JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCORD, Wash. (Dec. 14, 2011) -- Sgt. Ty Carter, along with four other service members, were awarded the USO's prestigious George Van Cleave Military Leadership Award at the organization's 50th Annual Gala in New York City, Dec. 7.
The USO presents the award every year to one service member from each military branch for exceptional service.
"I was very surprised that I was recommended for this award," said Carter, a section leader with A Troop, 8th Battalion, 1st Calvary Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. "I am not the type to earn these kinds of things. I was taken aback because I always felt these things happen to somebody else."
Unlike Carter, others were not as surprised about him receiving this award.
"Sgt. Carter is an intelligent, young ambitious leader who strives everyday to be better at what he does so he can in turn give that to his soldiers," said 1st Sgt. Rennes Weimer, A Troop first sergeant.
Carter was presented the award for his exemplary service while serving as a scout in Afghanistan. Carter, a specialist at the time with the 3rd Battalion, 61st Calvary Regiment, 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, took immediate action when his fellow soldiers and a nearby combat outpost came under attack by a battalion-sized enemy force.
Armed only with only an M4 carbine, Carter ran repeatedly through heavy enemy fire to bring critical ammunition to his position. He ignored his own personal safety after suffering multiple wounds to assist a critically injured soldier by administering first aid and carrying the soldier through enemy fire to safety.
Although surprised that actions he felt were necessary in order to complete the mission, Carter was honored to be awarded for his selfless service.
"It was amazing to fly out to New York and be recognized," said Carter. "I was honored by the fact that so many people were treating me with respect and thanking me for my hard work."
Besides being recognized for his actions in Afghanistan, Carter has also brought confidence to the soldiers of his current troop.
"(Carter) winning the award has had a very positive effect on this troop," said Weimer. "(The soldiers) know they have a good strong leader taking them into combat."
The other awardees include Medal of Honor recipient Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer, Navy Chief Special Operator Brian Bill, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael A. Brait, and Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Jason Mortiz.