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USMC Tactical Markings Marine Corps UNIS marks

Guest grywht

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I've noticed several examples of late war USMC crossflap canteen covers, packs, and HBT's stenciled with USMC tac markings. IIRC, the most common are from the 4th division ( Semicircle with flat bottom) with three (maybe four) numbers inside. I believe these numbers represent the regiment, battalion, and company. So "612" would be something like 6th marines, 1st battalion, 2nd (B) company (or something to that effect). Can anyone clarify exactly how this tactical marking system worked?

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The stencilled TAC marks were mostly used by the 4th Mar Div, but some semblance of TAC marks were used by all Marine Divisions.


The 1st used a "flat diamond"

2nd used a Square

3rd used a "Vertical Diamond"

4th used a Semi -circle

5th used a rectangle

6th used a circle


Now, as far as how the 4th Mar Div marked their 782 gear:


The first number represented Regiment or HQ

The second number represented battalion

The third number represented company


So for example:


331...would be 23rd Marines/3rd Battalion/HQ company

524...would be 25th marines/2nd Battalion/Charlie Co


HQ always taking the number 1


Other Marine Divisions used a similar syatem like the 5th Mar Div used 4 numbers inside their rectangle...like 5334


to denote battalion/regiment/company etc

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  • 4 months later...
Greg Robinson

One thing to keep in mind when attempting to decioher the WW2 UNIS unit codes a Marine infantry Regiment was comprised of three rifle battalions each typically having four rifle Companies. And the Company designation wasn't repeated within a Regiment......for example. 1st Bn might be made up of "A" "B" "C" and "D" Companies, 2nd Bn "E "F" "G" and "H" Companies, and so on. And then you had Headquarter units and special units such as heavy weapons, etc.

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