2/6 and 2/9 expected to take over in Marjah

A security team led by Lt. j.g. Johnathan Flynn, center, officer in charge of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5, escorts Lt. Col. Brian Christmas, left, commander of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, across a newly-constructed bridge in northern Marjah, Afghanistan, on June 26. (Lance Cpl. Khoa Pelczar/Marine Corps)

A security team led by Lt. j.g. Johnathan Flynn, center, officer in charge of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5, escorts Lt. Col. Brian Christmas, left, commander of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, across a newly-constructed bridge in northern Marjah, Afghanistan, on June 26. (Lance Cpl. Khoa Pelczar/Marine Corps)

 After months of fighting, the two infantry battalions saddled with the majority of responsibility in the former Taliban stronghold of Marjah, Afghanistan, may soon get a break.

As we covered in a long-form story laying out the Marine Corps’ summer plan in Afghanistan, regularly scheduled unit rotations dictate that 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, and 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, both out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., will be replaced in Marjah this summer.

Marines on the ground in Marjah say they’re working under the assumption that Lejeune’s 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, will replace 1/6 in central and southern Marjah, while Lejeune’s 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, will replace 3/6 in northern Marjah and surrounding areas later this summer.

You may remember that 1/6 arrived en masse in Afghanistan before Christmas, so it’s likely they will be relieved in a change of command ceremony sometime soon by 2/6, which already has started to deploy in small numbers. The expectation is that 3/6 would be replaced later this summer by 2/9.


About Author

I'm a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.


  1. Former 2/6 Echo Marine on

    How about you grow a little common sense and NOT publish rotation dates? Maybe the reason 2/6 is getting hit so hard already is because the Taliban know’s they just rotated? GO AND F—ING EXPLAIN TO THE FAMILIES OF MY FRIENDS THAT ARE ALREADY F—ING DEAD AND EXPLAIN TO MY FRIENDS THAT ARE ALREADY BACK IN THE STATES THAT YOU WANT TO PUBLISH F—ING ROTATION DATES!

  2. With all due respect, it is common knowledge that 1/6 has rotated out — the Marine Corps itself already has invited the media to cover its return to Camp Lejeune, N.C. Obviously, if one unit has left Marjah, another one new to the area will take its place.

  3. Former 2/6 Echo Marine on

    1/6 got back LAST NIGHT… this was published last week. Common knowledge? Sure, but make them do some RESEARCH! It’s not a secret our deployments are 7 months long, but this idiot PAINTED A PICTURE for EVERYONE! “You may remember that 1/6 arrived en masse in Afghanistan before Christmas, so it’s likely they will be relieved in a change of command ceremony sometime soon by 2/6, which already has started to deploy in small numbers. The expectation is that 3/6 would be replaced later this summer by 2/9”

    Make them WORK for it, jeez. The wives and parents on the family readiness boards know better than this idiot.

  4. Again, you’re kidding yourself.

    BGen Berger was comfortable telling Marine Corps Times in December that 3/6 was about to deploy. Does he have OPSEC issues, too? Doubt it.

  5. My husband is a 2/9 Marine and I sure as hell know better than to post information regarding times, dates, or locations anywhere on the internet, and as far as I’m concerned anything that may put my husband and all of our friends in danger by telling exactly when and where they are headed should not be allowed to continue. I was always told that violence increases around rotations in and out because that’s when unit’s are the most vulnerable, and this article pretty much draws them a map screaming “Come and get us.”

  6. 2/9 wife: Sorry to hear that. We’d never post specific times and dates, but the military typically welcomes coverage of units before they deploy when arrival dates are kept fuzzy.

    Take this story in the Jacksonville Daily News today, for example:


    Just like our story, it covers the pending transition from 3/6 to 2/9. The reporters there wouldn’t have had access to the base without approval from higher commands.

