Medal of Honor recipient Cpl. William “Kyle” Carpenter’s town hall meeting with Marines and sailors from II Marine Expeditionary Force and subordinate commands at the Base Theater aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, June 27. During his visit to the base, Carpenter also toured the Wounded Warrior Battalion-East complex, visited with Marines from his former command 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, and had lunch with Marines from 2nd Marine Division battalions. Carpenter earned the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in November 2010 when he saved another Marine’s life by shielding him from a grenade blast during an enemy attack.
Admiral. William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, was the Commencement Speaker at The University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014.
“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.”
1. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
2. If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.
3. If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.
4. If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.
5. But if you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circuses.
6. If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.
7. So, If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.
8. If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.
9. So, if you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.
10. If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.
Remarks by Admiral McRaven
President Powers, Provost Fenves, Deans, members of the faculty, family and friends and most importantly, the class of 2014. Congratulations on your achievement.
It’s been almost 37 years to the day that I graduated from UT.
I remember a lot of things about that day.
I remember I had throbbing headache from a party the night before. I remember I had a serious girlfriend, whom I later married—that’s important to remember by the way—and I remember that I was getting commissioned in the Navy that day.
But of all the things I remember, I don’t have a clue who the commencement speaker was that evening and I certainly don’t remember anything they said.
So…acknowledging that fact—if I can’t make this commencement speech memorable—I will at least try to make it short.
The University’s slogan is,
“What starts here changes the world.”
I have to admit—I kinda like it.
“What starts here changes the world.”
Tonight there are almost 8,000 students graduating from UT.
That great paragon of analytical rigor, Ask.Com says that the average American will meet 10,000 people in their life time.
That’s a lot of folks.
But, if every one of you changed the lives of just ten people—and each one of those folks changed the lives of another ten people—just ten—then in five generations—125 years—the class of 2014 will have changed the lives of 800 million people.
800 million people—think of it—over twice the population of the United States. Go one more generation and you can change the entire population of the world—8 billion people.
If you think it’s hard to change the lives of ten people—change their lives forever—you’re wrong.
I saw it happen every day in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A young Army officer makes a decision to go left instead of right down a road in Baghdad and the ten soldiers in his squad are saved from close-in ambush.
In Kandahar province, Afghanistan, a non-commissioned officer from the Female Engagement Team senses something isn’t right and directs the infantry platoon away from a 500 pound IED, saving the lives of a dozen soldiers.
But, if you think about it, not only were these soldiers saved by the decisions of one person, but their children yet unborn—were also saved. And their children’s children—were saved.
Generations were saved by one decision—by one person.
But changing the world can happen anywhere and anyone can do it.
So, what starts here can indeed change the world, but the question is…what will the world look like after you change it?
Well, I am confident that it will look much, much better, but if you will humor this old sailor for just a moment, I have a few suggestions that may help you on your way to a better a world.
And while these lessons were learned during my time in the military, I can assure you that it matters not whether you ever served a day in uniform.
It matters not your gender, your ethnic or religious background, your orientation, or your social status.
Our struggles in this world are similar and the lessons to overcome those struggles and to move forward—changing ourselves and the world around us—will apply equally to all.
I have been a Navy SEAL for 36 years. But it all began when I left UT for Basic SEAL training in Coronado, California.
Basic SEAL training is six months of long torturous runs in the soft sand, midnight swims in the cold water off San Diego, obstacles courses, unending calisthenics, days without sleep and always being cold, wet and miserable.
It is six months of being constantly harassed by professionally trained warriors who seek to find the weak of mind and body and eliminate them from ever becoming a Navy SEAL.
But, the training also seeks to find those students who can lead in an environment of constant stress, chaos, failure and hardships.
To me basic SEAL training was a life time of challenges crammed into six months.
So, here are the ten lesson’s I learned from basic SEAL training that hopefully will be of value to you as you move forward in life.
Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Viet Nam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed.
If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack—rack—that’s Navy talk for bed.
It was a simple task—mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle hardened SEALs—but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.
