U.S. Marines with Detachment 4, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division gathered to pay homage and say goodbye to 4th Tanks Battalion as they officially completed their sundown after 77 years of supporting operations around the world at Lafayette, La., on Aug. 2, 2020. 4th Tanks has served in every war the Marine Corps has fought in since its inception in 1943. 4th Tank Battalion (4th Tanks) is an armored battalion of the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Their primary weapon system is the M1A1 Abrams main battle tank and they are part of the 4th Marine Division and Marine Forces Reserve.
The 4th Tank Battalion headquarters is at the Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Center San Diego, California, but other units in the battalion are located throughout the United States. With six lettered companies, 4th Tank Battalion is the largest Marine tank battalion.To provide armored combat power for the 4th Marine Division in the amphibious assault and subsequent operations ashore utilizing maneuver, armor protected firepower and shock effect to close with and destroy the enemy.
The 4th Tank Battalion is also tasked to organize, train, and equip individual Marines and combat ready tank companies to augment and reinforce the active duty component when required to serve as part of the Total Force of the United States. In March 2020, the commandant of the Marine Corps released Force Design 2030. The guidance provides a common direction to where the Marine Corps is heading in the future and why. Force Design 2030 states the Marine Corps will integrate more with the U.S. Navy and reaffirms their strategic partnership.
The Marine Corps will also adapt to increase the range, accuracy, and lethality of their modern weapons. With tank units being deactivated, the Marines with those units will have the opportunity to lateral move to another military occupational specialty. Marines also have the opportunity to transfer to the U.S. Army and continue serving as tankers. Marines who have served 15 years or more will have the option to submit for the Marine Corps Temporary Early Retirement Authority Program.