Students & Alumni

Alumnus Dr. Richard Barnes awarded President’s Volunteer Service Award

MAJ (MD) Richard P. Barnes, Ph.D.MAJ (MD) Richard P. Barnes, Ph.D., a former IWP student, was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) on Saturday, April 9 at the annual Muster of the Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) – the state guard that supports the National Guard primarily for disaster relief and recovery – at Camp Fretterd, Maryland.

Dr. Barnes received the gold level of this award as a result of his volunteer service to the state of Maryland as a uniformed military officer in the MDDF. (The award also comes in silver and bronze.)

As a U.S. Army retiree with a Ph.D. who joined the MDDF in 2012, Dr. Barnes took a class at IWP that helped him prepare for his volunteer military service in Maryland’s organized militia: Foundations of Homeland Security with Dr. James J. Carafano.

Dr. Barnes commented: “Hardly anyone knows anything about State Defense Forces (SDF). But Dr. Jim Carafano from The Heritage Foundation is the only person I know who has written anything at all about SDFs. He has been a big promoter of SDFs and the value we can bring to the table during disasters and recovery.”

Much of what Dr. Barnes learned during the course mirrored some of the training he received from FEMA through the MDDF. Since then, he has been brought on State Active Duty several times, and he said, “Dr. Carafano’s course has been helpful.”

President's Volunteer Service Award

According to the letter he received from President Joe Biden, Dr. Barnes served 619.3 hours of volunteer time to earn this award. Most of this was from Maryland’s disaster response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Barnes served as a research analyst and watch officer during Operation Steadfast Guardian in 2020 and as a Public Information Officer for the 10th Medical Regiment on the incident commander’s immediate staff during Operation Steadfast Guardian II in 2021. He said, “Dr. Carafano’s class at IWP helped prepare me for that.”

Through his volunteer service, Dr. Barnes saved Maryland taxpayers over $44,000.

“I am glad there is a venue for me to continue to serve in uniform after my retirement from the U.S. Army,” said Dr. Barnes. “I am honored to receive the PVSA in gold for my volunteer military service.”

White House Letter to Rick Barnes

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