It is with deepest sympathy that I announce the death of Major Rocco Martin Barnes, age 51, on 4 June 2009 in Afghanistan, due to a vehicle rollover. Major Barnes is survived by his mother, Grace C. Barnes-Filo; Father, Harold K. Barnes; and sisters, Theresa and Jennifer Barnes.
Major Barnes was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on 9 April 1958. He moved to Florida and enlisted in the United States Army Delayed Entry Program as an E-1 on 20 January 1978. In April of 1981, Sergeant Barnes, transferred to the United States Army Reserve (Reinforcement), and in September of that year, transferred to the United States Army Reserve Troop Program Unit. On 6 February 1982, Sergeant Barnes enlisted in the Florida Army National Guard, and on 12 August 1989, Sergeant First Class Barnes received his commission as a Second Lieutenant.
In April of 1990, Second Lieutenant Banes was ordered to Active Duty under Title 32 USC, State Controlled. In November of 1991 he was released from Active Duty and returned to Army National Guard Unit Member status. On 11 August 1992, Second Lieutenant Barnes was promoted to First Lieutenant. On 25 March 1999 he moved to California and enlisted in Company A (-), Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, California Army National Guard and was promoted to Captain. In August of 2002, Captain Barnes was mobilized in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and was released from Active Duty on 4 July 2003. In October of 2004, Captain Barnes was mobilized again, but this time in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On 9 March 2005, Captain Barnes was transferred to the Tactical Command Post, 40th Infantry Division, as the Operations Officer and on 28 March 2005 he was promoted to Major. On 31 March 2005 Major Barnes was attached to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 40th Infantry Division and in May of 2006 he was released from active duty. In October of 2006, MAJ Barnes was attached to the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 40th Infantry DIVARTY, and in July of 2008 he was relieved from attachment and reassigned to the Tactical Command Post 3 as the Information Operations Officer. On 20 August 2008 Major Barnes was mobilized for Operation Enduring Freedom in support of the United States Marine Corps.
Major Barnes’ awards and decorations include the Bronze Star (3rd Award), Meritorious Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award), National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global war on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with “M” Device), NCO Professional Development Ribbon (3rd Award), Army Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon, California Medal of Merit, Special Forces Tab, Parachute Badge and Air Assault Badge.