Major Capers was responsible for incredible acts of valor when his Marine Corps special operations team was ambushed during a mission in Phu Loc, Vietnam in 1967 during the Vietnam War.
H.R. 587 is a reintroduction of H.R. 7761
during the 117th Congress.
The Medal of Honor is awarded to a military service member who: “distinguishes himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty
- While engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
- While engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
- While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.”
Major James Capers Jr., born in Lee County, South Carolina, exemplified actions above and beyond the call of duty, more than meeting the requirements for a Medal of Honor, when he lead his team of nine out of an ambush where they were outnumbered 3:1 during the Vietnam War.
Thanks to the selfless sacrifice by Major Capers, all nine members of the team were brought to safety and survived the attack though all members of the team, including Major Capers, were injured.
Major Capers, who now resides in North Carolina, served 22 years in the Marine Corps serving in combat infantry during the Vietnam War followed by his re-enlistment where he became the first African American to serve in the Marine Corps’ elite special operations unit, Force Recon.
During his career, Major Capers and his team conducted over 50 classified missions in Vietnam, amphibious assaults, covert missions to rescue POWs, and a recovery mission for a downed USAF B-57 bomber, while enduring countless injuries including a broken leg.
He continually sacrificed himself before his team, earning three Purple Hearts, the Silver Star, two (2) Bronze Stars and Combat V, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, a Joint Service Commendation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, three (3) Good Conduct Ribbons, Battle Stars, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, CG Certificate of Merit, and multiple letters of Merit, Appreciation, and Commendation.
At 85 years old, Major James Capers Jr. continues his public service by mentoring young Marines.
"Mr. James Capers Jr. is a legend and should be honored as one," said Rep. Norman. "He has lived, seen, and done more in this life than most people could dream of. Major Capers has handled every struggle with strength, humility, and grace. He deserves to be honored as a decorated Marine and for his exemplary character.”