History Mighty Heroes

MoH Monday: Spc. Kyle J. White

Though he was covered in shrapnel, White saw one of his soldiers wounded and exposed, without cover from relentless enemy fire. He knew what he had to do.
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kyle white medal of honor

Specialist Kyle J. White is a retired member of the United States Army. He is a recipient of the prestigious Medal of Honor. He earned his award for courageous action during the War on Terror.


US Army photo/Released

White was born and raised in Bonney Lake, Washington, on March 27, 1987. After finishing high school, he enlisted in the United States Army and completed basic training in February of 2006. Immediately after, he attended the United States Army Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. He would pursue extensive military education and training in air assault, primary leadership, and reconnaissance leadership.

White joined Company C, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade. In 2007, he deployed to Afghanistan, where he would engage in the action that earned him his Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor Action

On November 9, 2007, Specialist White found himself in the heart of the Nuristan Province in Afghanistan. There, danger was a constant threat. Along with his comrades, he was making his way to Bella Outpost. This location was perilously close to Taliban-controlled territory. The journey was treacherous. The rugged and mountainous terrain of eastern Afghanistan forced his platoon to navigate the rocky valley on foot.

Insurgents had been lying in wait and watching from the peaks above. Then they ambushed the service members who found themselves trapped between mountain walls and under heavy fire. White sprang into action, taking aim and shooting back at the enemy with everything he had. But the situation quickly became even more dire when a rocket-propelled grenade exploded behind him, knocking him unconscious. When he came to, another grenade had detonated, leaving him covered in shrapnel.

Despite his injuries

President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor to former U.S. Army Sgt. Kyle White at the White House in Washington, May 13, 2014. White was recognized for his actions during his deployment to Afghanistan in 2007 while serving with Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Laura Buchta/Released)

Though he was covered in shrapnel, White saw that one of his comrades was lying wounded and exposed, without cover from the relentless enemy fire. With no regard for his own safety, White jumped to his feet and sprinted towards his fellow service member, dodging bullets as he went. He quickly provided first aid, using his belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. The insurgents continued their relentless assault, but White and his teammates held their ground.

The situation was bleak, and White’s radio wasn’t working, leaving him unable to call for backup. Just when all seemed lost, he heard the static of a distant radio coming from a Marine who had fallen in battle. Without hesitation, White sprinted across the valley, braving a hail of enemy fire, to retrieve the radio and make the critical call for air support and an evacuation team.

Specialist White’s bravery and quick thinking saved the lives of several service members that day. Had it not been for his heroic actions, the outcome could have been much worse.

On May 13, 2014, President Barack Obama presented White with his Medal of Honor during a special ceremony at the White House. White remained in the Army until 2011. He now works as a financial analyst in the private sector.