Marine of the Week | Youngest Medal of Honor Recipient

Lance Corporal William Kyle Carpenter

Company F, 2d Battalion 9th Marines

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), 1 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 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.

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BEAUFORT MARINE AWARDED FOR LIFE-SAVING ACTIONS

Sgt. Samantha Alexander, Distribution Management Office freight noncommissioned officer in charge aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal on Nov. 13 for saving the life of a local teenager April 25, 2019.

She was driving home with her daughter and as she turned into her neighborhood the car ahead of her slammed on the breaks and swerved, hitting two boys on their bicycles.

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EARNEST B. FREEMAN: 45 YEARS OF DEDICATED SERVICE RECOGNIZED

“I didn’t choose the Marine Corps, it chose me.” Those words still resonate with one man, 45 years after first enlisting.

In 1972, Ernest B. Freeman walked into a recruiting station in Middletown, New York, one morning to enlist in the U.S. Army and walked out as a U.S. Marine Corps enlistee.

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PENDLETON MARINE’S QUICK THINKING SAVES THREE IN SOCAL CAR CRASH

U.S. Marines are known for their fast thinking and courage in a time of need. Marines are taught from day one the core values of honor, courage and commitment. U.S. Marine Cpl. Alexandra Nowak, an administrative specialist with Alpha Company, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations West, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, exemplified unwavering courage when she saved the lives of three people Sept. 20.

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MARINE OF THE WEEK // FEARLESS LEADER:

Gunnery Sgt. Aubrey McDade
1st Battalion, 8th Marines
Fallujah, Iraq, Nov. 11, 2004
Award: Navy Cross

Shortly after departing their base in Fallujah, then-Sgt. McDade and 1/8 Bravo Company’s 1st Platoon entered an alley and encountered an immediate heavy volume of small arms and machine gun fire. In the opening seconds of the engagement, three Marines were seriously wounded as the well positioned and expecting enemy pinned others down. On contact, McDade rushed from the rear of the platoon column toward the kill zone and immediately deployed a machine gun team into the alley to provide suppressive fire on the enemy. After several attempts to reach casualties in the alley were met with heavy, well-aimed machine gun fire, he showed total disregard for his own safety by moving across the alley and successfully extracting the first of three wounded Marines from the kill zone. Aware of the fact that there were still two wounded Marines in the alley, McDade dashed through the heart of the kill zone two more times, each time braving intense enemy fire to successfully retrieve a Marine. After extracting the last casualty from the kill zone, he assisted in their treatment and medical evacuation. His quick thinking and aggressive actions were crucial in saving the lives of two of the three casualties. (U.S. Marine Corps photos by Staff Sgt. Jonathan C. Knauth & Sgt. Kenneth Trotter)

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1983 Beirut barracks bombing: ‘The BLT Building is gone!’

At 6:22 on Sunday morning Oct. 23, 1983, a 19-ton yellow Mercedes stake-bed truck entered a public parking lot at the heart of Beirut International Airport. The lot was adjacent to the headquarters of the U.S. 8th Marine Regiment’s 1st Battalion, where some 350 American service members lay asleep in a four-story concrete aviation administration building that had been successively occupied by various combatants in the ongoing Lebanese Civil War. Battalion Landing Team 1/8 was the ground element of the 1,800-man 24th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU), which had deployed to Lebanon a year earlier as part of a multinational peacekeeping force also comprising French, Italian and British troops. Its mission was to facilitate the withdrawal of foreign fighters from Lebanon and help restore the sovereignty of its government at a time when sectarian violence had riven the Mediterranean nation.

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MISSION FIRST, MARINES ALWAYS: BACK TO BASICS FOR LEADERS

The sword was passed for the 19th time as Sgt. Maj. Troy E. Black became the 19th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps in late July.

“Mission First, Marines Always, Semper Fidelis” were the closing remarks Sgt. Maj. Black addressed the Marines during a social media post on July 27, 2019. As Sgt. Maj. Black accepted the Sword of Office, those four words were a reminder of the responsibilities bestowed upon leaders. “Mission First, Marines Always is not a new concept or new statement,” Sgt. Maj. Black said. “But it is a simple truth that expresses the basic principles of Marine Corps leadership that are essential to our success.”

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