Capt. Stephen D. Barnett is a native of Columbia, Tennessee. He is an alumnus of Tennessee State University, where he received his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, and Troy State University where he earned his Master of Business Administration. He earned his commission at Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1991.
Barnett reported to Patrol Squadron (VP) 46 stationed at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island as a naval flight officer. He has also served as the operations department admin officer on USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), and served as a department head for VP-5 stationed at NAS Jacksonville. As the commanding officer of VP-47 stationed at Kaneohe, Hawaii, he led the squadron on a simultaneous deployment to Japan and Iraq, executing more than 250 missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During his tour, the squadron completed more than 950 sorties comprising 5,000 hours.
Ashore, Barnett served as a detailer at the Bureau of Naval Personnel, directing the assignments of more than 1,000 naval aviators. He was an instructor naval flight officer for VP-30 stationed at NAS Jacksonville. He worked for the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the assistant Joint Requirements Oversight Council Secretariat, assisting in the evaluation and development of joint force requirements. As senior program analyst for OPNAV N80, he monitored naval aviation’s $137 billion annual budget. He has served as the deputy executive assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations and as the deputy director of the Resource Management Division for the Chief of Naval Operations (Manpower Personnel, Training, and Education). Barnett served as the commanding officer of Naval Base Coronado, California, and later as chief of staff for Commander, Navy Region Southeast. He assumed his current position as chief of staff of Commander, Navy Installations Command, in May 2018.
With more than 2,300 flight hours in three different types of Navy and Air Force aircraft, Barnett holds many shipboard and aircraft qualifications. He has been awarded the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Joint Commendation Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), and various other personal and unit awards.