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The irony of this President having awarded more Medals of Honor than anyone since FDR is not lost on me. But the reality of all this catching up can be laid directly at Rumsfeld's, and Gate's, doormats. So says the guy who coined the phrase "Medal of Posthumous Honor" and who dueled with two Secretaries of the Army on the phone over the topic. Which really bemused my government client, that I was getting calls at the office (where I was a contractor) from the Secretary of the Army. Ah, the heady days of being a Big Blogger.

I remember one of the really lame excuses was "This war is different from the others, there aren't as many opportunities for the large-scale combat that results in Medal of Honor actions."

What utter bullshit. A platoon fight is a platoon fight is a platoon fight, and Audie Murphy and Smedley Butler would recognize that.

Anyway - announcement is made of a pending award:
Office of the Press Secretary
President Obama to Award Medal of Honor
May 19, 2014

On June 19, 2014, President Barack Obama will award Corporal William "Kyle" Carpenter, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret), the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry. Corporal Carpenter will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as an Automatic Rifleman with Company F, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Corporal Carpenter will be the eighth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. He and his family will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service.


Corporal William "Kyle" Carpenter, was born in Flowood, Mississippi on October 17, 1989, and graduated from W. Wyman King Academy, Batesburg, South Carolina, in 2008. In February 2009, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at Recruiting Station Columbia, South Carolina, and completed his basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, later that year.

At the time of the November 21, 2010 combat engagement in Afghanistan in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, then-Lance Corporal Carpenter served as an Automatic Rifleman with Company F, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team-1, 1st Marine Division (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

In July 2013, he was medically retired as a Corporal due to his wounds. He is currently a full time student at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

His personal awards include a Purple Heart Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon. Additional awards and decorations include the Navy Unit Commendation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one bronze campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one bronze star, North Atlantic Treaty


This one only took three and a half years for all of the pinheads at the Pentagon and White House to sniff around the recommmendation packet to determine if this action was "deserving". As if any of these guys have the slightest clue what constitutes gallantry in action, or even what a combat action might look, feel, and smell like.
Yeah, but they are awarding decorations, which is more than what the Bush administration did.

CPL Carpenter is a true HERO, and I salute him and thank him for his service and sacrifice, and wish him the best for the future. 

We must not let the flaws in the system, or the unwarranted delays in deciding eligibility detract from the heroic individuals who end up being selected for this most distinguished honor. 

Almost every one of them (at least the survivors) will deny they did anything special, and assert that anyone else with them would have done the same, and that others are equally deserving.  That may be true in some cases, but those few, those very few, who make it through the convoluted chop chain are unquestionably the very, very most deserving people who have ever taken up arms indefense of our nation and fellow citizens.

Let us salute these genuine heroes and give them the full attention and honor that they have earned, and earned the hard way, at extreme personal risk, and usually with the loss of one or more of their buddies.

Leave the well deserved criticism of the armchair bureaucrats for another day.   It is a target rich environment.
Robert Gates said in his book Duty, that he was frustrated as the Secretary of Defense that such awards took so long to approve and that he and the President regreted that none had been approved (at that time) for living recepients. But, unfortunately, he was unable to do anything about it.

You have to be kidding me. They are all about putting on a great political circus to parade the honoree around the capital, so that the inside the beltway crowd have an excuse for face time with the President, but he just couldn't do anything about the process. The Armorer has done more to change the process than the past three Secretaries of Defense put together. Of course, I don't think that they wanted anything to change.
I wish I could say I'm surprised that a Sec of the Army would give such an excuse. Sadly, however, I'm not. I guess I've gotten too cynical in my old age.
"What utter bullshit. A platoon fight is a platoon fight is a platoon fight, and Audie Murphy and Smedley Butler would recognize that."

Well said.  Gallantry above and beyond is just that, nothing about the size of the enters into it.