Marine of the Week | Youngest Medal of Honor Recipient

Marine of the Week | Youngest Medal of Honor Recipient

Lance Corporal William Kyle Carpenter

Company F, 2d Battalion 9th Marines

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, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division (Forward), 1 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 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.

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40 comments


  • Kapena Singson

    May I possess that quality of selflessness and willingness to sacrifice my life for the good of others if faced with that instantaneous decision. I often dream of being so courageous in such a situation. God bless you!


  • Phil Carlson

    Just finished his book and it is a great read. Truly inspirational and enlightening. Phenomenal attitude and drive throughout his ordeal. Semper Fi


  • Jim Barber

    Not taking anything away from this young Marine’s courage and devotion to his brothers, Jack Lucas turned 17 a week before the Iwo Jima landing. He had joined the Corps at 15, gotten as far as Hawaii before it was discovered that he was only 16 years old. A letter from his girlfriend somehow exposed him. He was told he could stay in the Corps but was made a truck driver. He raised hell, was brigged at least once, and then managed to smuggle himself aboard his unit’s ship when they embarked for Iwo. After being safely at sea, with no chance of being sent back, he came forward and turned himself in so he wouldn’t be listed as a deserter. He was allowed to remain with his brothers and made the landing. His medal involved two hand grenades. On patrol, they were hit by enemy fire. The first grenade landed and Lucas through himself on it just as another was tossed into their position. He quickly scooped it under his body as well. Luckily, one was a dud. The other was not. Lucas is one of only about 6 or 7 men to ever survive falling on a grenade that exploded. Bless all those who sacrifice for their brothers, whatever branch the serve. But damn! What a Marine.
    Semper Fi!!!


  • Ron Deverick, USMC 67-70, artillery, Papa Btry, 3rd Marine Division, 67-69

    Make no mistake, you did your job above and beyond, and certainly earned the MOH. May the rest of your life be just as brave. It would be a good idea for you to go to schools and talk to the young people. God only knows how desperately the young people today need a positive roll model, that life isn’t about me all the time. They need to know and learn when it’s time to step up and protect.
    God bless you in whatever you do with your life now, but always remember that every Marine is your brother or sister and we’ll always have your 6.


  • Mary

    I am so sorry for the loss of your son. Thank you for raising a fine young man willing to serve in the Marines. Our son almost lost his leg while serving in Iraq. Thank goodness we have men and women willing to fight for our freedom. Again, I am sorry for such a tragic loss.


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