The Medal of Honor Convention is currently taking place in Annapolis, Md., and it has brought together the youngest and oldest living Marine recipients of our nation's highest award for battlefield heroism in a photograph of epic proportions.
In a post on Twitter on Thursday, retired Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, 28, said that he was "beyond humbled and honored" upon meeting with retired Marine Chief Warrant Officer-4 Hershel "Woody" Williams, 94, at the conference.
"As the youngest living recipient I can only hope to one day live up to his legacy," Carpenter added.
Born Oct. 2, 1923, Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War II at the Battle of Iwo Jima. On Feb. 23, 1945, then-Cpl. Williams, a demolition sergeant, repeatedly charged alone toward concrete pillboxes where the Japanese were firing machine guns in order to "wipe out one position after another" with explosive charges and flamethrowers.
"On one occasion, he daringly mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower through the air vent, killing the occupants and silencing the gun; on another he grimly charged enemy riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon," his citation reads.
Carpenter, born on Oct. 19, 1989, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism during the Battle of Marjah on Nov. 21, 2010, in which he threw himself on an enemy grenade that had landed on a rooftop security post, saving the life of a fellow Marine.
"Carpenter moved toward the grenade in an attempt to shield his fellow Marine from the deadly blast," the award citation reads. "When the grenade detonated, his body absorbed the brunt of the blast, severely wounding him, but saving the life of his fellow Marine."
Carpenter nearly died from the grenade shrapnel, which tore into his face and body. He lost his right eye and many of his teeth, and has undergone dozens of surgeries since.
When asked whether he would have done anything differently during an interview with this reporter in 2014, he jokingly replied, "I mean I would grab that [grenade] and kick it right back.'
"But besides that ... I wouldn't change anything," he added. "We're both alive and we're here and I'm fully appreciating my second chance."
Correction: The post and headline previously stated Williams was the oldest living Medal of Honor of recipient, which is incorrect. Former soldier Robert D. Maxwell, 97, is currently the oldest living recipient. Williams is actually the oldest living Marine recipient. This has been corrected and we apologize for the error.
In a scathing letter, a top Navy legal official on Sunday expressed "grave ethical concerns" over revelations that government prosecutors used tracking software in emails to defense lawyers in ongoing cases involving two Navy SEALs in San Diego.
The letter, written by David G. Wilson, Chief of Staff of the Navy's Defense Service Offices, requested a response by Tuesday from the Chief of the Navy's regional law offices detailing exactly what type of software was used and what it could do, who authorized it, and what controls were put in place to limit its spread on government networks.
"As our clients learn about these extraordinary events in the media, we are left unarmed with any facts to answer their understandable concerns about our ability to secure the information they must trust us to maintain. This situation has become untenable," Wilson wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Task & Purpose on Monday.
Riley Howell, the Army ROTC cadet shot and killed while restraining an active shooter at UNC Charlotte on April 30, was posthumously awarded the ROTC Medal of Heroism earlier this month for his heroic sacrifice, the Army announced.
The head of naval aviation has directed the creation of a new process for approving and reviewing pilots' call signs after two African-American aviators at an F/A-18 Hornet training squadron in Virginia filed complaints alleging racial bias in the unit, from which they said they were unfairly dismissed.
In a formal endorsement letter signed May 13, Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller, commander of Naval Air Forces, said he found the two aviators, a Navy lieutenant and a Marine Corps captain, were correctly removed from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 out of Naval Air Station Oceana due to "substandard performance," despite errors and inconsistencies discovered in the grading and ranking process.
However, Miller said he did find inappropriate conduct by instructor pilots who did not treat the pilots-in-training "with appropriate dignity and respect," using discriminatory call signs and having inappropriate and unprofessional discussions about them on social media.