The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain (Retired) Jay C. Copley (ASN: RA-15294329), United States Army, for gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Commanding Officer, Company C, 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade on 5 May 1968 while engaged in armed conflict with a regimental-size force of North Vietnamese Army, in Baih Delt Province, South Vietnam. Ordered to relieve Company A, which was surrounded by and under withering small arms, machine gun, and rocket propelled grenade fire from the enemy, Captain Copley, upon arrival and without hesitation brought the fight to the enemy. In the face of intense fire and at great personal danger, Captain Copley's actions and his undaunted leadership disrupted the attack on Company A and resulted in the enemy being routed, saving countless Soldiers' lives. During the ensuing engagement, the enemy force made repeated attempts to consolidate their positions and on each occasion Captain Copley fearlessly moved across the fire-swept terrain directing the relentless attack of his Soldiers. Captain Copley suffered life-threatening wounds but he continued to press the fight. Only after securing the battlefield and ensuring the safety of his men did Captain Copley consent to be airlifted to receive further medical aid. His bold initiative and resolute determination contributed inestimably to the accomplishment of his unit's mission. Captain Copley's selfless leadership, courageous action, and extraordinary devotion to duty are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade and the United States Army.

Action Date: May 5, 1968

Service: Army

Rank: Captain

Company: Company C

Battalion: 1st Battalion

Regiment: 50th Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade



DSC Awardees