User:Cohee/Draft of Warren L. Carpenter article

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Warren L. Carpenter
WLC 1965-1-.jpg
Warren L. Carpenter, Flight Surgeon, ca. 1967
Nickname(s) "Doc"
Allegiance United States United States of America

United States Marine Corps seal United States Marine Corps, 1949-1952

United States Air Force seal United States Air Force, 1972-1997
Rank Colonel (United States)
Commands held Command Surgeon, Alaskan Air Command and Commander, USAF Hospital Elmendorf, Vice-Commander of the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Command Surgeon of United States Space Command, Air Force Space Command, and North American Aerospace Defense Command

Warren L. Carpenter, born August 12, 1931 at Little Rock, Arkansas, died July 7, 2003, at Colorado Springs, Colorado, was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force with a distinguished record of service in peacetime and wartime[1], including flying 297 combat hours[2], serving as one of six Residents in Aerospace Medicine selected to fly on medical evacuation aircraft to bring home the U.S. prisoners-of-war from North Viet Nam on the final repatriation leg of Operation Homecoming[3][4][5], serving as the Department of Defense's Chief Medical Officer for military space shuttle missions[6], and earning a remarkable six Service awards for marksmanship.[7]


"Doc" Carpenter, son of Harry and Abby, married Margaret Ann Gray, and was the father of three daughters.[8] He was a descendant of William Carpenter (born c1730-1750 - died c1803) of Brunswick County, Virginia.[9]

Cadet Warren L. Carpenter, Virginia Military Institute, ca. 1951.


Carpenter attended Virginia Military Institute from 1950-1952 and briefly in 1953[10][11], with an interruption in his education to serve an active duty tour in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War.[12] In January 1953, he transferred to the University of Arkansas to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology.[13] While a student, he was Arkansas State Skeet and Trap Champion[14] and shot on the Arkansas Rifle Team, and he earned a private pilot's license. After graduation, he worked as a geologist with a major oil company from 1956 to 1960, then returned to school to study medicine at the University of Arkansas.[15] In 1965, he received his Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Arkansas[16] and interned at St. Vincent's Infirmary, then entered private practice in Little Rock. He completed a Masters in Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in 1972[17] in conjunction with his residency in Aerospace Medicine at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas.[18] His military training also included Air War College (Class of 1977), Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Interagency Institute for Federal Health Care Executives, and Advanced Training in Health Care Administration.[19][20]

Military Service[edit]

Carpenter began his military career by enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves in 1949. He was called to active duty in October 1950 and attained the rank of Sergeant before completing his enlistment in April 1952.[21][22]

File:WarrenC c1951 USMC.jpg
Private Warren L. Carpenter, USMC, ca. 1949.

In 1966, he joined the Arkansas Air National Guard, and was commissioned a First Lieutenant in June. In 1967, he entered active duty as a Captain in the United States Air Force. During the Vietnam War, Dr. Carpenter served as Chief of Aeromedical Services at the 11th USAF Hospital, U-Tapao Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand from August 1968-August 1969.[23] In 1973, he was one of five Residents in Aerospace Medicine selected to fly on medical evacuation aircraft to bring home the U.S. prisoners-of-war from North Viet Nam on the final repatriation leg of Operation Homecoming. Upon completion of the Resident in Aerospace Medicine program, Dr. Carpenter was assigned to Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, where he served as Command Surgeon, Alaskan Air Command and Commander, USAF Hospital Elmendorf.[24][25] In 1983, he was appointed Vice-Commander of the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine.[26][27] In 1985, he was promoted to Command Surgeon of United States Space Command, Air Force Space Command, and North American Aerospace Defense Command.[28][29] Carpenter's last assignment was as Director of Defense Medical Examination Review Board, at the USAF Academy. He retired on June 17, 1997 in the rank of Colonel as a Chief Flight Surgeon with 31 years of service and more than 3,200 flying hours.[30][31][32]

Col. Warren L. Carpenter at his Retirement Ceremony, 1997.

Ranks Held[edit]


Colonel (Dr.) Carpenter's military decorations include two Defense Superior Service Medals[33], the Legion of Merit[34], the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, three Air Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Air Force Commendation Medals, two U.S. Navy Marksmanship Medals, two U.S. Air Force Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbons, and two U.S. Air Force Marksmanship Badges.[35][36]

Col. Warren L. Carpenter official photo, Space Command, 1991.