  7. U B-Gen’s and all the big wheels must need your heads examined!!! Draw a big bulls eye on our guys and tell the enemy when to load their guns and prepare u bunch of dumb asses!!!! Ya’ll r having the same problem as the highway patrol here in N.C. Don’t know what the hell they r doing either. But someone up on top of the brass, needs to let it be known that this is not right!! The taliban r reading what i’m saying right now, probably!

  8. As a new 2/9 parent, I understood the need to keep confidential any deployment dates I may have learned. The safety of my Marine and all others is paramount.
    I am a former Navy veteran,and the old saying of “loose lips” still applies for today’s warriors.

  9. As a Marine wife with a husband deployed in combat, I too, would prefer people keep our Marines safe so they can all come home.

  10. Former 2/6, how hard are they getting hit? I am waiting to hear from my son, not even one letter yet, I want to know what I can do to help him.

  11. Former 2/6 Wpns Co. Marine on

    Having access to the base and having access to that information is one thing. Even if B. Gen released that information to you… are you the TALIBAN? He didn’t give or make that info available to them, you did. I’ve always felt one of our biggest enemies is our own press. Example one “yourself and your previous post” and the other crap you decide to show our citizens here at home. You make propaganda for them free of charge. You wonder why so many people are against the war effort…partly because of u f—s

  12. Do you really think a general officer would give a newspaper access to classified information and let a reporter decide whether or not to use it? With all due respect, that’s just silly.

  13. After all the writing, shooting, politicking, strategizing, war and victory declaring and wringing of hands, the Afghanistan situation seems to come down to a matter of will. The Taliban have no shortage of will or of patience. The Afghan government and the Afghan people don’t seem to have much of either. We and our allies can prop them up for what? —another year or two until our will is exhausted. In short, if people have no civil will, those folks with un-civil will will win every time. Not a pretty picture for Afthanistan; not a pretty future for a country that ranks almost at the bottom of any civil vlaue chart that can be reasonably drawn.

  14. Please please stop publishing this information. The familes know when they are coming and going. We keep this to ourselves to keep our loved ones and heroes safe. This kind of Information is NOT needed by the public. The only people that benefit from this knowledge is the TALIBAN. Please stop putting a bulls eye on my son and his fellow Marines heads.

  15. I also believe that this information should not be passed like it was. I agree with the former 2/6 Marine that you are painting an extremely vivid picture for any terrorists. Can you not see how many people that you are pissing off by writing this article? Have you even gotten any great feedback on it? As a wife, we know better than to put something like this anywhere online. It is a clear violation of OPSEC. Dan, how about we send the love of your life over to a combat war zone & release specific information about exactly where she may be. Here you go, Taliban, go get her. She arrived in December and as the pattern shows, will probably leave in 7 months. Enjoy! It makes my heart break to see news like this on websites. As I’m sure it would to you, as well. Your careless talk could cost us valuable lives. The men fighting with 2/6 do not deserve to have their lives put in danger for the sake of your story.

  16. As a Currant 2/9 Fiancee I would like for you to know that this is completly ridiculous. OPSEC is something that the marine corps uses to keep our marines safe. Do I need to send you a copy, because I have no problem doing so. We don’t talk about places on the phones, let alone the internet were EVERYONE can see it. As for everyone else I have some questions if any off you former marines can answer them for me ..

    I was told things calm down in the winter is this true?

    I was also told that 1/6 (Southern and eastern marjah) got hit harder than 3/6?? Is that true??

    Anything you can tell please…

  17. To the editor, Please give me some logical insight,why you would give rotation dates and schedules for anyone online to read? Like previously mentioned the families and friends of the marines already know this information, so WHY are you publishing this tactical information, for the chance that the enemy could possibly use this information against our soldiers. The general american public doesn’t care about this rotation, just the loved ones of our soldiers in battle for OUR country.

    I understand that we are humans and makeunwise choices, maybe you were just doing your job and you thought , nothing was done wrong,,but please thoroughly examine everything that you might put on the internet, because our enemy is reading this information.

