By Carlos Padilla
Shortly after graduating from Hot Springs High School, Sean Barnes enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, and in the three short years he’s been a Marine, Barnes has climbed through the ranks at an impressive rate.
In fact, over this past weekend, Lance Corporal Barnes, having spent the last two weeks on leave in Truth or Consequences, made his way to Quantico, Va., to begin working towards his next goal – being assigned to the Presidential Squadron, the elite members of the USMC to accompany the President of the United States.
Lance Corporal Barnes has undergone a background check and has cleared the highest military clearance as part of the lengthy process to become part of HMS 1 – 1st Marines Squadron, which comprises the helicopters that transport the President from place to place.
The entire process, says Barnes, takes three to 10 months, and began with prescreening while he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Lance Corporal Barnes will find out in the months ahead if he makes the cut.
Barnes, at 22 years old, has amassed an incredible amount of accomplishments and commendations as a member of the United States Marine Corps. In Okinawa the past two years, Lance Corporal Barnes has trained personnel on ground support equipment and has been a part of the Marine Aerial Refueler Squadron, which fly all over the Pacific as in-air refuelers, transporting troops and cargo. Barnes also became a Certified SCUBA diver at a depth of 30 meters.
Lance Corporal Barnes is also the lowest ranking enlisted member of the USMC to earn recognition in inspections that test every squadron in the Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy. Of the more than 400 Marines in his unit, Barnes was among the just six Marines to receive this recognition.
“I plan on making the military a career,” Barnes told The Herald last week, as he was preparing to make the 2,000-mile drive to Virginia.