Colonel Robert M. Barnhart Jr. is a native of the U.S. Territory of Guam. He graduated from Oceanview High School (Hagat, Guam), attended the University of Guam (Mangilao, Guam), graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Idaho, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1999.
Colonel Barnhart Jr.'s operational assignments include Rifle Platoon Commander, Weapons Platoon Commander, Company B and Executive Officer, Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines with deployments to Okinawa, Japan (2001), Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (JTF-160, 2002), and Operation Iraqi Freedom I (2003). In October 2003, he was selected to the supplementary MOS program and was assigned to the Production and Analysis Company, 2d Intelligence Battalion for intelligence officer training and graduated the MAGTF Intelligence Officer Course (MIOC) Damneck, VA (March 2004). In April 2004, he was assigned to 3rd Marine Regiment as the Assistant Intelligence Officer and deployed as the Executive Officer/Support Center OIC, JSOTF-Philippines, SOCPAC (04-05). In April 2005, he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines as the Battalion Intelligence Officer and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan (2006). In September 2007, he was assigned again to 1st Battalion, 2d Marines as Company Commander, Weapons Company (Mobile Assault Company) and Battalion Operations Officer with deployments to Operation Iraqi Freedom (08-09) and Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan (2010). In July 2014, he was assigned to 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Okinawa, Japan as the Plans Officer conducting multiple exercises throughout the Indo-Pacific region. In July 2017, he was assigned to 23d Marine Regiment as the Operations Officer. In June 2018, he assumed command of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines with deployments to the Southwest Border (October 2018) and as the Ground Combat Element (GCE), SPMAGTF-CR-CC (2019) Operation Inherent Resolve. In January 2020, he was assigned as the Executive Officer, 7th Marine Regiment. In June 2021, he was assigned to the Deputy Directorate Current and Integrated Operations (DDCIO), J-33, Joint Staff and served as a Branch Chief Current Operations, Deputy Team Chief for the Chairman's Afghanistan Crisis Management Team, Division Chief Antiterrorism Force Protection, and Team Chief for the Chairman's Russia-Ukraine Crisis Management Team.
His supporting establishment tours include, Student Platoon Commander, Company A, Officer Candidate School, Quantico, VA (Summer 2008) and Deputy Officer-In-Charge, Infantry Battalion Team East, Tactical Training Exercise Control Group, Twentynine Palms, CA (2011-2013).
Colonel Barnhart Jr. is a graduate of The Basic School (2000), Infantry Officer Course (2000), MAGTF Intelligence Officer's Course (2004), Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School (2007), Marine Corps Command and Staff Distance Education Program (Distinguished Graduate, 2012), Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting (2014), and the Marine Corps War College (2021). He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Idaho (1999), a Master of Operational Studies, and a Master of Strategic Studies from the Marine Corps University.
His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal (w/star), Meritorious Service Medal (w/stars), Joint Service Commendation Medal (w/star), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (w/ Combat “V” and stars), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (w/star), Army Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon (w/star), and U.S. Department of State Meritorious Honor Award.