    Please help uplift our families and friends of our service members, we are under enough stress. I know the press has a job to accomplish, but please think about your comments and the lives of our United States Soldiers… Thank you for your time, and patience,,lets all work together and not against one another.

    Thank you from a proud Uncle , of a marine in afghanistan.

  18. As a former Marine and the father of a 2/9 Marine I feel the same anxiety as any other related Marine family. I also understand that since 1775 the United States Marine Corps has held a tradition of service to God and Country heads above anyother military service. We will bring ALL our men home and do what is asked of us with pride, honor and Country in mind.

  19. Seems as if the majority is upset at posting of Rotation dates you should not Post them, But i have come to realize that it does not matter. Its is all about the story! Right? this is how it is,there are some who really do not care about what our men and women are doing and the dangers they face as long as they get some sort of story out of it. isn’t that right Dan? why have opsec, seems like just another cluster F. as usual. heads up rearends. will it ever get fixed? seriously doubt it, as long as there are a need for information and someone without a clear thinking process about the outcome to post vital info, It is like, “Hey, look at me and look at what i know” how in the world do these people get these positions?

  20. I wont be brash, or harsh as some may have come across above, but, I will politely ask you to take the uproar your article has caused to heart. All of us seem to be affiliated with Marines of units mentioned in this article, and are deeply concerned that any form of media and press would be obliged to place pertinent information that can be extremely detrimental to our loved ones’ safety for the world to view. The purpose of informing the public is to give them insight into what our military is doing in foreign nations and why; not to provide locations and dates (whether or not they be general or specific, nor who said what and where the information came from). Our enemy is not any less intellegent than we are, nor do they have denied access to information only placed on national servers or in national newspapers. They can receive any intel they wish by any means necessary. Our goal as citizens is to stand proud for what our men and women do for our beloved country and do our part to protect them and keep them safe as best as we can. It’s more or less a team effort. They stand and fight the Taliban to keep them from gaining power; we stand and fight the Taliban from gaining knowledge.
    Under the First Ammendment, there is Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. Our Fathers developed our Constitution as a guideline for equality. Although the ammendments hold prescedence in a court of law, sometimes I feel that they have been taken advantage of. Instead of dwelling on rotation dates, locations, casualties, name calling, and our brave men and women’s “wrong doings” in combat, why don’t we focus on the good. Let’s write stories about the schools built, the help we give the Afghani locals to re-develop a drainage system, the medical aid we administer to those wounded by those of their own culture? Why don’t we focus on the triumphs of the brave who return home injured? Why don’t we write articles and provide pictures and broadcasts from places like Walter Reed and Bathesda? Why don’t we show stories of those loved ones left behind who worry daily, but still carry on stronger than anyone else out there? It is completely within your right as a reporter to endulge the public with any and all information you prefer, but I think I can speak for everyone else who responded by asking you to consider what you are reporting. You have freedom-thank a veteran. God Bless.

  21. My son is on his first deployment with golf co.and is in afghanistan,we all know what we can and cannot say.So please just be very careful,if you have a question call you’r fro/readiness officer get you’r answers from them,and please keep it among you’rself for the safety of all our hero’s.We all want the same thing and that’s for them to come home safe. Thank you god bless all stay strong

  22. The whole opsec argument is valid, however, the Taliban knew we were getting switched out soon the whole time. As a marine in 1/6, i will tell you the afghan army knew we were leaving and they had constant contact with the local pop. which in turn gets passed to the wrong ears, thats just how it goes…We could sense they knew for a couple months we were getting switched out. The real circus began when the platoon from 2/6 came to relieve us, it was the sloppiest insert i have ever seen. They had Marines running every which way and losing gear. Thank God no body was shooting at them. No disrespect to the marines in the companies, but their command sucked. At least the one that relieved us. Perhaps this is why they got “hit hard”?

  23. Former Echo 2/6 Cpl on

    Its A-holes like you that helped the Iraqis put a 7.62×39 through my hand and knee. OPSEC, start fallowing it or I will personally climb up your hind parts and kick my way out. Copy?

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