RADM James A. Barnett, USN (Ret.)
Rear Admiral (RADM) James Arden Barnett, Jr. (Jamie) is a native of Clinton, MS. A 1976 graduate of the University of Mississippi, he earned a commission to the U.S. Navy through the university’s NROTC program. After a three year assignment as Communications Officer on the USS Jonas Ingram, he returned to the University of Mississippi as an Assistant Professor of Naval Science. In 1982, Barnett, serving in the Naval Reserves, began pursuing his law degree, also at the University of Mississippi. He was named the Dean Williams Outstanding Student and was selected as the Chairman of the Moot Court Board.
After law school, RADM Barnett went on to serve as the Commanding Officer of both, the Naval Reserve Dewey (DDG-45) and the Memphis Readiness Unit. After transferring to Naval Reserve Military Sealift Command Mideast 309, he returned to active duty to serve as Assistant Officer in Charge of the Military Sealift Command Officer, Saudi Arabia, during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
For two years starting in October 1995, RADM Barnett assumed command of Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 207, Jacksonville, FL. Among other assignments, he commanded Middle East expeditionary units of the Military Sealift Command in Memphis, served as Deputy for Mission Effectiveness Naval Reserve Readiness Command Region Four and was Commanding Officer of Naval Reserve Commander Naval Surface Group Mediterranean 105 in Pittsburgh, supporting Commander Fleet Air Mediterranean (COMFAIRMED) and Commander Task Force-63 (CTF-63).
In October 2001, RADM Barnett was recalled to active duty serving one year on Task Force Excel in Washington, D.C. as Project Manager of the Personal Development Vector. He was chosen as the first Commanding Officer of the new Center for Personal Development in Dam Neck, VA and served on active duty as the Director of Naval Education and Training (OPNAV N17) on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. RADM Barnett left the U.S. Navy in 2008 after 32 years of service.
Separate from his Naval Officer duties, RADM Barnett was also a senior partner at Mitchell, McNutt and Sams, P.A. from 1984 to 2001. Currently, he serves as the Chief of the Commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission responsible for overseeing FCC activities pertaining to public safety, homeland security, emergency management and disaster preparedness. He joined the SLDN Board of Directors in March 2012 and lives in Arlington, VA with his wife Celia.