November 29, 2023

Profiles of Valor: MajGen James E. Livingston (USMC)

“The MOH is … the reflection of the fine young Marines I wear it for.”

When contemplating a Marine’s Marine, some of the first names that come to mind are Lt. Gen. Lewis “Chesty” Puller or Col. Wesley Lee Fox. But tall among legendary Marines is Georgia native Maj. Gen. James Livingston.

After graduating from Auburn University in 1962, Livingston almost joined the Army until a Marine recruiter convinced him otherwise. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and initially thought he would serve three years, but that turned into three decades. His first 13-month tour in Vietnam was 1963, and he then returned to train recruits at Parris Island, South Carolina. It was there he met his wife Sara, and they had two daughters, one of whom would become a Naval Academy graduate.

Promoted to Captain in 1966, Livingston deployed for his second Vietnam tour in August 1967. In May 1968, he was serving as the commanding officer of Company E of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade when a Marine company was surrounded by an overwhelming enemy force near the village of Dai Do.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions leading Marines to rescue their fellow Marines. They destroyed more than 100 enemy bunkers, killing an estimated 400 enemy combatants in their drive to push the enemy back from their position.

His Medal of Honor citation notes in part:

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. … Wounded a third time and unable to walk, he steadfastly remained in the 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.

Livingston says of their actions that day: “I went into the fight with about 180 Marines. After that stage of the fight, I only had about 35 Marines who were still walking.” When he was wounded a third time, he recalls: “All the kids saw me go down. We’d been really slugging it out and taking a lot of casualties. Basically, I told the kids to get out of there because we were getting surrounded, and leave me there — I’d take care of the bad guys up to the point I could no longer take care of the bad guys.”

Asked about what his Medal of Honor means, he says: “The MOH is the reflection of the experience I had in Vietnam, but most of all, it’s the reflection of the fine young Marines I wear it for. I try to wear it in remembrance of them.” I am grateful for having both met Livingston, who provided instrumental advice early in the process of developing the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, and for the copy of his book, Noble Warrior, on the shelf next to me as I write this.

Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, your example of valor — an American Patriot defending your fellow warriors and Liberty for all above and beyond the call of duty and disregarding the peril to your own life — is eternal.

“Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of American Liberty, and for Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please consider a designated gift to support the National Medal of Honor Sustaining Fund through Patriot Foundation Trust, or make a check payable to “NMoH Sustaining Fund” and mail it to Patriot Foundation Trust, PO Box 407, Chattanooga, TN 37401-0407.

Comment | Share

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2024 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.