|Birth name||William Kyle Carpenter|
|Born||October 17, 1989|
|Service/||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||2009–2013|
|Unit||Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines|
|Battles/wars||War in Afghanistan (WIA)|
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
Navy Achievement Medal
|Alma mater||University of South Carolina (BA)|
William Kyle Carpenter (born October 17, 1989) is a medically retired United States Marine who received the United States' highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2010. Carpenter is the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient.
Personal life and education
Carpenter was born in Jackson, Mississippi on October 17, 1989, and raised in Flowood by his parents James and Robin. He is a graduate of W.W. King Academy in Batesburg, SC. He enlisted in the Marine Corps' delayed entry program at age 19 in February 2009, and completed Recruit Training in July 2009 at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina.
After his July 2013 medical retirement, Carpenter enrolled at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, and received a degree in international studies in 2017. He is a 2013 initiate of the Chi-Omega chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity at the University of South Carolina.
Carpenter completed his initial training at the Camp Geiger School of Infantry, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. In July 2010, as a Private First Class, he was assigned to Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team One, 1st Marine Division (Forward), 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where he served as a Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) gunner beginning September 2009.
On November 21, 2010, Carpenter and another Marine, Nick Eufrazio, were manning a rooftop security post during defense of the village of Marjah, Helmand Province from a Taliban attack. According to his Medal of Honor citation,
The enemy initiated a daylight attack with hand grenades, one of which landed inside their sandbagged position. Without hesitation and with complete disregard for his own safety, Lance Corporal Carpenter moved toward the grenade in an attempt to shield his fellow Marine from the deadly blast. When the grenade detonated, his body absorbed the brunt of the blast, severely wounding him, but saving the life of his fellow Marine.
Carpenter's jaw and right arm were shattered, and he lost his right eye and most of his teeth; he has undergone dozens of surgeries. In July 2013, he was medically retired as a Corporal.
Medal of Honor citation
The president of the United States, in the name of the congress, take pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Lance Corporal William "Kyle" Carpenter, United States Marine Corps, For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Automatic Rifleman with Company F, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division (Forward), 1 Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on 21 November 2010. Lance Corporal Carpenter was a member of a platoon-sized coalition force, comprised of two reinforced Marine squads partnered with an Afghan National Army squad. The platoon had established Patrol Base Dakota two days earlier in a small village in the Marjah District in order to disrupt enemy activity and provide security for the local Afghan population. Lance Corporal Carpenter and a fellow Marine were manning a rooftop security position on the perimeter of Patrol Base Dakota when the enemy initiated a daylight attack with hand grenades, one of which landed inside their sandbagged position. Without hesitation, and with complete disregard for his own safety, Lance Corporal Carpenter moved toward the grenade in an attempt to shield his fellow Marine from the deadly blast. When the grenade detonated, his body absorbed the brunt of the blast, severely wounding him, but saving the life of his fellow Marine. By his undaunted courage, bold fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of almost certain death, Lance Corporal Carpenter reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
Awards and decorations
|1st Row||Medal of Honor||Purple Heart Medal||Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal|
|2nd Row||Combat Action Ribbon||Navy Unit Commendation||Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal|
|3rd Row||National Defense Service Medal||Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 1 campaign star||Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal|
|4th Row||Global War on Terrorism Service Medal||Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with 1 service star||NATO Service Medal for service with ISAF|
|Badge||Sharpshooter marksmanship badge for rifle|
|1 Service stripe|
Carpenter appeared in a video, "Still in the Fight," to raise money for the Fisher House Foundation, which provides free and low-cost housing to veterans and families receiving treatment at military hospitals.
- Brian Livingston, "Marine Ball to welcome Medal of Honor nominee", The Meridian Star, November 5, 2011; accessed June 26, 2014.
- Rosas, Julio (December 20, 2017). "Medal of Honor Recipient Kyle Carpenter Was Graduating From College — Then Everyone Stood Up". Independent Journal Review. Alexandria, Virginia: Media Group of America.
"Medal of Honor recipient receives standing ovation at college graduation". Marine Corps Times. Associated Press. December 19, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
- Fouraker, Clark; Luchsinger, Alex (June 6, 2014). "Medal of Honor: The Kyle Carpenter Story". WLTX. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Westermeyer, Paul (2019). The United States Marine Corps: The Expeditionary Force at War. Casemate. pp. 150–151. ISBN 978-1-61200-694-9.
- TEGNA. "Medal of Honor: The Kyle Carpenter Story". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- Jeff Wilkinson, "Senate gives thanks to wounded war hero" The Post and Courier, March 10, 2011.
- Michael D. Fay, Still in the Fight: Scars, March 17, 2011; accessed June 26, 2014.
- Andrew de Grandpre, "Did Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter cover a grenade to shield his buddy?", Marine Corps Times, January 16, 2012 issue; accessed June 26, 2014.
- "'Kyle covered that grenade' — Marines weigh in on grenade blast survivor's heroism", Marine Corps Times, January 23, 2012 issue; accessed June 26, 2014.
- Dan Lamothe, "Marine hit by grenade deserves MoH, buddies say" Archived March 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Marine Corps Times, January 29, 2012; accessed June 26, 2014.
- "Carpenter now full-time student at University of South Carolina" Archived June 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, thestate.com, March 5, 2014; accessed June 26, 2014.
- "The White House". The White House Briefing Room, Statements & Releases. Washington, D.C.: The White House; Office of the Press Secretary. May 19, 2014. p. 1. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
- Lamothe, Dan (January 29, 2012). "Marine hit by grenade rates MoH, buddies say". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
- Medal of Honor: 150 Years of Courage and Sacrifice. Clearwater, FL: Belmont International Incorporated, 2011. OCLC 753726166
- Owens, Ron. Medal of Honor: Historical Facts & Figures. Paducah, Ky: Turner, 2004. ISBN 1-56311-995-1 OCLC 57391165
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