MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Snakes, wolves, knights and other images adorn 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing hangars and aircraft as unit emblems. Many of these images last decades and pay homage to past accomplishments of Marines who served.
The Marines of The 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion recently replaced their unit emblem with a new one that contains imagery from its original and most recent patch.
“We wanted to reflect the dual mission of the battalion and tried to inject the historical emblems to tie the past to the present,” said Lt. Col. Mike C. Cancellier, the battalion commanding officer. “Maj. Vandaveer did a very good job designing a professional rendering of the new logo.”
The battalion submitted the new emblem in March for approval to Headquarters Marine Corps and to the U.S. Navy Aviation History Branch.
The new logo replaces the battalion’s former emblem, which featured a scorpion clenching an aircraft in its claw while firing a missile from its tail. The new patch contains elements from the unit’s original patch.
Their mission recently expanded from ground-based air defense to include providing ground security in defense of Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) air facilities.
The new patch border, a circular field with banners, associates 3rd LAAD Bn. with 3rd MAW by mirroring other aviation unit emblems. The blue field with white stars of the Southern Cross and the white border of the red diamond acknowledge the heritage from WWII to present times.
The white scorpion replaces the WWII era anti-aircraft artillery piece and the black weapons depict the primary arms of the unit’s two combat missions. The phrase “Feel the Sting,” is a long standing unofficial motto among the battalion.
“My favorite parts are the blue field, the red diamond and the Southern Cross,” said Master Sgt. William J. Leal, the battalion’s Improved Moving Target Simulator staff noncommissioned officer in charge. “I think it’s a great way to honor former air defenders from our past.”
The battalion will officially unveil the new patch later this year. When they deploy to Afghanistan, they will bear an insignia honoring their past while demonstrating the war-fighting capabilities of the battalion today.