Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Joel Barba

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Joel Barba
A Hometown Hero

Army 2nd Lt. Joel Barba has made a name for himself as the second cadet in Islander history to be honored as a Distinguished Military Graduate. Barba, who was presented a ceremonial saber in recognition of his achievements, earned this recognition after completing the Islander Battalion ROTC Program this spring semester. He graduated in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Minor in History.

Having already served his country in the Army as a soldier, Barba’s experience gave him an advantage over his fellow cadets.

“When I started my university career, I was intimidated at first because it had been 10 years since I had been in school; I was not sure what to expect,” said Barba. “I quickly learned that my experiences prior to coming to school matured me beyond my peers.”

At Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Barba served as Team Sergeant for the Ranger Challenge Team, President of the Islander Cadet Club, and as the MS4 Cadet Battalion Commander. After completing the Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, Wash., in 2012, Barba was rated in the top three percent of the nation’s cadets based on his grade point average, leadership skill-set, and physical fitness abilities.

Barba explained that his biggest challenge was balancing his time as a full-time student, a full- time cadet, husband, and father. He says it seemed as though there were not enough hours in the day to play all roles at once.

“The key is to understand what is truly important to you,” said Barba. “If you keep focused on your goals then you can eliminate some of those things in your life that are competing for your time.”

Currently, Barba is aiding in the success of the Islander ROTC Battalion as a temporary ROTC recruiter. He commissioned into the U.S. Army as a Military Intelligence Officer on active duty.  Upon the completion of his Military Intelligence training in Arizona, Barba will be assigned to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, where he will begin his career as a Commissioned Officer.


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