Ty Carter is a retired American military sergeant who provided his services to the US Armed Forces from 1998 until 2014. He was honored with the Medal of Honor (MOH), the most prestigious military decoration awarded by the United States Armed Forces, in August 2013.
Ty Michael Carter US Army was born on Friday, 25 January 1980 (age 43 years; as of 2023) in Spokane, Washington, United States. In 1981, a year after his birth, the family relocated from Spokane to California’s Bay Area, and in 1991, they moved back to Spokane. Ty Carter, along with his brother Seth and sister Amber, was brought up by his single mother in Spokane, as his parents separated shortly after his birth.
During his upbringing in Spokane, Ty Carter completed his schooling at North Central High School in 1998.
Later, he established his residence in Antioch, California, a place he regards as his home of record. White House Office of the Press Secretary While living a civilian life, Carter studied biology at Los Medanos Community College in California. The Spokesman-Review
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Weight (approx.): 75 Kg
Eye Colour: Gunmetal Blue
Hair Colour: Bald
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is Mark Carter, and his mother’s name is Paula Carter. He has a sister named Amber Carter.
He had an elder brother named Seth Allen Carter who, at the age of 22, was fatally shot in the chest by a friend named Richard R. Sheppard, who was under the influence of alcohol, while they were playing with a shotgun at a gathering in Spokane on 13 July 2000. The Spokesman-Review
Wife & Children
Ty Carter married twice. He first got married to his college mate April Ait in 2004; the couple went on to have a daughter named Madison who was born in 2005. In 2008, Carter and Ait divorced. In 2009, he got married to Shannon Derby; it was his second marriage, and the couple went on to have a daughter named Sehara who was born in January 2013.
In 2015, Carter and Shannon divorced. Carter has a daughter named Eve with his girlfriend Jennifer “Jenn” Aedo; Eve was born in April 2017.
In early 2004, while studying biology at Los Medanos Community College in California, he met a girl named April Ait, who was his college mate. Soon, they started dating each other, and they eventually got married in the same year. After getting divorced from his second wife, Shannon Derby, Carter started dating Jennifer “Jenn” Aedo in 2016.
United States Marine Corps
Ty Carter served the United States Marine Corps from 1998 to 2002. Shortly after completing his studies at North Central High School, Carter enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on 13 October 1998. He underwent training at the Marine Corps Combat Engineer School following which he was sent to Okinawa, Japan, where he served as an intelligence clerk. Due to his exceptional proficiency in handling weapons, he was enrolled in the Primary Marksmanship Instructor School in 1999.
Following two brief training missions – a deployment to San Clemente Island, California, and another to Egypt for Operation Bright Star – Ty Carter was relieved from his service in the Marine Corps on 12 October 2002.
United States Army
Ty Carter served the United States Army from 2008 to 2014. After living a civilian life for nearly six years, Carted decided to return to military life to find a new purpose, and in January 2008, he enlisted in the United States Army as a cavalry scout and received training at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
First Deployment to Afghanistan
After Carter finished his training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, he was placed in the 3-61 Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. He was later deployed to Afghanistan, where he served from May 2009 to May 2010.
Battle of Kamdesh
During his first deployment to Afghanistan, he was stationed at Combat Outpost (COP) Keating in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province. On the morning of 3 October 2009, over 300 enemy fighters launched an attack, resulting in what became known as the Battle of Kamdesh. As detailed in a United States Army report, Specialist Ty Carter engaged and eliminated enemy combatants, provided ammunition to fellow American soldiers, administered initial medical aid, and bravely risked his life to rescue an injured comrade who was under intense enemy gunfire. The battle led to the loss of eight American soldiers, with more than twenty-five sustaining injuries. In an interview, Carter described the attacks and said,
It was as if somebody kicked an ant hill. The bullets, the rockets, the mortars, everything, a wall of spikes — they’re pointing at you.”
In October 2010, Ty Carter served at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, where he held the position of a Stryker gunner within the 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, part of the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.
Second Deployment to Afghanistan and Retirement
In October 2012, he was sent to Afghanistan for the second time. Following the conclusion of his second tour in Afghanistan, Carter was based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, serving with the 7th Infantry Division. In September 2014, Ty Carter ended his active military service and retired from the armed forces.
