Kyle Carpenter

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Kyle Carpenter
Kyle Carpenter 140618-M-LI307-0155.jpg
Official portrait of Cpl Carpenter in June 2014
Birth nameWilliam Kyle Carpenter
Born (1989-10-17) 17 October 1989 (age 30)
Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service2009–2013
RankUSMC-E4.svg Corporal
UnitFox Company
2nd Battalion, 9th Marines
Regimental Combat Team-1
Battles/warsGlobal War on Terrorism
AwardsMedal of Honor ribbon.svg Medal of Honor
Purple Heart ribbon.svg Purple Heart
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal ribbon.svg Navy Achievement Medal
Combat Action Ribbon.svg Combat Action Ribbon

William Kyle Carpenter (born 17 October 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[edit]

Carpenter was born in Jackson, Mississippi on 17 October 1989, and raised in Flowood by his parents James and Robin.[1] 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.[1] 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.[2] He is a 2013 initiate of the Chi-Omega chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity at the University of South Carolina.[3]


Carpenter receiving the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama, 19 June 2014

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.[1]

On 21 November 2010, Carpenter and another Marine were manning a rooftop security post during defense of the village of Marjah, Helmand Province from 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.[citation needed]

Carpenter's s jaw and right arm were shattered, and he lost his right eye and most of his teeth; he has undergone dozens of surgeries.[4][5][6][7][8] [9][10] In July 2013, he was medically retired as a Corporal.

On 19 June 2014, Carpenter received the Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House.[11] He is the eighth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan.[9]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Bronze star
USMC Rifle Sharpshooter badge.png
1st Row Medal of Honor Purple Heart Medal
2nd Row Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal Combat Action Ribbon Navy Unit Commendation
3rd Row Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal National Defense Service Medal Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 1 campaign star
4th Row Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon 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.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Brian Livingston, "Marine Ball to welcome Medal of Honor nominee", The Meridian Star, 5 November 2011; accessed 26 June 2014.
  2. ^ Rosas, Julio (20 December 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. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  3. ^ Fouraker, Clark; Luchsinger, Alex (6 June 2014). "Medal of Honor: The Kyle Carpenter Story". WLTX. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  4. ^ TEGNA. "Medal of Honor: The Kyle Carpenter Story". Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  5. ^ Jeff Wilkinson, "Senate gives thanks to wounded war hero" The Post and Courier, 10 March 2011.
  6. ^ Michael D. Fay, Still in the Fight: Scars, 17 March 2011; accessed 26 June 2014.
  7. ^ Andrew de Grandpre, "Did Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter cover a grenade to shield his buddy?", Marine Corps Times, 16 January 2012 issue; accessed 26 June 2014.
  8. ^ "'Kyle covered that grenade' — Marines weigh in on grenade blast survivor's heroism", Marine Corps Times, 23 January 2012 issue; accessed 26 June 2014.
  9. ^ a b Dan Lamothe, "Marine hit by grenade deserves MoH, buddies say", Marine Corps Times, 29 January 2012; accessed 26 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Carpenter now full-time student at University of South Carolina",, 5 March 2014; accessed 26 June 2014.
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ "The White House". The White House Briefing Room, Statements & Releases. Washington, D.C.: The White House; Office of the Press Secretary. 19 May 2014. p. 1. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  13. ^ Lamothe, Dan (29 January 2012). "Marine hit by grenade rates MoH, buddies say". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved 26 June 2014.

Further reading[edit]

  • 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

External links[edit]