Based: East Coast-based Navy SEAL
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: December 11, 2007
High School: Fallbrook High (Fallbrook)
Burial: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.
[Mark T. Carter] knew exactly what he wanted to do when he joined the Navy after graduating from Fallbrook High School in 1998. He wanted to be a Navy SEAL.
The son of a doctor, Carter graduated from boot camp at Great Lakes, Ill., and then Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, Calif. More than half of SEAL students drop out, but not Carter, a stocky 5-foot-5 and outdoor athlete who loved physical challenges.
Once he was in the SEALs, his rise through the ranks was swift. He deployed during the U.S. campaign to topple the Taliban in Afghanistan and then during the early stages of the U.S. mission in Iraq.
His fellow SEALs gave him the nickname Badger after the small but ferocious animal. The name was bestowed after Carter beat a 6-foot-5 opponent in a wrestling match.
The facts behind his death and earlier service in Afghanistan and Iraq may never be fully known. Like other special forces units, the SEALs keep a tight hold on their identities and the facts behind their missions. His parents, Cindy and Dr. Thomas Carter, now of Council Bluffs, Iowa, have declined to speak to the media.
Although SEALs do multiple tasks, one of Carter's specialties was keeping team members in radio contact during missions. When team members cannot communicate with each other, high-risk missions can go awry.
"Without a good comm guy, you can't complete a mission," said Petty Officer 1st Class Steve Otten, who teaches at the SEALs school and will soon leave active duty. "Next to the officer in charge, the comm guy is probably the most important. Mark was one of the best."
Read the whole LA Times article about Navy Chief Petty Officer Mark T. Carter here
and find more at the Arlington Cemetary site
and at Military Times
and visit Navy Seal Carter's Guest Book here.