Staff Sergeant Mark S Barnes
Staff Sergeant Mark Barnes, a 27-year-old graduate of Paulding High School, enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 2002. The Paulding native was recruited out of Marine Corps Recruiting Substation Findlay, Permanent Contact Station Van Wert, Ohio.
Upon completion of recruit training, Barnes attended the School of Infantry and earned the military occupational specialty as a TOW (Tube-launched Optically-tracked Wire-guided missile) gunner. His first assignment was as a TOW gunner for 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines. Over the course of his career he has served in a variety of roles, including combined anti-armor team section leader with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines; deploying to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on two different occasions. Staff Sgt Barnes is currently the SNCOIC of Recruiting Sub Station Cedar Rapids, Iowa.Commendation:
Staff Sergeant Barnes was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” for his heroic achievement while serving in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from July 23rd through August 31, 2006. He courageously led his section on 55 combat patrols, multiple quick reaction force missions, and was engaged by insurgent forces on seven occasions. On August 19, 2006, while in a security cordon following an improvised explosive device attack, insurgent forces attacked his section with rocket propelled grenade fire. He identified the source of fire and commanded his gunner to engage the enemy seriously wounding them. On August 27, 2006, insurgent forces engaged his section with machine gun and small arms fire. Disregarding his personal safety, SSgt Barnes bravely directed effective machine gun fire into the enemy position while he adjusted 81mm mortar fire mission onto the target, eliminating the threat. On August 30, 2006, while patrolling in support of Operation Rubicon, insurgent forces attacked and destroyed his lead vehicle with two anti-tank mines. Again with complete disregard for his own safety, SSgt Barnes ran to the burning vehicle to assist injured Marines, crawling into it as it burned to retrieve a Marine who was mortally wounded by the blast. He was forced from the vehicle as ammunition began to explode from the intense fire.
By his zealous initiative, courageous actions, and exceptional dedication to duty, SSgt Barnes reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and United States Naval Service.
Note: Adobe Reader may be required to view PDF documents. Download the Free Adobe Reader.