Activated 1 August 1922 at Santiago, Dominican Republic, as the 1st Battalion, 4th Regiment or the 2nd Brigade. Deactivated 1 July 1924. It was reactivated 1 September 1924 at San Diego, California as the 1st Battalion, 4th Regiment. Elements of the Battalion participated in Mail Guard duty in the western United States, October 1926 to January 1929.
It was deployed during February 1927 to Shanghai, China. Assigned during April 1927 to the 3rd Brigade and detached during January 1929 from the 3rd Brigade. Redesignated 13 February 1930 as the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines and reassigned during September 1932 to the 2nd Marine Brigade. It was detached during February 1938 from the 2nd Marine Brigade.
Deployed during November 1941 to Olongapo, Philippines, then redeployed during December 1941 to Corregido, Philippines. Participated in the defense of Corregidor from January to May 1942. It was captured by enemy forces, the Japanese, on 6 May 1942, and temporarily ceased to exist. The First Battalion of the Fourth Marine Regiment was reactivated 1 February 1944 on Guadalcanal by redesignation from the 1st Raider Battalion, 1st Raider Regiment. It was assigned during April 1944 to the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade. And reassigned during September 1944 to the 6th Marine Division.
The First Battalion of the Fourth Marines Regiment participated in the following WORLD WAR II Campaigns:
- Solomon Islands
- Bismark Archipelago
The First Battalion was reactivated 8 March 1946 at Tsingtao, China, and assigned to the 6th Marine Division. It participated in the occupation of North China, March to September 1946. Then reassigned during April 1946 to the 3rd Marine Brigade. Reassigned during June 1946 to the 1st Marine Division and relocated during September 1946 to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and reassigned to the 2nd Marine Division. Deactivated 18 November 1947.
The First Battalion was reactivated 2 September 1952 at Camp Pendleton, California and assigned to the 3rd Marine Division. Deployed during August 1953 to Camp Nara, Japan. It was relocated during February 1955 to Kaneohe Bay, Territory of Hawaii, and assigned to the 1st Provisional Marine Air-Ground Task Force. The 1st Provisional Marine Air-Ground Task Force was redesignated during May 1956 as the 1st Marine Brigade.
The First Battalion of the Fourth Marines Regiment was redeployed during May 1965 to the Republic of Viet Nam and reassign to the 3rd Marine Division. During December 1966 to January 1967 it was deployed to Camp Schwab, Okinawa. It participated in the War In Viet Nam from May 1965 to December 1966 and february 1967 to October 1969. They operated from the following locations:
- Chu Lai
- Phu Bai
- USS Iwo Jima
- Dong Ha
- Cua Viet
- Vandegrift Combat Base
- Quang Tri
The First Battalion of the Fourth Marines Regiment participated in the Southeast Asia Evacuations, March to April 1975. Elements of the Battalion participated in the Mayaguez Operation, May 1975. It relocated during November 1977 to Twentynine Palms, California and assigned to Force Troops.
It was reassigned during February 1979 to the 3rd Marine Division. During April 1980 reassigned to the Combined Arms Command, 1st Marine Division. Reassigned during May 1980 to the 27th Marines, 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade. Reassigned during June 1987 to the 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade.
Elements participated in Operations in the Persian Gulf, April to December 1988. Relocated during January 1989 to Camp Pendleton, California and reassigned to the 1st Marine Division.
The Battalion participated in the following Operations:
- Desert Shield and Desert Storm
- Southwest Asia, September 1990 to April 1991
- Provide Relief
- Somalia, August to December 1993
- Vigilant Warrior
- Kuwait, October 1994
- Participated in Southern Watch, Southwest Asia, October 1996
- Elements participated in Drug Interdiction Operations, New Mexico and California, United States, January and March 1997
- Participated in Operation Safe Departure, Eritrea, June 1998
- Participated in "Edged Mallet" exercise, Kenya, Africa, February 2002
- Participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, January 2002 to March 2002
- Participated in "Eastern Maverick" exercise, Qatar, Middle East, March 2002
- Participated in "Sea Soldier" exercise, Oman, Middle East, April 2002
- Participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Middle East, March 2003 to April 2003