|Gunnery Sergeant, Marine Recon, 2nd Marine Division, Grenada, 1983|
|The 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit was diverted to Grenada while en route to Lebanon. To secure objectives in Grenada and to facilitate operations, the island was operationally split in half. The Marines secured the northern half of the island while Army Rangers secured the south. A few hours after the start of the invasion, 400 Marines landed at Pearls Airport, by helicopter. Part of this force was flying over the beaches of Grenada to back up the invasion force. The Marines met weak resistance from Grenadian Army regulars, militia, and Cuban defenders secured the airport within two hours. Once Grenada was secured, the Marines reembarked aboard their amphibious ships and continued their peacekeeping mission to Lebanon.
In the 1986 movie "Heartbreak Ridge" the role of the Marines were portrayed in Grenada, unfortunately, it may have been more "Hollywood" than fact. In the movie the Marines perform a beach recon. In reality it was the Navy SEALs that reconned the beach around the airport in preparation for the Marine landings.
The most obvious distortion of fact was the Marines rescuing the medical students when it was actually the Rangers. The medical school was in the southern part of the island, the Marines operated in the north.
In the late 1970's the Marines adopted the new year round camouflage uniform designated as the BDU. During the early 1980's, both the "leaf" pattern camouflage leftover from the Vietnam war which had the slanted cargo pockets, and the postwar "woodland" pattern uniform with smaller squarer pockets were in use by the Marine Corps. The USMC "Ball and Bird" was not printed on these latter uniforms. Only Recon Marines wore the boonie hat.