Speaker Bio:
John Barnes



Speaking Topics:

Remembrance, Cold War, Afghanistan, United Nations, Careers, Military History, Peacekeeping

CWO (Ret) John Barnes was born in the great province of Newfoundland in 1962. He joined the Canadian Forces in July 1981 at the ripe old age of 19. He completed his basic training in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia and then made his way to London, Ontario, where he completed his basic Infantry training within 1 RCR. On completion of his basic course, he remained as a Rifleman in 1 RCR until a year later when he requested and was posted to 3 RCR in Baden Germany where he remained on the front lines of the Cold War until 3 RCR moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1984. While in Winnipeg he completed his Infantry Section Commanders Course as a Pte in the PPCLI Battle School in Wainwright, Alberta. He was appointed as a MCpl in 1985. In 1988, he returned with 3 RCR to Baden Germany and was quickly promoted to the rank of Sgt. He remained in Germany until 1992 when he was posted to 2 Bde HQ and Signals Sqn in Petawawa as the Ops and Training Sgt. In 1996, he was posted down the road to 1 RCR where he was promoted to the rank of Warrant Officer. He remained in 1 RCR until accepting a posting to Land Force Central Area Training Center in Meaford, Ontario. He spent four years there running basic Infantry Course as well as setting up and running the new Soldier Qualification Course. WO Barnes was posted back to 1 RCR again in 2003 and shortly thereafter, was promoted to the rank of Master Warrant Officer and became the Company Sergeant Major for Charles Company. In 2007 he was posted to 3 RCR as the Battalion Drill Sergeant Major where he remained until 2009 when he was posted to LFDTS in Kingston, Ontario as the Headquarters Sergeant Major. MWO Barnes was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer in March 2010 and posted to JTF X as the RSM.In 2013, CWO Barnes was selected to be the first ever non-Military Policeman to be the Military Police Group Chief and was posted to their HQ in Ottawa. In 2016, he was posted to Canadian Army Headquarters in Ottawa as the Army representative for the care of ill and injured soldiers. CWO Barnes retired on 14 July 2017 after 36 years of loyal and dedicated service to Canada.

CWO Barnes has served in operations in Cyprus, the Gulf War, Croatia, Bosnia and Afghanistan and has been awarded the Sacrifice Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and is a Member of Military Merit. He has been married to his wife Julie for 27 years and has two children John and Jana and a grandson on the way.

The Memory Project includes a community of over 1,500 veterans and Canadian Forces members who are committed to sharing their stories of service.

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