Lost a comrade – Stephan Mace
In an interview, Ty Carter recalled the immense struggle he faced while revisiting the Battle of Kamdesh and his desperate efforts to protect his comrades. He spoke of experiencing severe Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), particularly regarding his feelings of guilt for being unable to save his fellow soldier Stephan Mace. Carter described a moment during the chaos on the morning of 3 October 2009, when he and four others found themselves trapped in a Humvee amid heavy gunfire and grenade explosions. Determined to provide cover for the others to seek safety, Carter made the courageous decision to leave the vehicle along with Specialist Stephan Mace and two others. Tragically, during their attempt to escape, two of the three men were fatally wounded, while Mace was left injured on the ground. Despite the dangers and his sergeant’s initial refusal, citing the ongoing threat, Carter insisted on returning to aid Mace, amid the heavy gunfire and explosions. Evading rocket-propelled grenades and flying rounds, Carter reached Mace, administered initial aid, and carried him approximately 300 feet to a safer location. Mace was later airlifted for medical care, but unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries, leaving Carter burdened with deep anguish and guilt over the loss of his fellow soldier. While talking about this trauma, Carter says,
Stephan Mace and I were not friends. But just because I don’t get along great with somebody doesn’t mean I don’t care about them or value their life. So I wasn’t going out there to save my loved one or my best friend. He was wearing the uniform so was part of my family, so I will do what I need to do. When you see someone you know can help out there, suffering, it turns your brain to lava and your stomach into acid, and then your limbs turn numb but are full of negative energy. You feel so angry you can hardly breathe. But as I was running out there I wasn’t thinking about the bullets that were hitting all around or the explosions. All I was thinking was that I need to help this person. And that’s one of the reasons I had severe post-traumatic stress — because I survived but Mace didn’t.”
Awards & Honours
Medal of Honor
During a White House ceremony on 16 August 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama presented Ty Carter with the Medal of Honor, the most prestigious military decoration awarded by the United States Armed Forces, for his actions during the 2009 Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan, placing the medal around Carter’s neck. In an interview, Carter about this honour and said,
Even though this award is an awesome honor and a great privilege, in order to get such a prestigious award, you have to be in a situation where your soldiers, your family, your brothers, are suffering and dying around you. And then, you just did everything you could to save lives or prevent further loss.”
Other Military Decorations
- Valorous Unit Award
- Meritorious Unit Commendation
- Combat Action Badge
- Medal of Honor
- Purple Heart
- Meritorious Service Medal with four bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
- Army Commendation Medal
- Army Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters
- Army Good Conduct Medal with 2 bronze loops
- Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
- National Defense Service Medal
- Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 2 service stars
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- NCO Professional Development Ribbon with award numeral 2
- Army Service Ribbon
- Army Overseas Service Ribbon with bronze award numeral 3
- NATO Medal for service with ISAF
- Air Assault Badge
- Expert marksmanship badge with one weapon clasp
He was honoured and inducted into the Pentagon Hall of Heroes on 27 August 2013.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Campaigns
According to Carter, when Pvt. Ed Faulkner Jr. passed away due to a drug overdose in September 2010, which was an attempt to cope with his trauma, he resolved to advocate for removing the stigma around seeking assistance for post-traumatic stress. Carter refers to Faulkner as the ninth casualty from the Battle of Kamdesh. Carter says,
In an event, President Obama praised Carter for his willingness to openly discuss the disorder and said,
Let me say it as clearly as I can to any of our troops or veterans who are watching and struggling. Look at this man. Look at this soldier. Look at this warrior. He’s as tough as they come, and if he can find the courage and the strength to not only seek help but also to speak out about it, to take care of himself and to stay strong, then so can you.”
In Popular Media
The 2020 American war film titled “The Outpost” is an adaptation of Jake Tapper’s book titled “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor.” The movie portrays the Battle of Kamdesh, featuring American actor Caleb Landry Jones portraying Ty Carter. Carter also made a brief cameo appearance in the film.
Netflix released an anthology documentary series, “Medal of Honor,” in November 2018. Ty Carter featured in episode 8 of the series, with American actor Jonny Weston portraying Carter’s character.
- In an interview, Carter described himself as a loner while he was studying in high school. He said that he struggled to connect with others and did not have many close friendships or companions.
- Following his college graduation, he moved from one location to another in search of employment. Carter initially worked with a yacht maintenance service. Later, he held diverse roles in different industries, including positions at a motorcycle apparel store, spa, dairy mill, sawmill, security firm, and as an assistant manager/projectionist at a theater. During this time, he also gained experience working with a chainsaw. CNN – YouTube
- During an interview, Carter discussed his civilian life, expressing a sense of aimlessness, and comparing himself to a drone due to the lack of purpose while working at various jobs. CNN – YouTube Simultaneously, he was undergoing a divorce from his first wife, April Ait, shortly after the birth of their daughter, Madison. Amid these circumstances, Carter decided to re-enter military life.
- Numerous magazines have highlighted the accounts of his courageous actions during the Battle of Kamdesh.
- Carter enjoys cooking and gardening, and he frequently posts images of these pastimes on various social media platforms.
- He enjoys smoking cigars and drinking alcoholic beverages. He has a strong passion for brewing beverages at home.
- He follows a non-vegetarian diet and often hunts wild hogs.
- He often shares pictures of his pet dog, Nala, on social media.