Kyle Carpenter was born on October 17, 1989, in Jackson, Mississippi. Carpenter enlisted in the Delayed Entry Program of the U.S. Marine Corps in February 2009, and went on active duty in April 2009, completing basic training at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina, in July 2009. He next attended the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger, North Carolina, in September 2009, followed by service as a Squad Automatic Rifleman with Company F, 2d Battalion of the 9th Marine Regiment at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina from September 2009 to July 2010, and deployed to Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from July 2010 until he was badly wounded after jumping in front of a grenade to save a fellow Marine on November 21, 2010. After receiving numerous surgeries, Corporal Carpenter was medically retired from the Marine Corps in July 2013, and he was awarded the Medal of Honor on June 19, 2014.
His Medal of Honor 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, 2d 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. Regimental Combat Team-1, 1st Marine Division (Forward) of I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward)