Lieutenant Colonel Kenton Barber, a native of Petoskey, Michigan, is a distinguished military graduate of Central Michigan University, where he earned degrees in International Relations and Journalism, and a minor in Military Science. He received his commission upon graduation in May 2002.
After completion of the Field Artillery Officers Basic Course in October 2002, he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, at Camp Casey, South Korea, where he served as a Fire Direction Officer and Platoon Leader. Following his tour in Korea, he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, N.C. There he served as a Company Fire Support Officer in Bravo Company, 1-325 Airborne Infantry Regiment, as a Battery Executive Officer in Alpha Battery 2-319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, and as a Battalion Fire Support Officer in support of the 4th Brigade Combat Team. During this time, he supervised the firing of over 9,000 high-explosive artillery rounds. In 2005 he participated in search and rescue and evacuation efforts in New Orleans, Louisiana, in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita during OPERATION ALL AMERICAN ASSIST.
Upon completion of the Field Artillery Captains Career Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 2006, CPT Barber returned to Fort Bragg. Here he served as Assistant Operations Officer with the 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment. In January 2007 he deployed for 15 months in support of the Baghdad Security plan and the Iraq surge. During the surge, he transitioned and served as the Battalion Effects Coordinator with the 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment. He coordinated mortars, close air support, attack helicopters, and electronic warfare platforms in support of over 1,000 deliberate operations in direct support of mounted and dismounted infantry units. In addition, he synchronized the efforts of military units, civilian non-governmental organizations, U.S. Department of State, and Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Teams in establishing governance, essential services, and economic development within Baghdad and Sadr City, and supervised the progression of $16M in economically critical projects.
CPT Barber assumed command of Bravo Battery, 2-319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, on July 8, 2008. As the Commander of an Airborne Field Artillery Battery in the 82nd Airborne Division, his battery trained for immediate worldwide deployment within 18 hours of notification. In 2010, his battery deployed as part of OPERATION UNIFIED RESPONSE in support of earthquake humanitarian relief in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Bravo Battery was responsible for 21 camps housing more than 50,000 internally displaced Haitian citizens. In addition, the battery augmented the security efforts of United Nations Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en Haïti (MINUSTAH).
Upon completion of battery command, CPT Barber was selected as one of sixteen 2011 Active Duty Army Congressional Fellows. CPT Barber reported to Washington, D.C., in May 2010, and upon completion of a Masters of Professional Studies in Legislative Affairs from The George Washington University, CPT Barber was assigned to the House of Representatives as a principal Military Legislative Assistant to Congressman Larry Kissell (D-NC). MAJ Barber would fill this position until January 2012, when he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom serving as the Deputy Director, COMISAF Legislative Affairs. MAJ Barber then served as a principal advisor to the Chief, Army Legislative Liaison and liaison to the Office Chief of Public Affairs. In 2014, MAJ Barber returned to Korea and served as the Battalion Executive Officer for 1-15th Field Artillery Battalion, 155MM, Camp Hovey, Korea. In 2015, MAJ Barber assumed duties as the Brigade Operations Officer (S3) for 210 Field Artillery Brigade, Camp Casey, Korea. In 2016, MAJ Barber transitioned to the Joint Staff and served 24 months as the Presidential 'strike' advisor specializing in the nuclear employment plan and nuclear capability of the United States. From August of 2017 until August of 2018 MAJ Barber served as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Director of Operations, J3. During this time he would be selected to serve as the Professor of Military Science at the University of Delaware.
His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2nd Award), Meritorious Service Medal (3rd Award), Army Commendation Medal (3OLC), Army Achievement Medal (4 OLC), Joint Service Achievment Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Korean Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal (3rd Award), Army Service Ribbon, Oversea Service Medal (5th Award), NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge, the Joint Staff badge, the Army Staff badge, Army Superior Unit Award and the Valorous Unit Award (2nd Award). His foreign awards include the British, German, and Egyptian parachutist badges.
Lieutenant Colonel Barber is married to Viseth Ngauy of Silver Spring, Maryland and has a son, Morgan (21).