Navy Ensign Awarded for Heroism
(June 18, 2011)
U.S. Navy Ensign Sean
Barner holding his Navy and Marine Corps Medal
certificate with U.S. Navy Captain Steve Kirby
on June 14, 2011. Courtesy Photo
ATLANTA (NNS - 6/16/2011) -- A Navy officer
recently commissioned through the Naval Reserve
Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Atlanta
Consortium and recent graduate of Georgia State
University, was recognized for heroism during a
ceremony on board the Georgia Institute of
Technology (Georgia Tech) campus, June 14.
Ensign Sean Barner, from Stone Mountain,
Ga., was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal
for his actions occuring May 3, 2009, when he
intervened and stopped two armed assailants
during an attempted robbery, and then provided
immediate medical assistance by applying
tourniquets to one of the gun shot victims.
Family members and coworkers witnessed the
award presentation in the O'Keefe building's
Joint Forces auditorium at Georgia Tech.
The Atlanta Consortium is made up of schools
with NROTC units at Georgia Tech and Morehouse
University. Georgia State University is a
cross-town affiliate of the Georgia Tech unit.
The incident took place in College Park,
Ga., while Barner attended a party with five men
and four women. Two masked and armed men entered
the apartment while Barner and a friend were
outside. Upon returning to the apartment, Barner
was met by the two armed robbers who had rounded
up the men and women in the living room.
After being robbed of their personal belongings, the six men
were ordered to a back bedroom while two women were taken to
a second bedroom with one assailant while the other two
women were taken to the living room with the other
In the back bedroom, Barner and the other
five men overheard the perpetrator's plan to rape the women
and shoot all the victims.
"Knowing that this was not
a nice area of town, I brought along a firearm which I left
in my book bag," said Barner, who is licensed under the
Georgia Weapons Carry laws. "I was lucky that the room I was
locked in had my book bag and had not been searched."
Barner escaped the bedroom with his firearm and went to
the living room where he fired several shots at one of the
armed assailants causing him to flee.
went to the bedroom where two females were being held with
by the other assailant. He kicked down the door and entered
the room, shooting the assailant and causing him to flee out
That assailant was later found dead near
the apartment from gunshot wounds. One of the females was
also caught in the ensuing crossfire and received gunshot
"I'm glad I took my Marine Corps training
seriously," said Barner. "I was blessed to have the ability
to handle the situation the way I did and prevent anyone
else from getting further injured."
In 2009, Barner,
then a sophomore at Georgia State, was an active duty Marine
and member of the Atlanta Consortium and the NROTC unit at
Georgia Tech. He was attending Georgia State University as
part of the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program
(MECEP) before switching to the Navy's Seaman to Admiral
The Navy and Marine Corps medal is
one medal above the Bronze Star. It is considered the
highest non-combat medal a Sailor or Marine can be awarded.
Lt. Col. Steve Sims, Atlanta Consortium executive
officer, said Barner is a hero.
"I am very proud of
Ensign Barner," said Sims. "He is a hard worker, extremely
diligent and a huge team player in the unit. It was great
that he got to receive the medal with the victims and his
family in attendance."
Following the ceremony,
Barner's orders directed him to report to his first naval
assignment as a Surface Warfare officer aboard multipurpose
amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8).
NROTC program was established to educate and train qualified
young men and women for service as commissioned officers in
the Navy and Marine Corps. The NROTC scholarship program
fills a vital need in preparing mature young men and women
for leadership and management positions in an increasingly
technical Navy and Marine Corps.
Michael F. Miller
Naval Service Training Command Public Affairs
Navy News Service
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