| The 1st Marine Division is the oldest, largest (active duty), and most decorated division in the United States Marine Corps representing a combat-ready force of more than 19,000 men and women. It is one of three active duty divisions in the Marine Corps today and is a multi-role, expeditionary ground combat force. Nicknamed "The Old Breed", it provides the ground combat element of the I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) and is headquartered at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.
Unless you know where to look you wouldn't notice the old ammunition bunker dug into the hillside behind the headquarters building of the 1st Marine Division at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. Sometime along the way this bunker was transformed into a conference room and meeting place for the Commanding General and his staff and now serves in that capacity where plans and strategies are discussed and formulated.
If you're ever lucky enough to be invited into this bunker you will immediately notice the Black Diamond posted on the starboard bulkhead with its many shining dog tags. There's a dog tag for each Marine and Sailor that gave the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan. Seeing them collectively hanging on the Black Diamond provides a poignant reminder to the General and his staff everytime they gather for a meeting. One cannot pass this Black Diamond without being humbled, especially when you read the profound words engraved on its plaque:
"When deciding great war plans one must remember how great the lives are of the Marines and Sailors who will execute them."