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Kyle Carpenter
Official photo of Corporal Carpenter in June 2014
Birth name William Kyle Carpenter
Born (1989-10-17) October 17, 1989 (age 33)
Jackson, Mississippi
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 2009–2013
Rank Corporal
Unit Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines
Battles/wars War in Afghanistan  (WIA)
Awards Medal of Honor
Purple Heart
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.

Early life

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, South Carolina. 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.

Military career

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

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.

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

Post-military career

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.

In 2019, Carpenter co-authored a book with Don Yaeger titled You Are Worth It: Building a Life Worth Fighting For about the events leading up to his becoming a Medal of Honor recipient.

Personal life

Carpenter is married.

Awards and decorations

Bronze star
Bronze star
USMC Rifle Sharpshooter badge.png
1st Row Medal of Honor Purple Heart
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 with 1 service star NATO Service Medal for service with ISAF
Badge Sharpshooter marksmanship badge for rifle
Stripe1.jpg 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.

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