Military Wiki
Micheal P. Barrett
Barrett in June 2011, during his tenure as the 17th Sergeant Major of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Nickname Mike
Born April 5, 1963(1963-04-05) (age 59)
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1981–2015
Rank USMC-E9-SGMMC.svg Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
Commands held Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps

Micheal P. "Mike" Barrett (born 1963) was the 17th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps succeeding Carlton W. Kent on June 9, 2011. As the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Barrett was the highest ranking noncommissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps. However, since October 1, 2011, he had been outranked by Bryan B. Battaglia, a Marine sergeant major who serves as Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a position that outranks the senior enlisted advisors of the individual services.

Early life and education

Sergeant Major Barrett was born in 1963 and grew up in the Upstate New York town of Youngstown. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 17, on March 16, 1981, and underwent recruit training at Delta Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion Parris Island.


In November 1981, Sergeant Major Barrett completed the School of Infantry at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. He was ordered to 1st Battalion 4th Marines in Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms for duty. He attended Ranger School, and served as a rifleman, grenadier, fireteam leader, squad leader, and platoon sergeant, meritoriously promoted up to the rank of sergeant. He met his wife Susan there, marrying her in August 1984, and then transferred the same month to serve as an Inspector-Instructor for 2nd Battalion 25th Marines at New Rochelle, New York. Outside of his primary duties as an infantry instructor, he was assigned numerous support duties to include; Armorer, Nuclear Biological Chemical noncommissioned officer, and Training Chief.

In September 1987, Sergeant Major Barrett was assigned to 3rd Battalion 9th Marines at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and trained as a Scout Sniper to serve as a platoon sergeant for the unit's STA platoon. As a staff sergeant, he was deployed to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for the Gulf War, earning a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with a valor device for engaging enemy mortar positions with his Barrett M82 sniper rifle in early 1991.

He was assigned to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego as a drill instructor in April 1992, and promoted to gunnery sergeant in 1994.

In January 1995, he was transferred to Marine Corps Base Quantico to serve as the chief instructor at the Scout Sniper Instructor School, and then as the senior enlisted advisor for the Marine Security Company at Camp David and liaison with the United States Secret Service in September 1996.

Promoted to first sergeant in 1998, Sergeant Major Barrett was transferred to 3rd Battalion 4th Marines at Twentynine Palms, serving as the company first sergeant for Company I, Headquarters and Service Company, and Weapons Company.

He was then promoted to sergeant major in mid-2002, and sent to Recruiting Station Cleveland from July 2002 until May 2005.

He was transferred to and deployed to Iraq twice with 2nd Battalion 7th Marines in 2005 and 2007, earning a Bronze Star with valor device on each tour for leadership under fire.

From October 2007 to May 2009, he was stationed again in Quantico, at the Officer Candidates School.

He was then selected as the sergeant major of 1st Marine Division in June 2009, and deployed to Afghanistan as the I Marine Expeditionary Force/Regional Command Southwest sergeant major in March 2010.

On April 11, 2011, the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps General James F. Amos announced that Barrett would serve as the 17th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps.[1][2] He succeeded Carlton W. Kent on June 9, 2011, at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C.[3]

Controversy erupted on April 11, 2014 when Barrett told a Senate Armed Services Committee panel that Marines should be paid less. According to Barrett, “I truly believe it will raise discipline. You’ll have better spending habits. You won’t be so wasteful.” Barrett, the highest-ranking and highest-paid enlisted Marine apart from Battaglia, argued that overly high pay and benefits will transform the Marines into an organization of entitlement, rather than a war-fighting organization.[4]

On January 20, 2015, Commandant Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. announced that Barrett would be relieved as Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps on February 20, 2015 by Sergeant Major Ronald L. Green.[5]

Awards and decorations

Barrett has earned the following awards:[6]

United States Air Force Parachutist Badge.svg US - Presidential Service Badge.png
  Combat Distinguishing Device.pngAward star (gold).png
Gold star
Combat Distinguishing Device.png Award star (gold).pngAward star (gold).pngAward star (gold).png Award star (gold).pngAward star (gold).png
Gold star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
USMC Rifle Expert badge.png USMC Pistol Expert badge.png
Basic Parachutist Insignia Presidential Service Badge
Navy Distinguished Service Medal Legion of Merit[7] Bronze Star w/ 1 award star & Combat V
Meritorious Service Medal w/ 1 award star Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ valor device & 3 award stars Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal w/ 2 award stars Combat Action Ribbon w/ 1 award star
Joint Meritorious Unit Award w/ 1 oak leaf cluster Navy Unit Commendation w/ 2 service stars Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ 1 service star Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal w/ 10 service stars
National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star Southwest Asia Service Medal w/ 2 campaign stars Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/ 1 campaign star Iraq Campaign Medal w/ 2 campaign stars
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Korea Defense Service Medal Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 8 service stars Marine Corps Recruiting Ribbon
Marine Corps Drill Instructor Ribbon NATO Medal for Service with ISAF Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

He's not only a trained scout sniper, but a graduate of the Army Ranger School who earned two Bronze Stars with "V" device while serving in Iraq as sergeant major of 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, out of Twentynine Palms, Calif.

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

Military offices
Preceded by
Carlton W. Kent
Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
Succeeded by
Ronald L. Green

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