If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.
By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.
If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
During SEAL training the students are broken down into boat crews. Each crew is seven students—three on each side of a small rubber boat and one coxswain to help guide the dingy.
Every day your boat crew forms up on the beach and is instructed to get through the surfzone and paddle several miles down the coast.
In the winter, the surf off San Diego can get to be 8 to 10 feet high and it is exceedingly difficult to paddle through the plunging surf unless everyone digs in.
Every paddle must be synchronized to the stroke count of the coxswain. Everyone must exert equal effort or the boat will turn against the wave and be unceremoniously tossed back on the beach.
For the boat to make it to its destination, everyone must paddle.
You can’t change the world alone—you will need some help— and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the good will of strangers and a strong coxswain to guide them.
If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.
Over a few weeks of difficult training my SEAL class which started with 150 men was down to just 35. There were now six boat crews of seven men each.
I was in the boat with the tall guys, but the best boat crew we had was made
up of the the little guys—the munchkin crew we called them—no one was over about 5-foot five.
The munchkin boat crew had one American Indian, one African American, one Polish America, one Greek American, one Italian American, and two tough kids from the mid-west.
They out paddled, out-ran, and out swam all the other boat crews.
The big men in the other boat crews would always make good natured fun of the tiny little flippers the munchkins put on their tiny little feet prior to every swim.
But somehow these little guys, from every corner of the Nation and the world, always had the last laugh— swimming faster than everyone and reaching the shore long before the rest of us.
SEAL training was a great equalizer. Nothing mattered but your will to succeed. Not your color, not your ethnic background, not your education and not your social status.
If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.
Several times a week, the instructors would line up the class and do a uniform inspection. It was exceptionally thorough.
Your hat had to be perfectly starched, your uniform immaculately pressed and your belt buckle shiny and void of any smudges.
But it seemed that no matter how much effort you put into starching your hat, or pressing your uniform or polishing your belt buckle—- it just wasn’t good enough.
The instructors would fine “something” wrong.
For failing the uniform inspection, the student had to run, fully clothed into the surfzone and then, wet from head to toe, roll around on the beach until every part of your body was covered with sand.
The effect was known as a “sugar cookie.” You stayed in that uniform the rest of the day—cold, wet and sandy.
There were many a student who just couldn’t accept the fact that all their effort was in vain. That no matter how hard they tried to get the uniform right—it was unappreciated.
Those students didn’t make it through training.
Those students didn’t understand the purpose of the drill. You were never going to succeed. You were never going to have a perfect uniform.
Sometimes no matter how well you prepare or how well you perform you still end up as a sugar cookie.
It’s just the way life is sometimes.
If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.
Every day during training you were challenged with multiple physical events—long runs, long swims, obstacle courses, hours of calisthenics—something designed to test your mettle.
Every event had standards—times you had to meet. If you failed to meet those standards your name was posted on a list and at the end of the day those on the list were invited to—a “circus.”
A circus was two hours of additional calisthenics—designed to wear you down, to break your spirit, to force you to quit.
No one wanted a circus.
A circus meant that for that day you didn’t measure up. A circus meant more fatigue—and more fatigue meant that the following day would be more difficult—and more circuses were likely.
But at some time during SEAL training, everyone—everyone—made the circus list.
But an interesting thing happened to those who were constantly on the list. Overtime those students-—who did two hours of extra calisthenics—got stronger and stronger.
The pain of the circuses built inner strength-built physical resiliency.
Life is filled with circuses.
You will fail. You will likely fail often. It will be painful. It will be discouraging. At times it will test you to your very core.
But if you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circuses.
At least twice a week, the trainees were required to run the obstacle course. The obstacle course contained 25 obstacles including a 10-foot high wall, a 30-foot cargo net, and a barbed wire crawl to name a few.
But the most challenging obstacle was the slide for life. It had a three level 30 foot tower at one end and a one level tower at the other. In between was a 200-foot long rope.
