A soldier who ignored his own safety to take out the enemy and rescue a wounded brother-in-arms during a dramatic ambush by hundreds of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan in 2009 will receive the Medal of Honor on Monday.
Staff Sgt. Ty Michael Carter will be only the fifth living service member awarded the nation’s highest commendation for courage in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Carter, 33, will be recognized for his “conspicuous gallantry” during the Battle of Kamdesh, a day-long firefight with Taliban militants at a remote Afghan outpost near the Pakistan border.
The battle on Oct. 3, 2009 killed eight American soldiers and wounded more than 25 others, according to the U.S. Army’s official narrative of the event, making it the deadliest day for U.S. forces in the war effort that year.
“Without regard to his own safety, Spc. Ty Michael Carter proved himself time and time again,” according to the Army narrative.
“He resupplied ammunition to fighting positions, provided first aid to a battle buddy, killed enemy troops, and valiantly risked his own life to save a fellow soldier who was injured and pinned down by overwhelming fire” after Taliban militants attacked Combat Outpost Keating with rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns, mortars and rifles, according to the Army.
Carter is the second service member to receive the Medal of Honor for his performance at the Battle of Kamdesh. Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha, 31, who has since left the military, was recognized for leading the charge against the well-coordinated enemy combatants, heading up efforts to retake the camp, which many military officials considered indefensible.
President Barack Obama is expected to present the medal to Carter at a 2 p.m. ET ceremony at The White House.
A total of 12 U.S. service members have been awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan and Iraq — including seven men who received the commendation posthumously.
The Medal of Honor is bestowed on members of the U.S. Armed Forces who display what the Army calls “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.”