Date(s) - 08/14/17
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Pritzker Military Library
Monday, August 14, 2017 5:00pm
Specialist Five James C. McCloughan shares the actions he took over the course of 48 hours in close-combat fighting against enemy forces in Vietnam in 1969.
McCloughan will be presented with the Medal of Honor by President Donald Trump at a ceremony on July 31, 2017.
McCloughan, who was 23 at the time, was serving as a private first class combat medic after being drafted. He voluntarily risked his life on nine separate occasions to rescue wounded and disoriented comrades. He suffered wounds from shrapnel and small arms fire during the encounter but refused medical evacuation to stay with his unit, according to a White House statement.
After Vietnam, McCloughan returned home and spent nearly 40 years teaching and coaching sports at South Haven High School in Michigan. He taught psychology, sociology, and geography and coached football, wrestling and baseball. He was later inducted into numerous state Hall of Fames, including the Michigan High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Olivet College Athletic Hall of Fame.
McCloughan’s Army awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device and Oak Leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, the Good Conduct Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with three Bronze Service Stars, the Army Valorous Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with “60” Device, the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palms and one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Combat Medical Badge, and the M16 Expert Rifle Badge.
Traditionally the Medal of Honor is only awarded within five years, but a waiver signed by former Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning in December 2016 allowed for McCloughan to receive the Medal of Honor five decades after the actions for which he earned it.