The highest ranking, living Medal of Honor Recipient has agreed to attend the Wine Country Marines Birthday Ball on October, 28th, 2023 as the Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker.
Major General James Everett Livingston is a retired U.S. Marine Corps general. He was awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions in 1968 during the Vietnam War.
James Livingston was born on 12 January 1940 in Towns, GA. He graduated from Lumber City High School in 1957. He entered North Georgia College and State University (The Military College of Georgia) in 1957 and was a member of the schools nationally recognized Corps of Cadets until he transferred to pursue a major that the school did not offer. In 1962, Livingston earned a B.S degree in civil engineering from Auburn University. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps in June 1962.
Livingston's early assignments included service as a platoon commander, intelligence officer and as a Recruit Training Regiment series commander.
Promoted to captain in June 1966, Capt Livingston served as the Commanding Officer of the Marine detachment aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS Wasp, before joining the 3rd Marine Division in the Republic of Vietnam in August 1967.
On 2 May 1968, while serving as Commanding Officer, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, he distinguished himself above and beyond the call of duty in action against enemy forces, and earned the Medal of Honor. He returned to the U.S. in November 1968 and completed the Amphibious Warfare School in Quantico, VA.
Medal of Honor
The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
CAPTAIN JAMES E. LIVINGSTON UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Commanding Officer, Company E, Second Battalion, Fourth Marines, Ninth Marine Amphibious Brigade in action against enemy forces in the Republic of Vietnam.
On 2 May 1968, Company E launched a determined assault on the heavily fortified village of Dai Do, which had been seized by the enemy on the preceding evening isolating a Marine company from the remainder of the battalion. Skillfully employing screening agents, Captain Livingston maneuvered his men to assault positions across 500 meters of dangerous open rice paddy while under intense enemy fire.
Ignoring hostile rounds impacting near him, he fearlessly led his men in a savage assault against enemy emplacements within the village. While adjusting supporting arms fire, Captain Livingston moved to the points of heaviest resistance, shouting words of encouragement to his Marines, directing their fire, and spurring the dwindling momentum of the attack on repeated occasions.
Although twice painfully wounded by grenade fragments, he refused medical treatment and courageously led his men in the destruction of over 100 mutually supporting bunkers, driving the remaining enemy from their positions, and relieving the pressure on the stranded Marine company.
As the two companies consolidated positions and evacuated casualties, a third company passed through the friendly lines launching an assault on the adjacent village of Dinh To, only to be halted by a furious counterattack of an enemy battalion. Swiftly assessing the situation and disregarding the heavy volume of enemy fire, Captain Livingston boldly maneuvered the remaining effective men of his company forward, joined forces with the heavily engaged Marines, and halted the enemy's counterattack. Wounded a third time and unable to walk, he steadfastly remained in a dangerously exposed area, deploying his men to more tenable positions and supervising the evacuation of casualties.
Only when assured of the safety of his men did he allow himself to be evacuated. Captain Livingston's gallant actions uphold the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and United States Naval Service.
/S/ RICHARD M. NIXON
Livingston was presented the Medal of Honor on 14 May 1970 by President Richard Nixon.
After his second tour in Vietnam, he served as an instructor at the U.S. Army Infantry School, Director of Division Schools for the 1st Marine Division, and later, as S-3 of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines. In March 1975 he returned to Vietnam and served as Operations Officer for the Vietnam evacuation operations which included Operation Frequent Wind; evacuation of Saigon.
He then commanded the Marine Barracks, United Kingdom, London, and served as Commanding Officer, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion and then as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Training at the Marine Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. During this period, he earned a master's degree in Management from Webster University (1984). He then served with the 2nd Marine Division and commanded the 6th Marines before joining the Joint U.S. Assistance Group in the Republic of the Philippines.
Following advancement to brigadier general on 10 June 1988, he served as Deputy Director for Operations at the National Military Command Center in Washington, DC. During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Gen Livingston commanded the Marine Air Ground Combat Center, 29 Palms, CA and developed the Desert Warfare Training Program. After command of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, he was advanced to major general on 8 July 1991, and assumed command of the 4th Marine Division. In July 1992, he assumed command of the newly created Marine Reserve Force, and continued through its reorganization in October 1994, with its new title, "Marine Forces Reserve." Maj Gen Livingston served on active duty in the Marine Corps over 33 years before retiring on 1 September 1995.
Livingston is a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School; the Marine Corps Command and Staff College; and the Air War College.
Medals and Awards
Medal of Honor Silver Star Medal Defense Superior Service Medal Bronze Star Medal w/ Valor Device Purple Heart (3) Defense Meritorious Service Medal Meritorious Service Medal w/ 1 Award Star Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal Combat Action Ribbon w/ 1 Award Star Joint Meritorious Unit Award Navy Unit Commendation w/ 2 Service Stars Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ 3 Service Stars National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 Service Star Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal w/ 2 Service Stars Vietnam Service Medal w/ 6 Service Stars Humanitarian Service Medal w/ 3 Service Stars Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon w/ 1 Service Star Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/ 2 Gilt Stars Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation Vietnam Campaign Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist Insignia
On 19 November 1993, the State of Georgia dedicated a historical marker in Lumber City, GA, honoring Livingston and his Medal of Honor actions.
In retirement, MajGen Livingston is serving on the Board of Trustees of the National World War II Museum. On 6 November 2007 the Fred Thompson presidential campaign announced that MajGen Livingston would serve as the National Co-Chair of Veterans for Fred Thompson.