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 (1989-10-19) 19 October 1989 (age 29)
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 19 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 19 October 1989, and raised in Flowood by his parents Robert 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,[2] and received a degree in international studies in 2017.[3] He is a 2013 initiate of the Chi-Omega chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity at the University of South Carolina.[4]


After completing his initial training at the Camp Geiger School of Infantry, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Private First Class Carpenter 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 from September 2009 to November 2010.[1][5]

Battalion insignia for 2nd Battalion 9th Marines.

In July 2010, Lance Corporal Carpenter deployed to Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. On 21 November 2010, while joining his team to fight off a Taliban attack in a small village, he suffered severe injuries to his face and right arm from the blast of an enemy hand grenade, including multiple shrapnel wounds and the loss of his right eye.[6] After-action reports state that he threw himself in front of the grenade to protect a fellow Marine, Lance Cpl. Nick Eufrazio.[7][8][9][10]

Carpenter's former battalion commander, Lt. Col. James Fullwood, told Marine Corps Times in a story published in January 2012 that the Corps was still investigating what happened the day Carpenter and Eufrazio were injured:

The actions that happened on that roof are definitely a matter of interest. We've never, from that day until now, stopped trying to uncover what took place, whether it be for reasons of identifying someone who deserves to be recognized with an award or to understand more about the events that unfolded.[11]

In March 2011, the South Carolina legislature passed a resolution recognizing Carpenter's service, noting that he "suffered catastrophic wounds in the cause of freedom" and "has shown himself worthy of the name Marine."[7]

As a patient then attached to Wounded Warrior Battalion East, Bethesda, Maryland on Thursday, 10 November 2011, he participated in the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the dedication of the newly integrated Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with then United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.[12][13]

Medal of Honor[edit]

On 19 June 2014, Corporal Carpenter received the Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House. [1]

He is the eighth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. Carpenter served as an Automatic Rifleman with Company F, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team-1, 1st Marine Division (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). In July 2013, he was medically retired as a Corporal due to his wounds. Carpenter is credited with attempting to shield a fellow Marine, Lance Cpl. Nick Eufrazio, from Plymouth, Massachusetts, from a grenade blast on a rooftop security post in combat operations near Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on 21 November 2010. Both Marines survived the blast but suffered major injuries. Carpenter lost his right eye and most of his teeth. His jaw and right arm were shattered and he has undergone dozens of surgeries.[11][14]

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


Medal of Honor citation[edit]

The President of the United States of America in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to



Medal of Honor Official Citation reads:

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, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division (Forward), I 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 rifle 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.[2]


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.[16]

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. ^ a b Medal of Honor Corporal Kyle Carpenter, U.S. Marine Corps, retrieved 19 June 2014 "Profile" and "Citation" tabs.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Fouraker, Clark; Luchsinger, Alex (6 June 2014). "Medal of Honor: The Kyle Carpenter Story". WLTX. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  5. ^ Medal of Honor citation for William Kyle Carpenter,, 19 June 2014; accessed 26 June 2014.
  6. ^ TEGNA. "Medal of Honor: The Kyle Carpenter Story". Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b Jeff Wilkinson, "Senate gives thanks to wounded war hero" The Post and Courier, 10 March 2011.
  8. ^ Michael D. Fay, Still in the Fight: Scars, 17 March 2011; accessed 26 June 2014.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "'Kyle covered that grenade' — Marines weigh in on grenade blast survivor's heroism", Marine Corps Times, 23 January 2012 issue; accessed 26 June 2014.
  11. ^ a b Dan Lamothe, "Marine hit by grenade deserves MoH, buddies say", Marine Corps Times, 29 January 2012; accessed 26 June 2014.
  12. ^ Associated Press, "Military dedicates Walter Reed's new home in Md",, 10 November 2011.
  13. ^ Sarah Fortney, "Dedication Ceremony Honors Heroes, Welcomes Promising Future",, 17 November 2011; accessed 26 June 2014.
  14. ^ "Carpenter now full-time student at University of South Carolina",, 5 March 2014; accessed 26 June 2014.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ 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]