Per Email to Ed Nicholls from Robert V. Aquilina, Assistant Head, Reference Section, USMC History and Museum Div. (27 July 2001)
Your Inquiry concerning the origin of the nickname, "America's Battalion" for the 3d Battalion, 3d Marines was referred to my desk for research and direct reply. I apologize that the length of time required for the research, along with the volume of requests received in this office has delayed, unfortunately, my response to your inquiry. After examining a number of resoures here at the History and Museums Division in an attempt to locate the origins for the nickname, I finally made contact with a current Sergeant Major in the Marine Corps who at one time served with 3d Battalion, 3d Marines. He attempted about five years ago to identify the origins of the nickname, and his search led him to the (then) Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles C. Krulak, USMC.
Here is what the Sergeant Major recently related to me, concerning his conversation with General Krulak.
General Krulak noted that while commanding the battalion, he did in fact dub 3/3 as "America's Battalion." He modified the phrase which was given to the Dallas Cowboys as "America's Team." Although not a Cowboy's fan, he liked the terminology. General Krulak said that a previous S-3 (Operations Officer) had sent him a letter when General Krulak was Commanding Officer of 3d Battalion 3d Marines. The S-3 Officer was on deployment in the Mediterranean, and had written nothing on the envelope but the following: "Commanding Officer, America's Battalion".
General Krulak said that even in the absence of a stamp and a proper address he still received the letter, and, in his opinion, if the U.S. Postal Service recognized 3/3 as "America's Battalion," then they certainly must be. So from then on he considered it "official."
I hope this information proves useful in your research on the heroic achievement of "America's Battalion" in Operation Starlite, and the Vietnam War.
Sincerly, Robert V. Aquilina, Assistant Head, Reference Section.