CW2 Shane M. Barnes

1989 – 10 Nov 2023

C Co, 1-160 SOAR

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane M. Barnes, 34, of Sacramento, California

Upon graduating Cum Laude from Jesuit High School in 2007, Shane was selected for the Jesuit Alumni Service Award. He played football, rugby, threw shotput and discus, served on the student council, and volunteered in several school and community life areas.

Shane attended Gonzaga University on an ROTC scholarship. He served as the Battalion Commander during his senior year and was awarded two different commendations for ethical leadership. He was a member of the Gonzaga Black Championship ROTC Ranger Challenge Team and was honored with the Command Sergeant Major Thomas Williams Leadership Excellence Award. He graduated in the top 10% of the national ROTC class in 2011, earning him the designation of Distinguished Military Graduate.

In 2015, following his tour in Korea and completion of the Aviation Captains Career Course, Shane favorably assessed for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). He completed Officer Combat Skills in 2016 and was assigned as an MH-60M Direct Action Penetrator (DAP) pilot in Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 160th SOAR(Abn), where he served as a Platoon Leader and Operations Officer. In 2020, he fully dedicated himself to the organization and his profession by reappointing to Warrant Officer. As an Instructor Pilot and Fully Mission Qualified DAP Pilot, CW2 Barnes formed the cornerstone of the organization. He was a teacher, mentor, and warrior whose impact on the organization will be felt for years to come. 

While assigned to 160th SOAR(Abn), CW2 Barnes deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, deployed multiple times to Iraq in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE, and supported numerous no-notice deployments world-wide in support of national security objectives.

Shane’s greatest joy in life was his wife and daughters.  He met his beloved wife, Samantha Jo Barnes when the two were assigned to the same cohort in flight school at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. Together they graduated from flight school and served as Black Hawk helicopter pilots. They were both Captains and excelled at all they did. Recently, Shane changed Army tracks and became Chief Warrant Officer 2. This allowed him to remain with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and also with his family in Kentucky.

Married just over ten years, he and his wife were blessed with two precious little girls, Amelia, 5, and Katherine, 1.  Shane was an amazing Daddy, balancing the serious nature of his vocation as a pilot with the silliness of pillow fights, Saturday morning cartoons, tea parties, and learning to braid his daughters’ hair.

Shane began talking about his desire to serve in the military in 4th grade, and that desire grew stronger and more focused over time. 

CW2 Barnes' military education includes the UH-60 Aviator Qualification Course; Aviator Basic Officer Leader Course; Aviation Captains Career Course; Marine Corps Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course (WTI); Officer Combat Skills (Green Platoon); Combatives Level 1; MH-60M Pilot Basic Mission Course; UH-60 A/L Instructor Pilot Course; and Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Course.

CW2 Barnes' awards and decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross with "V" Device, Distinguished Flying Cross with "C" Device, Air Medal with "V" Device, Air Medal with "C" Device and Numeral 2, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster; National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Service Star, Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge, Senior Army Aviator Badge, and Air Assault Badge. He was posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and inducted into the honorable Order of Saint Michael for significant contributions to the Army Aviation Community.

His parents, Kelly & Mike Barnes, are both beloved members of the Jesuit Sacramento community. Mike is a member of the class of 1981, and Kelly worked in Campus Ministry for 15 years. Kelly, Mike, and Mike’s parents moved to Kentucky in 2021 to be involved in Shane, Sammy, and their girls’ lives. Shane’s brother

Josh is also a Jesuit Sacramento alum, graduating in 2010, and now is on a similar career path as his mom Kelly – working in campus ministry at a Jesuit high school in the Tacoma, Washington area.

CW2 Shane M. Barnes is survived by his wife and two children.