You had to climb the three tiered tower and once at the top, you grabbed the rope, swung underneath the rope and pulled yourself hand over hand until you got to the other end.
The record for the obstacle course had stood for years when my class began training in 1977.
The record seemed unbeatable, until one day, a student decided to go down the slide for life—head first.
Instead of swinging his body underneath the rope and inching his way down, he bravely mounted the TOP of the rope and thrust himself forward.
It was a dangerous move—seemingly foolish, and fraught with risk. Failure could mean injury and being dropped from the training.
Without hesitation—the student slid down the rope—perilously fast, instead of several minutes, it only took him half that time and by the end of the course he had broken the record.
If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.
During the land warfare phase of training, the students are flown out to San Clemente Island which lies off the coast of San Diego.
The waters off San Clemente are a breeding ground for the great white sharks. To pass SEAL training there are a series of long swims that must be completed. One—is the night swim.
Before the swim the instructors joyfully brief the trainees on all the species of sharks that inhabit the waters off San Clemente.
They assure you, however, that no student has ever been eaten by a shark—at least not recently.
But, you are also taught that if a shark begins to circle your position—stand your ground. Do not swim away. Do not act afraid.
And if the shark, hungry for a midnight snack, darts towards you—then summons up all your strength and punch him in the snout and he will turn and swim away.
There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim you will have to deal with them.
So, If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.
As Navy SEALs one of our jobs is to conduct underwater attacks against enemy shipping. We practiced this technique extensively during basic training.
The ship attack mission is where a pair of SEAL divers is dropped off outside an enemy harbor and then swims well over two miles—underwater—using nothing but a depth gauge and a compass to get to their target.
During the entire swim, even well below the surface there is some light that comes through. It is comforting to know that there is open water above you.
But as you approach the ship, which is tied to a pier, the light begins to fade. The steel structure of the ship blocks the moonlight—it blocks the surrounding street lamps—it blocks all ambient light.
To be successful in your mission, you have to swim under the ship and find the keel—the centerline and the deepest part of the ship.
This is your objective. But the keel is also the darkest part of the ship—where you cannot see your hand in front of your face, where the noise from the ship’s machinery is deafening and where it is easy to get disoriented and fail.
Every SEAL knows that under the keel, at the darkest moment of the mission—is the time when you must be calm, composed—when all your tactical skills, your physical power and all your inner strength must be brought to bear.
If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.
The ninth week of training is referred to as “Hell Week.” It is six days of no sleep, constant physical and mental harassment and—one special day at the Mud Flats—the Mud Flats are area between San Diego and Tijuana where the water runs off and creates the Tijuana slue’s—a swampy patch of terrain where the mud will engulf you.
It is on Wednesday of Hell Week that you
paddle down to the mud flats and spend the next 15 hours trying to survive the freezing cold mud, the howling wind and the incessant pressure to quit from the instructors.
As the sun began to set that Wednesday evening, my training class, having committed some “egregious infraction of the rules” was ordered into the mud.
The mud consumed each man till there was nothing visible but our heads. The instructors told us we could leave the mud if only five men would quit—just five men and we could get out of the oppressive cold.
Looking around the mud flat it was apparent that some students were about to give up. It was still over eight hours till the sun came up—eight more hours of bone chilling cold.
The chattering teeth and shivering moans of the trainees were so loud it was hard to hear anything and then, one voice began to echo through the night—one voice raised in song.
The song was terribly out of tune, but sung with great enthusiasm.
One voice became two and two became three and before long everyone in the class was singing.
We knew that if one man could rise above the misery then others could as well.
The instructors threatened us with more time in the mud if we kept up the singing—but the singing persisted.
And somehow—the mud seemed a little warmer, the wind a little tamer and the dawn not so far away.
If I have learned anything in my time traveling the world, it is the power of hope. The power of one person—Washington, Lincoln, King, Mandela and even a young girl from Pakistan—Malala—one person can change the world by giving people hope.
So, if you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.
Finally, in SEAL training there is a bell. A brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all the students to see.
