Retired SgtMaj. Otis Barker Final Extract April 7, 2010 Alpha Co. 1stSgt 1st Recon Bn. 67/69
SgtMaj. Otis Barker
The Passing of a Legend-Sergeant Major Otis Barker
Anyone who served in A Company, 1st Recon Battalion in 1967-1969 has enduring memories of 1st Sergeant Otis Barker. Top Barker was a short, powerful, profane and thoroughly professional Staff Non-Commissioned Officer, whose service in World War II, Korea, Lebanon and Vietnam earned him a Silver Star, Bronze Star and five Purple Hearts. Top Barker ran Alpha Company. He knew it and so did everyone else. No one messed with the Top. Most of Alpha Company went out of their way to stay off Top Barker’s radar screen and hoped that they didn't screw up. The Top knew everything that was going on, and he didn't seem to have much of a sense of humor. If you got on the wrong side of the Top, you were likely to be off to the grunts. Leading Company PT, his one arm pullups, running the Company in formation to Freedom Hill and back, adding your name to Charlie’s Hunting Club, riding with a team to a hot LZ and one of his ass chewings are memories of Top Barker that stay with you forever. Does one marine make a difference? You Bet! Top Barker may have been 5'5", but to his Marines, the Top was a giant of the Corps. Top Barker’s legacy is the many young Marines and Corpsmen, now grown gray and out of shape, that learned, through his example, that they could be better men than they ever imagined. Rest in Peace Top!
FAYETTEVILLE — Retired Sgt. Maj. Otis Barker, 83, of Fayetteville died April 7, 2010. He was born Aug. 6, 1926, at Seth, W.Va., to the late Lloyd and Pearl Barker. He married Karen Toombs Barker. He retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after 32 years and as a correctional officer with South Central Regional Jail in Charleston. In the U.S. Marine Corps he served in WWII, Korea, Lebanon and Vietnam. He received the Silver Star, Bronze Star and five Purple Hearts (Cross of Gallantry).
Tributes from those who served with Top Barker Click Here