Also honored in the same ceremony was a large contingent of Purple Heart Recipients from all wars. This part of the event offered these veterans an opportunity to be recognized for their service and sacrifice, but also an opportunity for General Livingston to thank them for their contribution to our freedom and way of life.
James 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 May 2, 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. You can read the details of General Livingston's heroism here.
He returned to the U. S. in November 1968 and completed the Amphibious Warfare School in Quantico, Virginia. He was presented the Medal of Honor on May 14, 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, the 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, South Carolina. 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 June 10, 1988, he served as Deputy Director for Operations at the National Military Command Center in Washington, D. C. During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Gen Livingston commanded the Marine Air Ground Combat Center, 29 Palms, California and developed the Desert Warfare Training Program. After command of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, he was advanced to major general on July 8, 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".
General Livingston is a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the Air War College. He is one of Georgia's most decorated veterans in addition to being a recipient of our Nation's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor.
Medal of Honor
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Bronze Star with Valor Device
Purple Heart with 2 Award Stars
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Award Star
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Valor Device
Combat Action Ribbon with 1 Award Star
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Navy Unit Commendation with 2 Service Stars
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation with 1 Service Star
National Defense Service Medal with 1 Service Star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with 2 Service Stars
Vietnam Service Medal with 6 Service Stars
Humanitarian Service Medal with 3 Service Stars
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon with 1 Service Star
Vietnam Gallantry Cross with 2 Gilt Stars
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation
Vietnam Campaign Medal
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