All you have to do to quit—is ring the bell. Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at 5 o’clock. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the freezing cold swims.
Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the runs, the obstacle course, the PT—and you no longer have to endure the hardships of training.
Just ring the bell.
If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.
To the graduating class of 2014, you are moments away from graduating. Moments away from beginning your journey through life. Moments away starting to change the world—for the better.
It will not be easy.
But, YOU are the class of 2014—the class that can affect the lives of 800 million people in the next century.
Start each day with a task completed.
Find someone to help you through life.
Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up—if you do these things, then next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today and—what started here will indeed have changed the world—for the better.
Thank you very much. Hook ‘em horns.
President Obama will award Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter the Medal of Honor on June 19, 2014 in recognition of Carpenter’s heroic actions during a November 2010 grenade attack in Afghanistan.
Cpl Carpenter was assigned to Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines as a Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) gunner from September 2009 to November 2010.
He deployed to Marjah, in Helmand Province Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom during July 2010. On 21 Nov, 2010 Cpl. Carpenter suffered severe injuries to his face and right arm from the blast of an enemy hand grenade. Reports indicate that he took the grenade blast to protect his fellow Marine and will be awarded the Medal of Honor.
Cpl. Carpenter is the third Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for actions in OIF/OEF and the second living Marine recipient since Vietnam.
“Now from a distance I look back on what the Corps taught me:
To think like men of action,
And to act like men of thought!
To live life with intensity,
And a passion for excellence…”
Long time since we served together in Brigade, cruised the West Pac
Or since I drank one of your Cokes on the March up to Baghdad.
General Gray, General Conway, General Pace, General Amos, General Paxton –
Marines whose very goodness put ambition out of context.
Sergeant Major Barrett – a Marine’s Marine. Colonel Harvey Barnum who for so many
years – your valor inspired us all to be better men.
Ladies – The wonderful ladies who exemplify grace & courage
Who represent our better angels and what we fight for.
Thank all of you for coming out tonight – A night that celebrates our Corps’ values, its legacy
and its mission.
A special note of appreciation for President of the Marine Corps University Foundation
Gen Tom Draude
Valiant combat leader who brought a Vietnam Vet’s reassurance to us as we filed into
our Desert Storm attack positions
And earned our everlasting respect & affection
We have Ambassadors present,
Whom Marines have stood beside in foreign lands
And members of Congress and staffers,
To whom we owe our survival when short –sighted bureaucratic efforts challenged our existence,
combined, they remind us our Corps carries more than our own hopes forward.
General Conway & General Amos spoke about this Foundation – I’ll add a few words.
Between Commandant’s Reading List and the Marine Corps University Foundation’s enriching
the education of our warrior leaders – I have never been bewildered for long in any fight with our
enemies – I was Armed with Insight. In the worst of surprises we found our training and
education had prepared us well.
I am a very average Marine- at this podium tonight because I repeatedly was at the right place, at
the right time to gain warfighting positions. I recall a Fleet Commander asking if I could bring
Marines from the Mediterranean together with a West Coast Marine Expeditionary Unit and
strike 350 Nautical Miles into Afghanistan. I could, thanks to the Marines who went before me
My immediate response was, “Yes”!
Thanks to our Corps’ legacy of audacity
Thanks to our Marines in 1950 who brought in KC 130 aircraft.
Thanks to our Amphibs, which our Navy-Marine-Corps Team funded.
Thanks to our Marines of the 1960 -1970s who put air refueling probes on Heavy Lift
Thanks to our Marines who brought in Light Armored Vehicles in 1980.
Thanks to our Recruiters who brought in High –Quality Marines.
Thanks to our Commandant who extended boot camp and toughened it.
None of this started with me – most of the thinking was done in Quantico. And for me – so often
in the right place at the right time I have an enormous sense of gratitude for a Corps that gave me
such capability when destiny called on our Corps to fight.
Images flash through my mind– and I speak from my heart: of an Eighth & “I” parade in honor
of John Glenn who remarked that night:
He had been a Marine for 23 years…but not long enough.
