Marines and Guam - A long-standing partnership

20 Jan 2023 | Major Diann Rosenfeld Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz

On June 21, 1898 the first Marines landed on the Pacific island of Guam during the Spanish-American War, beginning a century-long relationship between the Marine Corps and the people of Guam.

In 1901, Marine Barracks Guam was established in the village of Sumay. Marine Barracks Guam played significant roles in Marine Corps history for more than 90 years.  During the First World War, the first shots fired by Americans in the war were done so in Apra Harbor by U.S. Marines.

In the Second World War, Marine Barracks Guam was forced to surrender to Imperial Japanese forces on June 14, 1942.

The Marines returned when the III Amphibious Corps landed to retake the island on July 21, 1944.  After fierce fighting, the island was declared secure on Aug. 10, 1944.  Guam became a staging location for Marines moving forward across the Pacific, supporting invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

The Marine Barracks were reactivated on June 4, 1946 and remained an integral part of the U.S. presence on the island.

Marines stationed on Guam contributed to regional stability by serving as an enduring symbol of the continued partnership between the Marine Corps and the Government of Guam until it was deactivated on Nov. 10, 1992.

As the security situation in the Indo-Pacific has shifted, Guam was once again realized as strategic hub for the Marine Corps. On Oct. 1, 2020 Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz was administratively activated. It is the newest Marine Corps base since 1952 and serves as an enduring symbol of the long-standing relationship between the Marine Corps and Guam.

On Jan. 26, 2023, U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. David Maxwell, commander of Marine Corps Installations Command, will host a ceremony at Asan Beach, Guam to celebrate the reactivation and naming of Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Blaz.

Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz is named in honor of Brig. Gen. Vicente “Ben” Tomas Garrido Blaz, the first CHamoru Marine to attain the rank of general officer.