Rear Adm. (ret) James Arden Barnett, Jr. (Jamie) is a native of Clinton, Miss. He attended the University of Mississippi, where he was elected student body president, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1976 and a commission through the NROTC program.
Rear Adm. Barnett was assigned as Communications Officer aboard USS Jonas Ingram (DD-938). In August 1979, Rear Adm. Barnett returned to the University of Mississippi NROTC Unit as Assistant Professor of Naval Science, teaching Naval Engineering and Naval Weapons. Leaving active duty in 1982, Rear Adm. Barnett affiliated with the Navy Reserve, attending the University of Mississippi Law School and earning his Juris Doctor in 1984. He was selected as Chairman of the Moot Court Board and was named the Dean Williams Outstanding Student.
Rear Adm. Barnett served as Commanding Officer of Naval Reserve (NR) Dewey (DDG-45) and Commanding Officer of the Memphis Readiness Unit. He transferred to NR Military Sealift Command Mideast 309 and was recalled to active duty during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and served as the Assistant Officer-in-Charge of the Military Sealift Command Office, Ad Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Rear Adm. Barnett assumed command of Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 207, Jacksonville, Fla., from October 1995 through September 1997, earning the Red “E” award. He commanded Middle East expeditionary units of the Military Sealift Command in Memphis. He served as Deputy for Mission Effectiveness Naval Reserve Readiness Command Region Four. He was Commanding Officer of NR Commander Naval Surface Group Mediterranean 105 in Pittsburgh, supporting Commander Fleet Air Mediterranean (COMFAIRMED) and Commander Task Force-63 (CTF-63).
Rear Adm. Barnett was recalled to active duty for special work in October 2001. He served 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. He served on active duty as the Director of Naval Education and Training (OPNAV N17) on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. In his final assignment, Rear Adm. Barnett served as the Deputy Commander of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.