SMMC Barrett_Bio Page


Michael P. Barrett – 17th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps (retired)

Micheal P. Barrett served as the 17th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps from June 9, 2011, to February 20, 2015.

Born and raised in Youngstown, New York, he enlisted in the Marine Corps in March 1981 and underwent recruit training at 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, Delta Company at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. In November 1981, Barrett completed Infantry Training School at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

He was then ordered for duty to 1st Battalion, 4th Marines in Twentynine Palms, California, and served in a variety of billets from grenadier to platoon sergeant. Barrett was transferred in 1984 to inspector/instructor duty with 2nd Battalion, 25th Marines in New Rochelle, New York. His next assignment was to 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, where he assumed the responsibilities as platoon sergeant of the Surveillance Target Acquisition Platoon. He forward deployed during the Gulf War with Task Force Papa Bear.

In 1992, Barrett received orders to Drill Instructor School, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. Upon completion, he was assigned to Company F, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion as a drill instructor, senior drill instructor, and chief drill instructor. In 1994, he was selected as the battalion drill master of 2nd Recruit Training Battalion. In 1995, he was assigned to Scout Sniper Instructor School, Quantico, Virginia, as the chief instructor. In 1996, he was transferred to Marine Security Company, Camp David, for duties as the company gunnery sergeant and liaison to the United States Secret Service.

Upon completion of his tour at Camp David, Barrett was transferred to 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines in Twentynine Palms, where he assumed the duties as India Company first sergeant from 1998 until 2000. Barrett was assigned to Headquarters and Service Company in 2000; his tour culminated as the senior enlisted leader of Weapons Company from 2001 to 2002. Barrett was later assigned to Recruiting Station Cleveland, Ohio, as the recruiting station sergeant major from 2002 through 2005.

He was transferred to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines in 2005, where he completed two combat deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Al Anbar Province, Iraq. From 2007 to 2009, Barrett was assigned to Officer Candidates School in Quantico. He was selected as the 1st Marine Division sergeant major, assumed the duties as I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) sergeant major, and deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom in 2010. During this deployment, he also became the NATO Regional Command (Southwest) command sergeant major for Nimruz and Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

During his tenure as Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Barrett was a driving force in implementing the new Marine Combat Instructor Ribbon and new PME requirements for enlisted Marines.

Barrett is a graduate of 23 military schools and advanced courses, including the USMC Scout Sniper Instructor School and the U.S. Army Ranger School. His personal awards include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals with combat “V” and gold star, Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat “V” and three gold stars, Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars, Combat Action Ribbon with gold star, and the Presidential Service Badge.

Barrett currently serves as a military advisor to Veterans United Home Loans (VUHL) and sits on the board of directors for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and Young Marine National Foundation. He also volunteers for the Marine Corps League, a Veterans Service Organization, and the Armed Services YMCA.

He and his wife, Susan, have two sons and live in Bloomington, Indiana.