When formed in 1967, the Third Reserve Naval Construction Regiment was originally composed of three Reserve Naval Construction Battalions: RNMCB-17, RNMCB-24, and RNMCB-26. The regiment operated from Tuscaloosa, Alabama until 1977 when it was permanently headquartered at the Naval Marine Corps Reserve Center, Atlanta, Georgia. These three "plankholder" battalions of the THIRD Regiment were reserve counterparts of active duty battalions who saw duty as a part of the 191 battalions during World War II. All three were decommissioned at war’s end.
The Third Regiment’s units of today model it’s motto, "The Leaders". NMCB-14, located at the Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida, was selected "Best of Type" in 1971, 1976, 1979 and was first runner-up in 1973 and 1977. NMCB-23, located at Fort Belvior, Virginia. NMCB-24, recommissioned in 1962 and headquarter at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville Alabama, was selected "Best of Type" for 1977, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1990 and was first runner-up in 1976, 1978, 1982, 1983, 1085, 1987, and 1988.
Naval Construction Force Support Units were established in 1981. NCFSU-1 was assigned to the THIRDNCR until 1983 when it was transferred to another Regiment. NCFSU-3, headquartered at Fort Jackson, South Carolina was transferred to the THIRD Regiment in 1986 and has been selected "Best of Type" twice, in 1986 and 1990.
Seven former Third Naval Construction Regiment Commanders have been promoted to flag rank of rear admiral. They are Rear Admiral Peter Brown, CEC, USNR, (Retired), Rear Admiral Charles R. Smith, CEC, USNR, (Retired), Rear Admiral Paul C. Rosser, CEC, USNR (Retired), Rear Admiral Noah H. Long, CEC, USNR (Retired), Rear Admiral Michael Johnson CEC, USNR, Rear Admiral James McGarrah, CEC, USNR and Rear Admiral (select) Raymond K. Alexander, CEC, USNR. The first three of these flag officers went on to command the Reserve Naval Construction Force.
The Third Regiment holds the distinct honor of being the first unit of the Reserve Naval Construction Forces to deploy outside the continental United States for a peace time mission as NCMB-14 and members of the THIRD NCR deployed to the Roosevelt Road Naval Station, Puerto Rico in 1972. The most recent overseas assignment was in 1990 as the THIRD Regiment along with NMCB-23 and NMCB-24 were recalled to active duty in Support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The Regiment was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for its contribution to this effort.