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First Name: Macario

Last Name: Garcia

Birthplace: Villa de Castano, MEX

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Sugar Land, TX

Date of Birth: 20 January 1920

Date of Death: 24 December 1972

Rank: Command Sergeant Major

Years Served: 1942-45 (US Army), 1946-72 (US Army Reserve)
Macario Garcia

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Macario Garcia
Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Staff Sergeant Macario Garcia (AKA Marcario Garcia) (20 January 1920 - 24 December 1972) was a U.S. Army soldier who was the first Mexican immigrant to receive the Medal of Honor, the U.S. Military's highest award for valor. He received the award for his heroic actions as a soldier during World War II.

Macario Garcia was born on 20 January 1920 in Villa de Castaño, Mexico, and immigrated to the U.S. from in search of a better way of life. He lived in Sugar Land, TX, where he worked as a cotton farmer.

Upon the outbreak of World War II, Garcia joined the U.S. Army at a recruiting station in his adopted hometown. He was assigned to Company B, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.

World War II

On 27 November 1944, Garcia was the squad leader of his platoon which found itself engaged in combat against the German troops in the vicinity of Grosshau, Germany. Realizing that his company could not advance because it was pinned down by enemy machine gun fire, Garcia, on his own initiative, went alone and destroyed two enemy emplacements and captured four prisoners. Despite being wounded himself, he continued to fight on with his unit until the objective was taken. For his actions he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 22nd Infantry, 4th Infantry Division.

Place and date: Near Grosshau, Germany, 27 November 1944.

Citation: While an acting squad leader of Company B, 22d Infantry, on 27 November 1944, near Grosshau, Germany, he single-handedly assaulted 2 enemy machinegun emplacements. Attacking prepared positions on a wooded hill, which could be approached only through meager cover, his company was pinned down by intense machinegun fire and subjected to a concentrated artillery and mortar barrage. Although painfully wounded, he refused to be evacuated and on his own initiative crawled forward alone until he reached a position near an enemy emplacement. Hurling grenades, he boldly assaulted the position, destroyed the gun, and with his rifle killed 3 of the enemy who attempted to escape. When he rejoined his company, a second machinegun opened fire and again the intrepid soldier went forward, utterly disregarding his own safety. He stormed the position and destroyed the gun, killed 3 more Germans, and captured 4 prisoners. He fought on with his unit until the objective was taken and only then did he permit himself to be removed for medical care. S/Sgt. (then private) Garcia's conspicuous heroism, his inspiring, courageous conduct, and his complete disregard for his personal safety wiped out 2 enemy emplacements and enabled his company to advance and secure its objective.

On 23 August 1945, the President Harry S. Truman presented Staff Sergeant Macario Garcia with the Medal of Honor at a ceremony in the White House.

A month after he was awarded the Medal of Honor, Garcia was denied service at a restaurant located in a town just a few miles south of Houston because he was Hispanic. Garcia fought with the owner and was arrested. The incident was covered by the news media and caused an uproar amongst the Hispanic community who rallied to his aid. The nation was made aware of the discriminatory policies that Hispanics were subject to as an indirect result of the trial, which eventually acquitted Garcia.

Later Years

Garcia became an American citizen on 25 June 1947 and earned a high school diploma in 1951. On 18 May 1952, he married Alicia Reyes with whom he had three children. For twenty-five years he worked as a counselor in the Veterans' Administration.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal

Foreign Award

Mérito Militar - Mexico

On 8 January 1946, Garcia was awarded the Medal of Mérito Militar, the Mexican equivalent to the Medal of Honor, in a ceremony in Mexico City.


The local government of Houston honored his memory by naming a middle school after him as well as renaming part of 69th Street in Houston "S/SGT Marcario Garcia Street."

In 1983 Vice President George Bush dedicated Houston's new Macario García Army Reserve Center.

In 1994 a Sugar Land middle school was named in García's honor.

Death and Burial

Command Sergeant Major Macario Garcia died on 24 December 1972, from injuries received from a car accident. He was buried with full military honors in the Houston National Cemetery in Houston, TX.

Honoree ID: 1403   Created by: MHOH




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