Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Williamson, Navy Recruiting Command

 

ST. LOUIS – From rescuing people involved in various life-threatening incidents to saving his shipmates lives, Chief Master-at-Arms Michael Barron has made it a point to protect, serve and save as many people as he can.

Barron, who is currently assigned to Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Mid America as an assessor at Navy Recruiting Station West County, MO, started his life of service in the Marine Corps as an infantryman.

“I was a young kid coming straight out of high school,” said Barron. “My best friend was joining the Marine Corps and told me all about it. It seemed like a good place to start so I enlisted with him.”

After serving with the Marines for four years, he decided he would take a different path. So, he became a police officer in the St. Louis area as a patrolman in 1999.

“Being a police officer was always a goal of mine,” said Barron. “When I came home from the Marine Corps, I wanted to continue to serve my community and the best way to do that was by being a police officer.”

In 2004, after a few years as a patrolman, Barron felt a familiar call to military service. Only this time, instead of going back to the Marines, he decided he would enlist in the U.S. Navy reserves.

“I wanted to keep serving my country,” said Barron. “So, in keeping with being a police officer, I became a Master-at-Arms,” said Barron.

As a reservist, Barron was able to retain his civilian job while still serving in the Navy.

In 2005, while Barron was conducting his police officer duties, he received a call from dispatch that a woman was going to attempt suicide by jumping off a building. Responding to the call, Barron immediately headed to her residence. As he arrived, she was already climbing onto a balcony on the second story of her apartment complex. Barron immediately got out of his patrol car, ran up the stairs and kicked down her door. As the door flew open, Barron charged inside, witnessing the woman begin to leap off the balcony. With a burst of speed, Barron lunged forward and was able to grab her arm and pull her back inside.

Shortly after that incident, Barron wanted to make a change to his civilian career. After being a patrolman for six years, he decided he would continue to serve, this time as a detective.

“A lot of what happened that night at the apartment building on the balcony influenced my decision to become a detective,” said Barron. “I think that a lot of my strengths, like talking to people and solving problems, would make me a good detective. The end result is what makes being a detective worth it though. By investigating cases, seeing them from beginning to end, I’m able to provide victims with closure.”

Switching gears from his civilian career to his Navy career, Barron has been assigned to some of the most challenging yet rewarding billets. From maritime expeditionary security squadrons to coastal riverine squadrons and groups, Barron has had to act quickly and think under pressure in order to save not only his life, but the lives of his shipmates.

For example, during a deployment to the Middle East in 2012, Barron was conducting routine security rounds while in his patrol boat. Without a moment’s hesitation, Barron’s extensive military and police training kicked in when he had to make a lifesaving decision involving his security team.

“I can’t say much about the incident,” said Barron. “All I can really say is that I helped prevent an improvised explosive device from destroying a high value asset and killing my team members.”

Returning back stateside, Barron continued his detective duties. But being a detective wasn’t always about solving cases.

In late 2016, Barron decided to help out one of his patrol division friends by covering his shift so his friend could spend time with his family during the holidays. While out on patrol, Barron received a call that a man was unresponsive after having a heart attack. When he arrived on scene, Barron discovered the man had no pulse. Barron immediately performed CPR and was able to resuscitate his heart. The man was taken to a hospital shortly after in critical, but stable condition. The man later made a full recovery.

Because of his efforts, Barron saved that man’s life and ended up receiving a departmental commendation from his police department. The third paragraph of the citation states:

“[Barron’s] quick response, dedication and perseverance resulted in the direct save of a human life. Just as importantly, a man who is both a husband and a father has a chance to live and support his family. Fire paramedics advised that without your immediate response and treatment of the patient, he would not have survived.”

Not long after that incident, Barron received orders to be a recruiter at NTAG Mid America. It was here that Barron would have to use his lifesaving knowledge and skills yet again.

In 2017, as he and a group of chiefs were traveling down an interstate in Missouri, Barron noticed a major car accident had just occurred on the road.

“I knew I had to help so we stopped, jumped out of our vehicle and rushed over to the scene,” said Barron. “It wasn’t good… a tractor trailer had run over the top of a car.”

As the other chiefs provided first aid to a man and two children who were in the car, he was able to pull an unconscious woman from the vehicle and sustain her.

“She had several broken bones and was covered in blood,” said Barron. “We were able to safely keep her breathing until emergency services arrived.”

Because of his quick thinking and heroic actions in these types of incidents, he was recognized as FOX 2 Now St. Louis’ “Proud to Serve” recipient.

During a live interview at FOX 2 Now’s news studio, Barron was asked how all of his lifesaving experiences made him feel.

“It’s hard to put into words honestly,” said Barron. “Every chance I’m able to help individuals, I would consider it life fulfilling.”

Barron’s wife, Sara, submitted the Proud to Serve nomination. Within it, she wrote the following:

“He goes above and beyond every day. He selflessly gives his time, advice, attention and heart to others all the time. There isn't a phone call he doesn't answer, there isn't a person he would turn away, and there isn't a situation he can't handle. He always sees the positive in everything and everyone. The amount of people I have personally witnessed him help is unbelievable. He is that person who would give someone the shirt off his own back. He has been recognized and has received several awards for his quick thinking and lifesaving skills in both the military and as a police officer. He wouldn't call himself a hero, but we, his family, do. He will always be our hero.”

To this day, Barron continues to serve as both a detective and U.S. Navy Sailor.

 


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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)