John Rigney, Jr, was born on 23 November 1943 in Huntsville, Alabama. He was inducted into the US Army on 29 April 1969 and trained at Fort Benning, Georgia, as a light infantryman. Private Rigney was assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in the Republic of Vietnam on 9 October 1969. On 14 February 1970, while on patrol with his company, PFC Rigney, disregarding his own safety, courageously exposed himself to enemy fire as he directed his fire against the enemy fire. His heroic and valiant actions saved numerous comrades and for this action, PFC John Rigney, Jr, was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with V Device for heroism.