Entertainment

First Black Marine Special Operator Featured in New Documentary

CAMP LEJEUNE, NC – Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s Marine Corps Community Services Lejeune-New River is hosting an all-hands professional military education screening of the documentary “Major Capers: The Legend of Team Broadminded” at 9:30 am on July 31, at the base theater, followed by a question and answer session with retired Marine Maj. James “Jim” Capers, Jr., himself.

According to Stripes.com, the documentary film tells the story of Capers, who was the Marine Corps’ first black special operator, a member of the inaugural class of the U.S. Special Operations Command’s Commando Hall of Honor, and a well-known ‘face of the Corps’ on recruiting posters nationwide for years.

In the film, the 22-year veteran explains how he fought to free his Marines after an assault that left him with two broken legs, multiple shrapnel wounds from a Claymore mine and massive blood loss. For his heroism, Capers became one of the first African-American Marine officer to be nominated for the Medal of Honor.

According to the Stripes.com article, Capers ordered his Marines to evacuate onto an over-loaded H-34 chopper, as he continued to fight the enemy with his M-16, but his Marines refused to leave him. After multiple attempts to take off as Capers and his Marines defended their position, the chopper eventually took flight with Capers and his Marines.

“I figured it’s better to lose one man than to lose the whole team,” Capers told Stripes.com. “Any commander worth his salt would care for his men before his self.”

According to the article, Capers would leave Vietnam having earned two Bronze star Medals with a “V” device for valor, three purple hearts – surviving more than 20 injuries.

Filmmakers Ashley Cusato and Erich Recker, with Reckognition Productions, explained to the newspaper that the film discloses once-top-secret details and never-before-seen footage of Capers and Team Broadminded in action in Vietnam.

Recker, a Marine veteran who has worked in film and TV for about two decades, told the publication that the filmmakers focused on more than Capers’ battlefield experience, attempting to highlight the man behind the commando legend.

“These are personal, very personal audio recordings from the battlefield to his wife, depicting a firsthand, humanistic account of what he’s going through,” said Recker. “It’s truly fascinating … and I’ll say it’s one of the better stories I’ve ever heard or been a part of in my career.”

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