Dr. Carpenter was a Life Member of the Air War College, a Patron Member of the National Rifle Association, a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Arkansas School of Medical Sciences, a Life Member of Disabled American Veterans, a Past National Chairman of the Medical Explorer Scouts of the Boy Scouts of America[37], and a member of the American Medical Association, Arkansas State Medical Board, Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, Society of USAF Flight Surgeons, Aerospace Medical Association, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, University of Arkansas Alumni Association, Sigma Gamma Epsilon Geological Honor Society, Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, and the Colorado State Shooting Association.[38]

Military awards[edit]

US Defense Superior Service Medal ribbon.svg Defense Superior Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg Legion of Merit Medal
Bronze Star Medal ribbon.svg Bronze Star Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg Meritorious Service Medal (2)
Air Medal ribbon.svg Air Medal (3)
Joint Service Commendation Medal ribbon.svg Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation ribbon.svg Air Force Commendation Medal (2)
Joint Meritorious Unit Award ribbon.svg Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (4, 1 with Valor Device)
Organizational Excellence ribbon.svg Air Force Organizational Excellence Award (5)
United States Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svg USMC Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg National Defense Service Medal (3)
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal ribbon.svg Vietnam Service Medal with 4 Campaign Devices
Southwest Asia Service Medal ribbon (1991-2016).svg Southwest Asia Service Medal with 1 Campaign Device
Humanitarian Service Medal ribbon.svg Humanitarian Service Medal
Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon.svg Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon
Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon.svg Air Force Overseas Long Tour Service Ribbon
Air Force Longevity Service ribbon.svg Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon (6)
USAF Marksmanship ribbon.svg Air Force Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (2)
Air Force Training Ribbon.svg Air Force Training Ribbon
United States Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon with expert device.svg Navy Expert Rifleman Medal
United States Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with expert device.svg Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal
Vietnam gallantry cross-w-palm-3d.svg Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon with 60- clasp.svg Vietnam Campaign Medal


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
  1. ^ SSgt Jesse Hall. 1990. “Sharpshootin’ Surgeon.” Space Trace: The Air Force Space Command Magazine, June 1990: 14-15.
  2. ^ Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha-Upsilon Chapter. 1997. “Alumnus an Accomplished Surgeon.” The Lion Tamer, Fall 1997: 6.
  3. ^ Col (Dr) Carpenter is pictured in a photo of the March 1973 repatriation flight on p. 100 of an article about a Pentagon study providing new details about the experience of American POWs in Vietnam, Stewart M. Powell. 1999. Honor Bound. Air Force Magazine. Vol. 82, No. 8 (August): 92-100 -- back row, right, wearing flight cap.
  4. ^ Anonymous. 1986. “Our Alumni Profiled.” University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Journal, Summer 1986: 14.
  5. ^ Lion Tamer, 1997.
  6. ^ UAMS Journal, 1986.
  7. ^ Hall, 1990.
  8. ^ Anonymous. 1983. "New AMD vice commander also IG", Brooks AFB, Texas Discovery, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Friday, May 20, 1983), p. 1.
  9. ^ Carpenter Cousins Y-DNA Project,, last updated: 2010 Oct 24, accessed May 24, 2011.
  10. ^ Anonymous, 1983.
  11. ^ VMI Corps of Cadets. 1950. The 1950 Bomb of Virginia Military Institute, Annual Publication of the Corps of Cadets, Lexington, Va.: Virginia Military Institute, 1950, p. 174; VMI Corps of Cadets. 1950. The 1953 Bomb of Virginia Military Institute, Annual Publication of the Corps of Cadets, Lexington, Va.: Virginia Military Institute, 1953, p. 119.
  12. ^ Hall, 1990.
  13. ^ Anonymous, 1983.
  14. ^ Associated Press. 1952. "Carpenter Takes Skeet Shoot Title." The Hot Springs [Arkansas] Sentinel-Record, unnumbered page.
  15. ^ Anonymous, 1983.
  16. ^ Anonymous, 1986.
  17. ^ Lion Tamer, 1997.
  18. ^ Anonymous, 1983.
  19. ^ Retirement Ceremony, Colonel Warren L. Carpenter, Director, DoD Medical Examination Review Board, General Thomas S. Moorman, Jr., Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force presiding, 17 June 1997. United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado: Official Program.
  20. ^ Eddie Sheridan, ed. 2004. Air War College Commemorative History, New York and Nashville: Turner Publishing Company, 2004, p. 91. Col. Warren L. Carpenter, Class of 1977.
  21. ^ Anonymous, 1983.
  22. ^ Hall, 1990.
  23. ^ Anonymous, 1983.
  24. ^ Anonymous, 1983.
  25. ^ Anonymous. 1984. “Col. Carpenter Receives LOM.” Discovery, Brooks Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, 15 June 1984: 3.
  26. ^ Anonymous, 1983.
  27. ^ Discovery, 1984.
  28. ^ UAMS Journal, 1986.
  29. ^ Hall, 1990.
  30. ^ Lion Tamer, 1997.
  31. ^ "Colonel (Doctor) Warren L. Carpenter, USAF Retired" (Obituary), The [Colorado Springs, Colo.] Gazette, July 9, 2003. NOTE: Since there is a finite limit to the way the same things can be said twice in English, this article has words and phrases in common with the subject's obituary, but it does not verbatim quote the obituary — it cites the same secondary sources used for the obituary.
  32. ^ Air Force Times, "Deaths",, Issue Date: August 25, 2003.
  33. ^ Lion Tamer, 1997.
  34. ^ Discovery, 1984.
  35. ^ Lion Tamer, 1997.
  36. ^ Hall, 1990.
  37. ^ UAMS Journal, 1986.
  38. ^ Hall, 1990