ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR 2019
RETIRED SGT. MAJOR JOSEPH LEWIS BARNES
The Boggs Academy National Alumni Association gives special recognition to our schoolmate, Retired Sgt. Major Joseph L. Barnes of the class of 1968. This special tribute is being given to a person who is selfless, unassuming, loyal, full of integrity, and kind-hearted. Joseph Lewis Barnes rarely takes credit for the many amazing acts of kindness that he showers upon this organization, alumni and his community.
His unique style of communicating is very impressive and different. He possesses a “wow” factor by adding humor with an extra edge of serious growl. Beyond that gruff stone-faced, intimidating exterior, our Alumnus of the Year is absolutely the BEST person that you could ever meet and get to know as a friend.
Equally as amazing is the level of commitment and dedication he has given to the BANAA. Joe (as he is lovingly known) served on the board of directors for years, and held positions on various committees as well. He was one of the first members on the 2013 Museum Committee and worked closely to establish our alumni museum room on-campus. Currently, Joe is serving as Co-chairman of the Membership Committee where he spends numerous hours working on association spreadsheets, inputting identification data and connecting it to other parts of the association. In addition, he sends out certificates to the entire annual membership and absorbs all costs for this task as well as many others.
Joe is truly a FRIEND to the Scholarship Committee. He supports the sale of red tickets for our 50/50 Raffle as well as the scholarship basket auction. He secretly purchases many theme filled baskets by outbidding all the other alumni combined. He then gives many of the baskets away to persons who may not have been able to bid on them - an ongoing act of kindness that is so typical of him.
Our “Unsung Hero” has chaired two reunions- and continues to work diligently to support the Boggs Rural Life and its activities and events whenever it is possible. He supports the BRLC Cultural Library and assists administrators wherever needed.
Although he served as parliamentarian while on the board of directors - he continues to serve in that capacity as needed at reunion meetings which he attends on a regular basis. Joe loves Boggs Academy.
Raised in rural Burke County, Gough, GA to be specific, Joe attended Burke County Schools. He was nurtured by a loving and devoted family and mother, Mrs. Rosa Barnes, all of who played a major part in rearing him.
Retired Sergeant Major Joseph L. Barnes Boggs Academy College Prep- 1964-1968
Joe entered Boggs Academy in 1964 as an eighth-grader at the insistence of his great aunts who had attended Boggs and served as Board Trustees. His mother had attended Boggs as well. At first he was happy to go to Boggs, but thought there were too many rules. Later in life he realized that it was the Boggs discipline techniques that ultimately prepared him for his life’s career in the U. S. Army. And he feels Boggs is a major part of why he has had such a successful career over his lifetime. After graduating from Boggs Academy in 1968 Joe matriculated at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Following his time at Stillman, he embarked on an illustrious thirty-year military career serving in the Army. He served in many positions and ultimately achieved the highest rank for an enlisted officer- that of SERGEANT MAJOR.
Joe attended the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy, in El Paso Texas, and continues to be an active member of the Sergeant Major Association today.
Serving nationwide, Joe was based in Dover, Delaware; Fort Stewart, GA; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Gordon, GA; and multiple times in Alaska. He also had many overseas tours of duty in Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. After retiring from the military service in 2004, his knowledge and experience led him into a second career of working for the Department of Defense at Fort Gordon, Georgia for several more years.
His love for Boggs Academy is evident. It can be seen through his tireless, long term, consistent, ongoing service to BANAA, BRLC, and The Central Savannah River Area Chapter, (CSRA) of which Joe has served as president, reunion chairman and is a longtime member of the BANAA and the CSRA. He also serves on committees for all of these Boggs related groups.
He has touched the lives of so many, especially those of his 1968 classmates. They are witnesses that he will literally give you the shirt off of his back if you are in need. They and many others have found him to be extremely reliable, genuine, truthful, loyal and sincere.
Retired Sergeant Major Joseph Lewis Barnes has tirelessly worked very hard contributing to the betterment and advancement of the legacy of Boggs Academy and it is because of alums such as himself, that this year the BANAA will celebrate its thirty-third year of existence.
To Joe and his lovely wife, Susie Williams Barnes; children Angela & Eric, to whom he is eternally devoted; and to the “apple of his eye” grandson, Kyrie… We the Boggs Academy National Alumni Association send you God’s deepest blessings many times over. And may He grant special graces to you so much that the rest of your life will be the shrine of peace, love, faith and great health.
THANK YOU for loving us, and know that we love you back!!!!
WE ARE ALWAYS APPRECIATIVE…