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Ty Michael Carter
Born 25 January 1980(1980-01-25) (age 41)
Place of birth Spokane, Washington
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
United States Army
Years of service 1998–2002 (USMC)
2008–present (USA)
Rank Army-USA-OR-06.svg Staff Sergeant
Unit 61 Cav Rgt DUI.jpg 61st Cavalry Regiment,
4th Infantry Division SSI.svg 4th Infantry Division
Battles/wars War in Afghanistan
 • Battle of Kamdesh
Awards Medal of Honor ribbon.svg Medal of Honor
Purple Heart BAR.svg Purple Heart
Spouse(s) Shannon Carter

Ty Michael Carter (born January 1980) is a United States Army staff sergeant and recipient of the Medal of Honor, the United States of America's highest military honor, for his actions at the 2009 Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan. Carter and Army Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry are the only Medal of Honor recipients in any branch of service still on active duty.

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Carter was born in Spokane, Wash., on January 25, 1980 and moved to California’s Bay Area in 1981. In 1991, his family moved back to Spokane, where he graduated from North Central High School in 1998. He later settled in Antioch, California.[1]

Military career[edit | edit source]

Carter enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps October 13, 1998, and attended the Marine Corps Combat Engineer School. He later served in Okinawa, Japan, as an intelligence clerk. Carter showed promise in weapons’ marksmanship and was sent to Primary Marksmanship Instructor School in 1999. He served two short training deployments; one to San Clemente Island, Calif., and the other to Egypt, for Operation Bright Star. Carter was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps on Oct. 12, 2002.

After his enlistment, Carter enrolled in college and studied biology at Los Medanos Community College in California where he met and began dating April Ait in early 2004. April soon became pregnant and they were married shortly thereafter. After the birth of their daughter Madison, some time traveling the United States, and subsequent divorce, Carter opted to join the U.S. Army.

Carter enlisted in the U.S. Army in January 2008 as a cavalry scout and received training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. From May 2009 to May 2010, he was deployed to Afghanistan with Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.[1]

In October 2010, Carter was assigned as a Stryker gunner with the 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. He was deployed to Afghanistan a second time in October 2012 and was thereafter stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord with the 7th Infantry Division.[1] Carter works to destigmatize posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition from which he has suffered.[2]

Medal of Honor action[edit | edit source]

U.S. President Barack Obama places the Medal of Honor around Carter's neck during an August 26, 2013 White House ceremony.

While on his first deployment in Afghanistan, Carter was stationed at Combat Outpost (COP) Keating in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province. On October 3, 2009, the outpost came under heavy attack and Carter, then a specialist, distinguished himself in what came to be known as the Battle of Kamdesh.[3][4]

According to the detailed Official Narrative from the U.S. Army, more than 300 enemy fighters attacked COP Keating from surrounding high ground before 6 a.m.[5] Under intense fire, Carter carried ammunition 100m across open ground from near his barracks to a Humvee at the south Battle Position, soon returning across the same distance to retrieve machine gun oil and more ammunition, and traverse that distance a third time to thus resupply the Battle Position.[5] Though wounded within the first half hour of battle, Carter provided accurate fire under intense pressure to drive back enemy that had infiltrated the camp perimeter.[5] He then crawled under continuing fire to another vehicle, and retrieved needed weapons and ammunition to bring back to the Battle Position.[5] Carter crossed 30m of open space to provide life-extending first aid to a wounded soldier, exposed to enemy fire, then carrying him back across the 30m to the Humvee.[5] As the battle progressed, Carter ran toward the tactical operations center (TOC) to coordinate reconnaissance and to obtain medical care for the wounded soldier, but, encountering the body of a fallen sergeant, found and retrieved a radio and returned to the Humvee.[5] Carter found a litter, and with a comrade carried the wounded soldier 100m across the original distance to an aid station; it was then about noon.[5] The battle extended through nightfall when reinforcements could safely land by helicopter, by which time almost two-thirds of the 53 Coalition soldiers had been killed (8) or wounded (>25).[5]

President Barack Obama awarded Carter with the Medal of Honor in a White House ceremony on August 26, 2013.[1] The following day, Carter was inducted into the Pentagon Hall of Heroes.[6]

Awards and decorations[edit | edit source]

