Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen has announced the designation of Rear Admiral Thomas J. Barrett, U.S. Coast Guard, as the Coast Guard representative on the Reserve Forces Policy Board, retroactive to June 19, 1997. Barrett currently serves as the director of Reserve and Training, U.S.C.G. Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
The 24-member board was created by Congress in 1952. Acting through the assistant secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, the board serves as the principal policy advisor to the secretary of Defense on reserve component matters. Members include the assistant secretary responsible for reserve affairs from each of the military departments, and active and reserve component general and flag officers representing all Services, including the Coast Guard.
Barrett graduated from Coast Guard Officer Candidate School, Yorktown, Va. and was commissioned in January 1969. He served first as a deck officer, including aboard the USCG Cutter Chase (WHEC718) with deployment to Vietnam. He then served on the 13th Coast Guard District staff in Seattle, Wash. Following duty in the Claims and Litigation Division, Office of Chief Counsel, and Project Staff for Outer Continental Shelf Safety, Office of Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection, Barrett reported for the first of several tours in Alaska, eventually moving up to the post of Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Support Center, home to nine commands on Kodiak Island and the largest operational Coast Guard base in the world. In 1994 he returned to Washington as Deputy Chief, Office of Personnel and Training. In May 1996 he moved to the Coast Guard Maintenance and Logistics Command Atlantic, Norfolk, Va. where he served as Deputy Commander until assuming his current post.
The admiral's civilian and military education includes a law degree from George Washington University, and graduation in residence from the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
Barrett's personal decorations include the Legion of Merit with three devices, Meritorious Service Medal with two devices, Coast Guard Commendation Medals with two devices, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and numerous other personal and unit decorations.
A native of Lynbrook, N.Y., Barrett is married to the former Sheila Walker of Syracuse, N.Y. They have four children: Torn, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army; Matt, a student at the University of Montana; Becky, a student at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Wash. and Paul, a student at Brooke Point High School, Stafford, Va.