MoH Recipient Kyle Carpenter Remembers The Day He Stepped On The Yellow Footprints

Joining the Military
Photos of Marine veteran and Medal of Honor Recipient Kyle Carpenter.
U.S. Marine Corps photos/Photo illustration by Matt Battaglia

It’s only fitting that aspiring Marines should have a chance to meet the Corps’ most recent legend.


On March 24, Medal of Honor recipient Kyle Carpenter posted a photo on Twitter commemorating the seven-year anniversary of the day he arrived at Recruit Training Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.

The photo was from an earlier visit Carpenter made to the training depot on Nov. 6, 2015, when he spoke with Platoon 1000 from Bravo Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment.

Standing in his old squad bay, Carpenter spoke to the recruits about the importance of earning the title of U.S. Marine and said he respected their willingness to raise their right hands to volunteer serve, according to Capt. Gregory Carroll, a Marine Corps spokesman.

Carroll told Task & Purpose that Carpenter cautioned against complacency, telling recruits that the transformation doesn’t end at graduation, but they have to continually improve themselves to be ready to support the Marines to their left and right.

The platoon Carpenter spoke with graduated Jan. 15, 2016.

Sgt. Bryan Nygaard, a public affairs Marine assigned to Marine Corps Recruiting Station Baltimore, was in the same platoon as Carpenter during recruit training and described the Medal of Honor recipient as a “tough, determined warrior with a servant’s heart,” who had a strong desire to lead.

Related: Marine Medal of Honor recipient Kyle Carpenter in badass video: ‘I’m just getting started’ »

“He was a short, little squad leader. Drill instructors called him ‘mini-me,’ with more heart than the rest of us,” Nygaard told Task & Purpose. “The one thing I always tell people is that the Kyle Carpenter you see today is the same Kyle Carpenter we all knew in Platoon 1040.”

Carpenter enlisted in 2009 and deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, as a rifleman. Carpenter and Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio were manning security on the perimeter of Patrol Base Dakota in the Marjah district in November 2010 when enemy insurgents launched a daylight attack on their post.

When a grenade landed inside of the Marines’ sandbagged position, Carpenter shielded Eufrazio from the blast, absorbing the impact. Both men survived despite severe injuries and Carpenter endured a lengthy recovery process. He was awarded the Medal of Honor on June 19, 2014.

An Austrian Jagdkommando K9 unit conducts training (Austrian Armed Forces photo)

An Austrian soldier was apparently killed by two military working dogs that he was charged with feeding, the Austrian Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday.

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Conflict photographer Lynsey Addario has seen a hell of a lot of combat over the past twenty years. She patrolled Afghanistan's Helmand Province with the Marines, accompanied the Army on night raids in Baghdad, took artillery fire with rebel fighters in Libya, and has taken photos in countless other wars and humanitarian disasters around the world.

Along the way, Addario captured images of plenty of women serving with pride in uniform, not only in the U.S. armed forces, but also on the battlefields of Syria, Colombia, South Sudan and Israel. Her photographs are the subject of a new article in the November 2019 special issue of National Geographic, "Women: A Century of Change," the magazine's first-ever edition written and photographed exclusively by women.

The photos showcase the wide range of goals and ideals for which these women took up arms. Addario's work includes captivating vignettes of a seasoned guerrilla fighter in the jungles of Colombia; a team of Israeli military police patrolling the streets of Jerusalem; and a unit of Kurdish women guarding ISIS refugees in Syria. Some fight to prove themselves, others seek to ignite social change in their home country, and others do it to liberate other women from the grip of ISIS.

Addario visited several active war zones for the piece, but she found herself shaken by something much closer to home: the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina.

Addario discussed her visit to boot camp and her other travels in an interview with Task & Purpose, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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My brother earned the Medal of Honor for saving countless lives — but only after he was left for dead

"As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night."

Opinion

Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

Air Force Master Sgt. John "Chappy" Chapman is my brother. As one of an elite group, Air Force Combat Control — the deadliest and most badass band of brothers to walk a battlefield — John gave his life on March 4, 2002 for brothers he never knew.

They were the brave men who comprised a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that had been called in to rescue the SEAL Team 6 team (Mako-30) with whom he had been embedded, which left him behind on Takur Ghar, a desolate mountain in Afghanistan that topped out at over 10,000 feet.

As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night. After many delays, the mission should and could have been pushed one day, but Szymanski ordered the team to proceed as planned, and Britt "Slab" Slabinski, John's team leader, fell into step after another SEAL team refused the mission.

But the "plan" went even more south when they made the rookie move to insert directly atop the mountain — right into the hands of the bad guys they knew were there.

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Photo: ABC News/screenshot

Federal court judge Reggie Walton in Washington D.C. has ruled Hoda Muthana, a young woman who left her family in Hoover, Alabama, to join ISIS, is not a U.S. citizen, her attorneys told AL.com Thursday.

The ruling means the government does not recognize her a citizen of the United States, even though she was born in the U.S.

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Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. -- The Marine Corps could train as many as eight co-ed companies at boot camp each year, and the general overseeing the effort is hitting back against those complaining that the move is lowering training standards.

"Get over it," Maj. Gen. William Mullen, the head of Training and Education Command told Military.com on Thursday. "We're still making Marines like we used to. That has not changed."

Mullen, a career infantry officer who has led troops in combat — including in Fallujah, Iraq — said Marines have likely been complaining about falling standards since 1775.

"I'm assuming that the second Marine walking into Tun Tavern was like 'You know ... our standards have gone down. They're just not the same as it they used to be,'" Mullen said, referring to the service's famous birthplace. "That has always been going on in the history of the Marine Corps."

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