During his military career, Carter received a number of decorations.[7] Carter is authorized to wear two service stripes, three Overseas Service Bars, as well as the Combat Service Identification Badge for the 4th Infantry Division and the Distinctive Unit Insignia of the 61st Cavalry Regiment. He also holds the Expert Infantryman Badge and one Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal. Carter's military decorations include the following awards:

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Bronze oak leaf cluster
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Bronze star
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Valorous Unit Award Meritorious Unit Commendation[1]
Combat Action Badge[1]
Medal of Honor Purple Heart Medal Army Commendation Medal w/ four bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Army Achievement Medal w/ two Oak Leaf Clusters Army Good Conduct Medal National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/ 2 service stars Global War on Terrorism Service Medal NCO Professional Development Ribbon w/ award numeral 2
Army Service Ribbon Army Overseas Service Ribbon NATO Medal for service with ISAF
Air Assault Badge Expert marksmanship badge with one weapon clasp

Medal of Honor citation[edit | edit source]

Carter with U.S. President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House after Carter was presented with the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.

A light blue neck ribbon with a gold star shaped medallion hanging from it. The ribbon is similar in shape to a bowtie with 13 white stars in the center of the ribbon.

Specialist Ty M. Carter distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Scout with Bravo Troop, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on October 3, 2009. On that morning, Specialist Carter and his comrades awakened to an attack of an estimated 300 enemy fighters occupying the high ground on all four sides of Combat Outpost Keating, employing concentrated fire from recoilless rifles, rocket propelled grenades, anti-aircraft machine guns, mortars and small arms fire. Specialist Carter reinforced a forward battle position, ran twice through a 100 meter gauntlet of enemy fire to resupply ammunition and voluntarily remained there to defend the isolated position. Armed with only an M4 carbine rifle, Specialist Carter placed accurate, deadly fire on the enemy, beating back the assault force and preventing the position from being overrun, over the course of several hours. With complete disregard for his own safety and in spite of his own wounds, he ran through a hail of enemy rocket propelled grenade and machine gun fire to rescue a critically wounded comrade who had been pinned down in an exposed position. Specialist Carter rendered life extending first aid and carried the Soldier to cover. On his own initiative, Specialist Carter again maneuvered through enemy fire to check on a fallen Soldier and recovered the squad’s radio, which allowed them to coordinate their evacuation with fellow Soldiers. With teammates providing covering fire, Specialist Carter assisted in moving the wounded Soldier 100 meters through withering enemy fire to the aid station and before returning to the fight. Specialist Carter’s heroic actions and tactical skill were critical to the defense of Combat Outpost Keating, preventing the enemy from capturing the position and saving the lives of his fellow Soldiers. Specialist Ty M. Carter’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Bravo Troop, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and the United States Army.[8]


See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "President Obama to Award Medal of Honor". Washington, D.C.: White House Office of the Press Secretary. July 26, 2013. Archived from the original on August 26, 2013. http://www.webcitation.org/6JAbH8Q2F. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  2. Tapper, Jake; Escobedo, Tricia (August 21, 2013). "After giving the military a second try, soldier to receive top honor". CNN. Archived from the original on August 26, 2013. http://www.webcitation.org/6JAKELEqw. 
  3. Dickson, Patrick (July 26, 2013). "Ty M. Carter to receive Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan". Washington. Archived from the original on July 26, 2013. http://www.webcitation.org/6IPrfdMF0. 
  4. Jakob, Rodgers (February 14, 2013). "Soldiers reunite to pay tribute to fallen comrade Spc. Stephan Mace". Washington. Archived from the original on July 26, 2013. http://www.webcitation.org/6IProcnix. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 "Official Narrative / Staff Sergeant Ty Michael Carter". U.S. Army. 2013. Archived from the original on August 27, 2013. http://archive.is/GWTBt. 
  6. Ferdinando, Lisa A. (August 27, 2013). "MOH recipient Staff Sgt. Carter inducted into Pentagon Hall of Heroes". U.S. Army. Archived from the original on August 30, 2013. http://www.webcitation.org/6JGIY7Obk. 
  7. Brown, Brittany (26 August 2013). "12 Facts about Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Ty Carter". United States Army. Archived from the original on August 26, 2013. http://www.webcitation.org/6JAWWqDYA. 
  8. "Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter:Official Citation". United States Army. Archived from the original on August 27, 2013. http://archive.is/kDdqa. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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