MAJ Guy Barattieri (USMA '92)
MAJ Guy Barattieri (USMA '92)
Guy Richard Barattieri Jr. was born in Pleasant Ridge, OH to Pat Wheatley and Guy Barattieri Sr. and was the big brother to Gina, Becky, and Nicole. He graduated from Purcell Marian High School having played outside linebacker for its 1986 state championship football team. He earned the nickname ‘Bear’ while playing football not only because of his size and strength but also for his big heart.
Always wanting to be a part of something greater than himself, Guy entered West Point on June 29, 1988, joining the Class of 1992. An injury his plebe year prematurely ended his football career, but Guy continued battling on the fields of friendly strife by joining the Rugby Club, as well as perfecting his small unit leadership skills with the Tactics Club and the Sandhurst competition. During summer training he also attended Airborne School, earning the Parachutist Badge. Ever one to avoid studying, Guy would sit around with his companymates late into the night discussing his aspirations of one day becoming a Green Beret. Guy’s four years paid off—literally. He earned recognition as the “Goat,” and on graduation day Guy stood grinning on the stage, victoriously holding aloft a bag of 962 silver dollars while his classmates gave him a standing ovation. Later that morning, surrounded by proud family and friends, Guy was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry.
En route to his first duty assignment, Guy completed the Infantry Officer Basic Course and the Bradley Leader Course at Fort Benning, GA. Upon arriving in Baumholder, Germany, he was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, where Guy served as a rifle and support platoon leader and company executive officer. In December 1995 his unit made the initial entry into Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the Implementation Force (IFOR), a NATO-led multinational peace enforcement force to secure the Dayton Peace Accords. A proven natural leader, Guy was hand-selected to assume command of Headquarters Company and frocked to captain. The charismatic Guy innately excelled in command, coordinating route recon and convoy escorts while brandishing his trademark weapon of choice, an M79 grenade launcher. In 1996, Guy returned to Fort Benning, where he attended the Infantry Officer Advanced Course and was officially promoted to captain.
Pursuing his dream of becoming a Green Beret, Guy successfully completed the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course at Fort Bragg, NC. For the next year Guy would endure the rigorous training to become an officer in the Special Forces Regiment, graduating from the Special Forces Detachment Officer Qualification Course in the fall of 1997, followed by the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) High Risk Course. His first assignment as a Green Beret was as a commander of a Special Forces Operational Detachment–Alpha (SFODA) in 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Lewis, WA, where Guy led his team on multiple deployments to Thailand, Korea, and Nepal. Guy’s long beard would presage its use by Special Forces units in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Guy decided to make the Northwest his home and began a new career of service in law enforcement, joining the Seattle Police Department in August 2000, but not before transferring his commission from the Regular Army to the National Guard 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Eight years after graduating last in his class from West Point, he was elected president of his police academy class. Guy would work for the Seattle Police Department until 2004.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Guy’s National Guard unit was activated and, in 2002, deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Desert Spring as part of the military buildup for the invasion of Iraq. He and his team were subsequently attached to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and, in March 2003, spearheaded the liberation of Iraq at the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Guy and his SFODA were credited with capturing three most-wanted members of Saddam Hussein’s government profiled on the famous deck of “personality identification playing cards.”
Highly recruited for his rare combination of specialized military and law enforcement training, Guy accepted a job in 2004 as a contractor providing private security for organizations in Iraq, gaining notoriety as the chief of security for the Fox News Baghdad bureau, earning the reputation as their “protector” during a series of bombings.
The year 2004 would also bring new happiness to his life in the form of his soulmate, Laurel, and her daughter, Rees. Guy’s joy at his beautiful Seattle wedding in 2005 was exceeded only 10 months later by the birth of his daughter, Odessa. Shortly after Odessa was born, Guy deployed to Iraq for the last time.
On October 4, 2006 Guy was killed when his security convoy hit an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) roadside bomb on the outskirts of Baghdad.
Guy R. Barattieri Jr. was an extraordinary man, loyal husband, doting father, loving son and brother, and good friend. His varied yet remarkable career in the service to others is the supreme example of Duty, Honor, Country, and he has taken his well-earned spot in the Long Gray Line. Rest easy, Bear. Thy work is done.
Proceeds from the MAJ Guy Barattieri bracelet will be donated to The Bear Fund.