A South Carolina native whose family history dates back to colonial times, James Vaught possesses a distinguished military resume from his 38 years in the Army. He is one of very few draftees ever to rise to flag rank in any of the U.S. Armed Forces.
“I am a direct lineal descendent of Francis Marion,” said Vaught. “Some of those unconventional warfare genes carried through the years.”
Vaught graduated from high school in 1943 and attended the Citadel for three semesters before receiving his draft notice.
“The Army panicked after suffering some heavy casualties during December 1944 both in Europe and the Pacific, so they started drafting guys out of college,” Vaught said. “I actually didn’t anticipate a military career when I went to the Citadel. I wanted to be a doctor.”