Kyle Carpenter Biography

Kyle Carpenter is an American retired marine, bestselling author, and motivational speaker. He is the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient and served in the Marine Corps from 2009 to 2013. Kyle’s incredible story of bravery and sacrifice began when he joined the Marine Corps at the age of 19. While stationed in Afghanistan in 2010, he heroically saved his fellow marine, Nick Eufrazio, by lunging towards a grenade that landed on their rooftop security post. This act of selflessness resulted in severe injuries, including the loss of his right eye and part of his jaw. After a long and arduous recovery, Kyle retired from the Marines and received the Medal of Honor in 2014. He has since published an autobiographical book and now shares his inspiring journey through motivational speeches and YouTube videos.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: William Kyle Carpenter
  • Age: 34 Years, 34 Year Old Males
  • Family: father: Robert Carpenter, mother: Robin Carpenter
  • Born Country: United States
  • City: Jackson, Mississippi
  • U.S. State: Mississippi
  • More Facts
  • Education: University of South Carolina
  • Awards: Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, NATO Medal

Childhood & Early Life

William Kyle Carpenter was born on October 17, 1989, in Jackson, Mississippi, United States of America, to Robert and Robin Carpenter. Kyle grew up in Flowood and initially joined the W.W. King Academy in Batesburg, South Carolina. In February 2009, at the age of 19, Kyle joined the delayed entry program of the Marine Corps. In July that year, he finished his Recruit Training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. After retiring due to medical reasons, he studied at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and earned a BA degree in international studies from the institute in 2017. Back in 2013, he had joined the Kappa Sigma Fraternity’s Chi-Omega chapter at the University of South Carolina.

Military Career

Kyle Carpenter was initially trained at the Camp Geiger School of Infantry at the Marine Corps Base Camp in Lejeune, North Carolina. As a “Private First Class,” he was assigned to Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines of the Regimental Combat Team One, 1st Marine Division (Forward), 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in July 2010. He was required to support the Operation Enduring Freedom, working as a Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) gunner.

On November 21, 2010, Kyle, then 21, was guarding a rooftop security post, with a fellow marine named Nick Eufrazio, in the Helmand Province, Afghanistan, while the U.S. army defended the village of Marjah from the Taliban. The enemy forces attacked with hand grenades. One such grenade landed on the roof where Kyle and Nick were present. Without thinking about the consequences, Lance Corporal Kyle Carpenter hurled himself toward the grenade to protect Nick’s life. The blast that followed wounded Kyle severely, but Nick’s life was saved.

Kyle Carpenter does not remember much of what happened next. He was badly wounded and lost his right eye. Most of his jaw was damaged in the attack. His gear melted, and most of his Kevlar vest was ripped apart by the grenade. He slipped into a coma and gained consciousness after 5 weeks. He spent almost 3 years in the hospital, going through a brain surgery to remove shrapnel and almost 40 surgeries to fix a collapsed lung. His fingers had been fractured, and his right arm was broken in over 30 places. He also underwent multiple skin grafts. At the end of all the medical procedures, Kyle had a prosthetic eye, a new jaw, and new teeth.

Kyle Carpenter was medically retired as a corporal in July 2013. On June 19, 2014, he was awarded the highest military decoration of the U.S., the Medal of Honor, at the White House, by then-president, Barack Obama. Kyle thus became the youngest living person to receive the Medal of Honor and the second-living person to have achieved the feat since Vietnam War. Some of the other notable awards he has won are the Purple Heart Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Navy Unit Commendation, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 1 campaign star, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with 1 service star, the NATO Service Medal for service with ISAF, the Sharpshooter Marksmanship Badge for rifle, and a service stripe.

Other Achievements

On October 15, 2019, Kyle Carpenter published his autobiographical book, You Are Worth It: Building a Life Worth Fighting For, co-written with journalist and New York Times bestselling author Don Yaeger. The book became a national bestseller in the U.S. It also found a place on the Marine Commandant’s Reading List in 2020.

Kyle Carpenter was featured in a fundraising video titled Still in the Fight, to raise money for the charity Fisher House Foundation. The foundation offers free and low-cost housing facilities to army veterans undergoing treatment at military hospitals and their families.

Personal Life

Kyle Carpenter loves traveling, hiking, and adventure activities. One of his favorite activities is wakesurfing, and he has a separate Instagram highlight segment dedicated to this activity. His social-media profiles reveal he is in a relationship with Brittany Vaughn. She is from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Social Media

Kyle now also serves as a popular social-media influencer and motivational speaker. His Instagram account, chiksdigscars, has gained over 463K followers to date. On YouTube, Kyle’s official channel, Kyle Carpenter, has gained over 55 thousand subscribers and more than 7 million views since its launch on October 9, 2019. It mainly consists of motivational and travel videos.

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