WASHINGTON — The White House announced late Friday that Army Staff Sgt. Ty M. Carter will be awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry for his service at Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan.
On Aug. 26, President Barack Obama will award Carter the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as a cavalry scout with the 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations in Kamdesh district, Nuristan province, Afghanistan on Oct. 3, 2009, according to a White House news release. He fought with Army Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha, who was awarded the Medal of Honor in January.
Carter will be the fifth living recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan. He and his family will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service.
COP Keating was a company-sized outpost in Nuristan, situated at the bottom of a constricted, bowl-shaped valley at the confluence of the Kushtowz and Landay Sin rivers.
Battle of COP Keating
At 6 a.m. on that day, the enemy mounted a complex attack on COP Keating and nearby Outpost Fritsche, the magnitude and intensity of which had not been seen in the Kamdesh valley since coalition forces toppled the Taliban eight years earlier. Attackers fired from the creviced and overgrown high ground above all four sides of Keating with rifles and heavy machine guns.
Then-Spc. Carter emerged from his barracks and sprinted 100 yards across open ground, under heavy fire, to join his fellow soldiers at the southern perimeter.
According to an Army account of the battle, Carter again ran through enemy fire to retrieve gun lubricant and other supplies for soldiers firing at their attackers.
Soon, enemy fighters were inside the compound.
In the chaos, Carter offered to pull a wounded comrade, Spc. Stephan L. Mace, out of danger, but another soldier tried to stop him, screaming “You’re no good to Mace if you’re dead!”
After another intense period of fighting, Carter realized he couldn’t leave Mace out there to die.
He persuaded Sgt. Bradley Larson to let him try.
While Larson provided cover fire from within a nearby Humvee, Carter stanched Mace’s bleeding and placed a tourniquet on his shattered leg.
He realized he couldn’t carry Mace while he had his weapon. He returned to the Humvee and told Larson his plan. Larson got out of the Humvee and provided cover fire while Carter returned to Mace, picked him up and carried him through the hail of bullets back to the Humvee, and went back to firing.
With their ammo dwindling, and unable to communicate with anyone, Carter knew he had to get a radio. With Larson again covering, he ran into open terrain and found the radio of a fallen soldier, letting the command post know they were alive and needed help, especially for the wounded Mace.
Romesha’s element provided cover for Carter and Larson to get the three of them to safety in the Humvee.
After some 12 hours of intense fighting, a quick-reaction force arrived to link up with the men at Keating.
Sgt. Bradley Larson was awarded the Silver Star for his contributions to the battle of COP Keating.
A Marine, then a soldier
Ty Michael Carter grew up in Spokane, Wash., and claims Antioch, Calif. as his home of record, according to the White House. He is married to Shannon Carter and they have three children; Jayden Young, Madison Carter and Sehara Carter.
Carter originally enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1998, and attended the Marine Corps Combat Engineer School. He later served in Okinawa, Japan, as an intelligence clerk. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2002.
Carter enlisted in the Army in January 2008 as a cavalry scout. After completion of training at Fort Knox, Ky., he was assigned to 3-61 Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, where he deployed to Afghanistan from May 2009 to May 2010.
In October 2010, he was assigned as a Stryker gunner with 8-1 Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He completed a second deployment to Afghanistan in October 2012. Carter is currently stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., and is assigned to 7th Infantry Division.
The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguishes themselves conspicuously by gallantry above and beyond the call of duty while:
- engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
- engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
- serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
Read the citation.