William K. Carpenter

Citation

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes 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, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, FIRST 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 of the United States Naval Service.

Background

During his time of deployment in 2010 to combat duty in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, he was a lance corporal serving as a Squad Automatic Rifleman with Company F, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team-1, 1st Marine Division (Forward), and Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). On November 21, 2010, U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Kyle Carpenter was posted atop a building in violent Helmand Province, Afghanistan, when an enemy grenade skittered toward Kyle and a fellow Marine.
Without hesitation, Kyle jumped on the grenade and somehow lived, while severely injured, to tell about it. He was medically retired in July 2013 as a corporal due to wounds received in combat. On June 19, 2014, Kyle was awarded the nation’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his “singular act of courage” on that rooftop in Afghanistan, an action that had been reviewed exhaustively by the military. Kyle became the youngest living recipient of the award - and only the second living Marine so honored since Vietnam. Kyle has written a memoir entitled “You Are Worth It” about the war in Afghanistan.

Listen to Veterans Radio's interview with William K. Carpenter