Division in the United States Marine Corps. It has seen its share of history both for the division and the Corps.

The building has even been reviewed as a historical site, still bearing the simple style and white paint associated with World War II era buildings, which were originally meant to be temporary. Few of its kind are still standing across the nation, yet it remains, bold in both color and design, while its peers have been replaced over the decades. If you walk through the musty halls that were once treaded by the likes of Chesty Puller and James Mattis, you can see the artwork – paintings of past commanders, old battle scenes ripped from the pages of history and photos of Marines from modern wars.


“It’s a unique building,” said Colonel Christopher S. Dowling, former Chief of Staff of the 1st Marine Division. “When it was built in 1942-1943 it was supposed to only last five years, five years – that was it.”

Humanity creates things that last; tools which pass through dozens of hands before becoming worn beyond use, structures that stand strong for decades, centuries and even several millennia. There are also occasions where we make things for a simple and easy use, where they are only meant to last for short periods of time. Building 1133 of Camp Pendleton, better known as “the white house” was one such structure. Acting as both a headquarters and administration building for the growing conflict in the Pacific, it even expanded to accommodate the needs of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions that also participated in World War II’s Pacific Theatre.

“The sergeant major’s office is my favorite room,” said USMC Sgt. Maj. William T. Sowers, former sergeant major of the 1st Marine Division. “The amount of detail in the wood and the fire place gives it that really old feeling and gives off the air of a museum.”

In the early years it did not have the nickname “the white house”. It stood amongst many buildings that were painted the same cheap, bare off-white and was not unique beyond its purpose. Styled like many of the buildings to ensure the security of the command, it served many Marines throughout the Pacific for the course of World War II.

The structure grew upon the Marines that called it home and in 1946 it was officially ordained the 1st Marine Division Headquarters building. This would lead to it being modified decades later, not once, but twice to ensure the building could continue to function and support the many Marines that passed through its halls. Though the renovations have ensured the building has stayed with both the times and technology of the era from phone wiring to internet within its walls, its overall structure and design are still the same as it was when first built.

“It was not as iconic to us during our time,” said U.S. Marine Corps Retired General Matthew P. Caulfield. “We never knew it as ‘the white house’. We never thought about the fact it was the division command post during World War II. We simply knew it as the place we work, though we sometimes referred to it as ‘the head shed’.”

Due to the era in which ‘the white house’ was made, there were many developmental needs required of it during that time. One of the largest was the need to withstand a possible attack. A Japanese invasion of the U.S. was a realistic threat in the 40s. To ensure the safety of the command staff, the building was meant to be indistinguishable from the rest. To those born in the last 40 years, the very concept of a military attack on the U.S. is simply something that would not and could not happen. But in 1940, when Camp Pendleton was officially opened, thousands of Marines marched up from San Diego for combat exercises against a fake enemy. It caused a panic within the civilian population. People initially thought a Japanese invasion had occurred. The base’s presence even led to a drop in the housing market, a fact that is inconceivable to most Southern California home owners today.

The threat of attack from the skies influenced much of what would become Camp Pendleton as we know it today. The camps on base are spread wide across the camp’s more than 195 square miles, originally designed to protect the base from being crippled in one decisive airstrike, according to Dowling. In the attics of the White House and other buildings from the era, there is still evidence of the original plywood roofing used. Pressed wood was used at the time for two reasons: actual wood planks were in immediate need to build and replace decks of Navy ships, and pressed wood was less likely to create deadly wood debris if the buildings were stuck by a Japanese bomber.

“The white house” was designed by Myron B. Hunt, Harold C. Chambers and E. L. Ellingwood. Their firms handled the development of several buildings across Camp Pendleton during the 1940s. Based on the U.S. Navy B-1 barracks, which was a common design to further make the building indistinguishable from other building on base at the time, making it less of a target for Japanese bombers after Pearl Harbor. Few of these barracks are still left standing after the 70 plus years since their development. The B-1, much like its sibling structure, “the white house” was only a temporary design meant to last for the duration of the war. In 1983 congress would pass the Military Construction Authorization Bill of 1983, which demolished many of the older temporary structures of World War II in favor of new designs. Some structures were renovated due to their historical significance. “The white house” interior was included in these renovations. The building underwent changes to its exterior but maintained its current shape with only a few minor changes.

Since its construction many people have entered “the white house” and many more have driven past it. It is an iconic symbol of the 1st Marine Division with dozens of memorials surrounding it, capturing the sacrifice of every Marine who fought with the Division during its many battles through our history. From officers arriving at its doors in 1940 Ford staff cars, to 1968 Volkswagen Beatles, and even more recently, a 2018 name your make and model. When one steps out of their vehicle, they would gaze up at the white building marked by the iconic blue diamond and the battle streamers the division has earned.

In the old days it would support the entire command staff, but now much of the command is spread out across Camp Pendleton. Many Blue Diamond alum have even thought of making it into a museum, given the many historical pieces that already line its halls. It gives off that feeling of having entered a place engrained with history.

“The iconic building of the ‘Blue Diamond,’ it is the division,” said Sowers. “Many people assume that this is the main command post for the Marine Expeditionary Force or even the Marine Corps Installations West.”

Many of the older veterans were not used to dealing with the commands of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said Sowers. When they thought of “the white house” they’d think of the commanding general who presided over all they knew of the Marines on the West Coast at that time.

Generals, majors, sergeants and lance corporals have walked its halls over the last 70 years. Some still live amongst us while others have given the ultimate sacrifice. Their memories and actions live through both the 1st Marine Division and “the white house” itself, which has been an unchanging monument to the Marines of the 1st Marine Division. No matter the age in which one served the Division, all have known that building in one way or another. It is a testament to both the Division and the Marines that have served. Our ideals have become engrained into its very structure and it has become a permanent member in both the hearts and minds of the Marines of the 1st Marine Division.


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Jordanian Frogmen, Italian EOD and U.S. Sailors Conduct Multilateral Demolition Operations Training
Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade
Sept. 1, 2019 | 2:29
CAMP TITIN, JORDAN (September 1, 2019) U.S. Navy Sailors with Task Force 56, Italian EOD and Jordanian Frogmen conducted multilateral demolition operations training in support of Exercise Eager Lion 2019. Eager Lion, U.S. Central Command’s largest and most complex exercise, is an opportunity to integrate forces in a multilateral environment, operate in realistic terrain, and strengthen military-to-military relationships. (U.S. Navy video by LT Ryan Slattery)
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Mission
The 5th Marine Regiment mans, trains and equips battalions, detachments, and individuals to deploy in support of our national security needs while maintaining a high state of readiness and professionally develops our Marines and Sailors to respond to crisis and/or contingencies when the nation calls.
COMMAND PHILOSOPHY

Our unit enjoys a long and distinguished heritage.  Generations of Marines

achieved its status as the Corps' most decorated regiment over a century of

combat in every clime and place.  We will build on the foundation laid by

our predecessors to forge a team that will be successful in combat and add

luster to the regiment's reputation.  The following guidance is intended to

explain my leadership philosophy and orient our individual and collective

energies.

Command Philosophy

5th Marine Regiment Leaders

Col. Rob Weiler
Commanding Officer, 5th Marine Regiment
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Sergeant Major Justin L. Stokes
Sergeant Major, 5th Marine Regiment
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Contact

5th Marine Regiment
PO BOX 555452
Camp Pendleton, CA 92055-5452

Duty Officer: 
760-763-8066

Camp Pendleton
Directory Assistance:
760-725-4111

UNIT MEMBER EMAIL ACCESS

Share Point Link:  https://eis.usmc.mil/sites/5mar/


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