CAPT Donald H. Barrett (US Navy, Retired)
Donald Barrett a 1966 graduate of Tyrone High, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Juniata College. Shortly after graduation, he attended Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida, and was commissioned an Ensign in February 1971.
His first assignment was as the intelligence officer with an aircraft patrol squadron, VP‑46, at Naval Air Station Moffett Field, Sunnyvale, California. Ensign Barrett saw anti-submarine warfare and ocean surveillance duty in Japan, South Korea, Midway Island, Guam, the Philippine Islands, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Diego Garcia and Bandar Abbas, Iran from 1971-1974. He completed the nine‑month Defense Intelligence School curriculum in 1975, and then began a three‑year assignment at the Pentagon as a Defense Intelligence Agency Middle East geo‑political analyst.
In 1978 Lieutenant Barrett transferred to the Navy Field Operational Intelligence Office, Suitland, Maryland, to conduct special program analysis. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and returned to sea duty in August 1980 to serve as the Assistant Intelligence Officer on the staff of Carrier Group Two, forward deployed to Naples, Italy. During that two-year tour, Don served aboard five aircraft carriers and made port calls to nearly every country on the Mediterranean littoral. Naval action while serving aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) involved the August 19, 1981 shoot down of two Libyan SU-22 (FITTER) fighter-bombers by a section of F-14 Tomcats over the Gulf of Sitra, and an emergency sortie from Venice, Italy in response to the 6 October 1981 assassination of Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat.
From 1982 to 1989 he completed three tours in Hawaii: (1) USCINCPAC command briefing team at the Intelligence Center, Pacific, Camp Smith; (2) Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence for Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, Pearl Harbor; and finally as the intelligence production manager, Fleet Intelligence Center, Pacific, Makalapa. After 6.5 years of fabulous living on the windward side of Oahu, Don and family set sail for San Diego, California, where in August 1989 he became the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence for Commander, Carrier Group One. Action on that tour did not happen until 2 August 1990 when Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait and President George Bush diverted the USS Independence Battle Group from the southern Indian Ocean to the Persian Gulf. Along with some 7,000 sailors, Don steamed into the Persian Gulf to participate in Operation Desert Shield and prepare for Operation Desert Storm. He found heartfelt (and comic) relief during three very intense months reading and responding to letters written to Commander Barrett by Tyrone hometown kids studying current events in Mr. Don Friday’s Logan Elementary 6th grade.
He reported from that assignment in October of 1991 to the Navy Research and Development Center at Point Loma, San Diego, as the senior Naval Intelligence Officer and was promoted to Captain. He remained in San Diego to become the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Commander Naval Surface Forces Pacific Fleet.
Don returned to Washington D.C. to become the Deputy Director of Human Resources, Office of Naval Intelligence, from Oct 1994 to June 1998. He also served as the Executive Officer. Don’s final tour was at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), located in Mons, Belgium, where he served as the Intelligence Division Branch Chief for Collection Management and Dissemination. During that tour he supported General Wesley Clark’s SHAPE multi-national staff in the execution of Operation Allied Force (Kosovo Conflict). For his last two years at SHAPE, CAPT Barrett was the Senior U.S. Naval Officer, SHAPE, and the Chief, User Domain Branch, Communications and Information Systems Division.
CAPT Barrett’s personal military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (one gold star), Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Navy Commendation Medal (four gold stars).
Captain Barrett retired in July 2001 after 30 years service as an Intelligence Office in the United States Navy.
Don is a full time defense consultant with Booz, Allen, Hamilton, Inc., San Diego, California. He also serves as the Committee Chair for Boy Scout Troop 648. He resides in San Diego, California.
Don is the son of Dorothy and the late Donald “Dickie” Barrett of Tyrone. He is married to the former Judith A. Grebe, also of Tyrone. They have four children – Kimberly (Captain, US Army, Medical Corps), Mollie, Ashley and Christopher.