That was from a man fought in WWII & Korea and was the first American to orbit the
His wingman in Korea, baseball legend Ted Williams, put it well when asked which was best
team he ever played on. Without hesitation he said, “The U.S. Marine Corps.”
On evenings like this most of us will remember the tragedy of losing comrades
Beautiful Marines whose rambunctious spirits gave us what F. Scott Fitzgerald called
“Riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart.”
And we remember them, everyone, who gave their lives so our experiment called America, could
And for us who live today…
We do so with a sense that each day is a bonus and a blessing.
To the Veterans who brought up the current generation of Marines who imbued in us the spirit
“such as Regiments hand down,”
You raised us well for our grim tasks!
During our apprenticeship you coached us and honed our skills with a sense of humor in
a tough school.
And when the time came for us to stand and deliver, we never feared the enemy. We only feared
we might somehow disappoint you.
But with good NCO’s the outcome was never in doubt,
And the NCO’s were superb, Sergeant Major Barrett
And all Marines, regardless of rank,
Stood shoulder –to-shoulder
Stood co-equal in our commitment to mission
Co-equal, from boot private to General
Smiling to one another, even as we entered Fallujah
Knowing the enemy could not stand against the Corps you Veterans honed.
Because every Marine, if he was in a tough spot – whether a bar fight, or tonight in Helmand
our fellow Marines would get to us, or die trying.
So long as our Corps fields such Marines, America has nothing to fear from tyrants, be they
Fascists, Communists or Tyrants with Medieval Ideology. For we serve in a Corps with no
institutional confusion about our purpose:
To fight well!
As we say out West where I grew up, “We ride for the brand”, and hold the line until our
country can again feel its unity.
From our first days at San Diego, Parris Island or Quantico, NCO’s bluntly explained to us that
the Corps would be:
Entirely satisfied if we gave 100%
And entirely dissatisfied if we gave 99%
And those NCOs taught us the great pleasure of doing what others thought impossible.
As General Amos summed it up so well in his Marine Birthday message: “The iron discipline &
combat excellence” of our Marines:
Marines who never let each other down, never let the Corps down, never let our country
Those are the Marines who define our Corps.
A Corps whose old-fashioned values protect a progressive country.
Marines who can do the necessary “rough work”, but without becoming evil by doing so, despite
an enemy who has opened apocalyptically the aperture for who they target, to include even
women and children.
It’s all the more important today that we hold to our precious legacy of ferocious, ethical combat
For in a world awash in change, Americans need to have confidence in the everlasting character
of our Marines
And to those Maniacs, the ones who thought that by hurting us on 9-11 that they could scare us,
we have proven that the descendants of Belleau Wood, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Chosin, Hue City &
We don’t scare
And we proved it in Fallujah & Ramadi and in the Helmand,
Where foes who had never reasoned their way into their medieval views and could not be
reasoned out – found that American Marines could fight like the dickens,
And for the enemy it proved to be their longest and worst day against us.
Now from a distance I look back on what the Corps taught me:
To think like men of action,
And to act like men of thought!
To live life with intensity,
And a passion for excellence,
Without losing compassion for mistakes made,
by hi-spirited young patriots who looked past hot political rhetoric and joined the Corps – which
taught me to be a “coach” in General LeJeune’s style,
Summoning the best from our troops
The Father to Son, Teacher to Scholar bond bringing out the vicious harmony when
together, we closed on the enemy.
We were taught that the strongest motivation we all have,
Whether an FA-18 pilot or a Huey door gunner
Whether a “cannon cocker” firing a mission or logistics Marine hurrying supplies
The motivation that binds us is our respect for and commitment to a 19 year old Lance Corporal
infantryman upon whose young shoulders our experiment called America ultimately rests….
Now this award can never be mine –
And because we are members of the same tribe,
every one of you knows what I will say next….
For I am grateful & hu
mbled to be singled out with you tonight:
An average Marine who always had good fortune to repeatedly be in the right place at the right
A “limited duty officer” as Commandant of the Marine Corps Jim Jones put it – who only knew
what to do with me when there was a fight.
