Command Sgt. Maj. William J. Carter was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. He graduated from Bethel High School in Hampton, Virginia. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in March 2002 as an Infantry Mortarman, where he attended Basic Training at Bravo Co 1-19 INF in Fort Benning, Georgia.
Carter was assigned to Alpha Co 3-187 "Rakkasans" in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and deployed for the invasion of Iraq from February 2003 to February 2004, serving in positions such as Assistant Gunner and Gunner. He was then assigned to HHC 1-9 INF "Manchu" in March 2005, at Fort Carson, Colorado, joining HHC 1-9 INF in Iraq from May 2005 to July 2005, serving as a Team Leader. Upon returning to Fort Carson, the unit reflagged to 3-61 CAV. He was reassigned to Alpha Troop as the Section Sergeant, deploying with them in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from October 2006 to December 2007.
He entered Army Recruiting Command in October 2008 as a Detailed Recruiter in Beckley Recruiting Battalion and served in the Norfolk Recruiting Company until his reclassification to MOS 79R in November 2012. He was assigned as a Center Leader in San Antonio Recruiting Battalion from April 2013 to April 2016, then assigned as the Center Leader for the Santa Clarita Recruiting Center in Los Angeles Recruiting Battalion from April 2016 to July 2017. From July 2017 to August 2020, he served as the First Sergeant for The Greater Kansas City Recruiting Company in Kansas City Recruiting Battalion. Carter attended the Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas, in 2020 and then served as the operations sergeant major for Baltimore Recruiting Battalion until May 2022.
Carter's military education includes Basic Combat Training, Warriors Leader Course, Infantry Mortar Leader Course, Advanced Leader Course, Army Basic Recruiter Course, Station Commander Course, Senior Leader Course, and the Recruiting Company Commander and First Sergeant Course. CSM Carter earned his bachelor's degree in business management from Trident University International (Magna Cum Laude). and he holds a master’s degree in human resource management from Trident University International (Summa Cum Laude).
Carter's awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal Army (2nd award), Army Commendation Medal (6th award), Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation, Navy Unit Citation, Army Achievement Medal (6th award), Army Good Conduct Medal (6th award), National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (numeral 3), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon (numeral 2), Gold Recruiting Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Drivers Badge, and Expert Marksmanship Badge.