But this award is truly not made to a man, to an individual,
it is made through me
For my work with those who shouldered Rucksacks,
Work that was carried forward by our Grunts,
And I will hold it in trust for those lads whose unfailing loyalty we celebrate tonight, who chose
to live life fully – more than they wanted longevity. Even when I made mistakes they saved the
And I made plenty –
Like the time I got my Battalion surrounded in open dessert, with
My mortar Platoon spilling out and
Setting up 4 tubes pointing north, and 4 tubes pointing south and, they restored the
Yes, even in a jam of my own making –
The lads’ spirit, skill and good humor carried us through when danger loomed.
So on behalf of such lads
I hold this award in trust –
For the lads who prove Hemingway was right when he said, “There was no one better to have
beside you when the chips were down than a U.S. Marine.”
For to Marines, love of liberty is not an empty phrase… Rather it’s displayed by blood, sweat
and tears for the fallen. I was humbled that our Corps allowed me to serve over four decades,
Yet as Colonel John Glenn – a fighter pilot, astronaut and Senator put it –
It wasn’t long enough –
Semper Fidelis and May God hold our lads close.
Medal of Honor recipient, Captain John McGinty was born on January 21, 1940 in Boston, Massachusetts. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve on February 19, 1957.
Between 1957 and 1965 he served in a numerous billets including: Rifleman, USMCR 7th Infantry Company, Louisville, Kentucky; Marine Barracks, U.S. Naval Station, Kodiak Alaska; Rifleman and Squad Leader, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines; Drill Instructor, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina; and Assistant Brig Warden, Marine Barracks, U.S. Naval Base, Norfolk, VA.
Captain (then Sergeant) McGinty joined the 4th Marines in Vietnam during April of 1966. While in Vietnam he served as Platoon Sergeant, Platoon Commander in K Company, 3rd Bn 4th Marines as well as billets in H&S Company 3/4 and 4th Marine Regiment. The actions for which he was later awarded the Medal of Honor occurred during Operations Hastings.
Upon returning to the U.S. he served as a Drill Instructor at Parris Island until his promotion to 2nd Lieutenant and then assumed duties immediately as a Series Officer.
On 12 March, 1968 he was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Johnson with fellow Marine Captain Robert J. Modrzejewski at the White House.
Captain McGinty retired from the Marine Corps in October 1976 and passed away on 17 January, 2014 at his home in Beaufort, South Carolina.
Medal of Honor citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Acting Platoon Leader, First Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, Third Marine Division, in the Republic of Vietnam on 18 July 1966. Second Lieutenant (then Staff Sergeant) McGinty’s platoon, which was providing rear security to protect the withdrawal of the battalion from a position which had been under attack for three days, came under heavy small arms, automatic weapons and mortar fire from an estimated enemy regiment. With each successive human wave which assaulted his thirty-two-man platoon during the four- hour battle, Second Lieutenant McGinty rallied his men to beat off the enemy. In one bitter assault, two of the squads became separated from the remainder of the platoon. With complete disregard for his safety, Second Lieutenant McGinty charged through intense automatic weapons and mortar fire to their position. Finding twenty men wounded and the medical corpsmen killed, he quickly reloaded ammunition magazines and weapons for the wounded men and directed their fire upon the enemy. Although he was painfully wounded as he moved to care for the disabled men, he continued to shout encouragement to his troops and to direct their fire so effectively that the attacking hordes were beaten off. When the enemy tried to out flank his position, he killed five of them at point-blank range with his pistol. When they again seemed on the verge of overrunning the small force, he skillfully adjusted artillery and air strikes within fifty yards of his position. This destructive fire power routed the enemy, who left an estimated 500 bodies on the battlefield. Second Lieutenant McGinty’s personal heroism, indomitable leadership, selfless devotion to duty, and bold fighting spirit inspired his men to resist the repeated attacks by a fanatical enemy, reflected great credit upon himself, and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.