WHINSEC inaugurates Academic Chair
WHINSEC created the first of three academic chairs in a ceremony on April 28 at the WHINSEC Roy P. Benavidez NCO Academy. The chair was named in honor of CSM Martin R. Barreras, former Institute Operations Sergeant Major. U.S. Army design by SGT Vladimir Varlack (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL
Chair named in honor of Command Sergeant Major Martin R. Barreras, former WHINSEC Operations Sergeant Major.
Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation, rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development. -- Kofi Annan

FORT BENNING, GA – Chartered by Congress in 2000, the Institute provides professional education and training to eligible personnel from countries of the Western Hemisphere within the context of democratic principles while fostering and promoting mutual knowledge, transparency, confidence, cooperation, values, and respect for human rights.

With an enduring dedication to the pursuit of excellence, the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) offers unparalleled student experiences across a broad spectrum of academic environments. The history and legacy of WHINSEC is rooted in its devotion to excellence in teaching and learning to develop ethical leaders, from across the Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and multinational (JIIM) organizations, to prepare them for the uncertainties they will face in today’s global scenarios.

With this in mind, the creation of academic and leadership chairs is fundamental to WHINSEC’s long-term strategic vision is to become recognized as a world-class center of excellence in military leadership and academics for our regional partner nations of the Western Hemisphere. The creation of academic chairs will foster Professional Military Education (PME) and Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) policy and changes to ensure that WHINSEC schools maintain focus on providing graduates the initial knowledge and skills to prepare them for service as warfighting joint leaders, staff officers and strategists for warfighting scenarios in the 21st century. The Chairperson will be the driving force to develop a collaborative work environment to ensure that instructors are ready to teach and students are ready to learn.

To that effect, Thursday, members of the Institute came together as the first Academic Chair was instituted at the Roy P. Benavidez NCO Academy. This initial chair recognizes the significant contributions made by a legendary US Army NCO to further the education and leadership qualities of Non-Commissioned Officers of the U.S. Army and the NCOs from allied nations.

WHINSEC Creates Academic Chair
WHINSEC created the first of three academic chairs in a ceremony on April 28 at the WHINSEC Roy P. Benavidez NCO Academy. The chair was named in honor of CSM Martin R. Barreras, former Institute Operations Sergeant Major. (Photo Credit: Milton Mariani Rodriguez) VIEW ORIGINAL

Based on this criterion, CSM Martin R. Barreras was selected. Barreras started his military career began in 1983, initially serving five years with the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served five years. In 1988, he enlisted in the Army as an infantryman and attended airborne school and the 75th Ranger Regiment Regimental Indoctrination Program at Fort Benning, Georgia. He served with 22 years with distinction in the 1st Ranger Battalion, 2nd Ranger Battalion and the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Additionally, Barreras served as the command sergeant major of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, and as Senior Instructor with the School of Leadership and Tactics and the Operations Sergeant Major at WHINSEC.

In March 2013, he was assigned as the Command Sergeant Major to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. His battalion deployed to Afghanistan in December 2013. On May 13, 2014, Command Sergeant Major Martin Barreras, died at the San Antonio Military Medical Center in Texas from wounds suffered in Herat province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire. He is buried at the South Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Tucson, Arizona.

The Barreras family has granted permission to use the name of CSM Martin R. Barreras for NCOA Chair in Leadership and Academic Excellence.

Present at the ceremony was Andy Barreras, CSM Barreras’ brother. As their parents, Ray & Gloria Barreras and Barreras’ sons watched the ceremony virtually, he addressed those in attendance and talked about his brother.

WHINSEC inaugurates Academic Chair
WHINSEC created the first of three academic chairs in a ceremony on April 28 at the WHINSEC Roy P. Benavidez NCO Academy. The chair was named in honor of CSM Martin R. Barreras, former Institute Operations Sergeant Major. U.S. Army photo by SGT Vladimir Varlack (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL
“Marty was the son, the father, the brother. Like military coins, he had two distinct sides. CSM Marty Barreras had a vast amount number of accolades. He was involved in a lot of missions, battles and adventures in his military career. The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus stated, regarding battle of warriors, out of 100 men, ten should not even fight, eighty are just targets, nine are real fighters, but that one, that one is a warrior, he will bring those back. CSM Barreras was that one, a true leader of men, a Ranger's Ranger, and in every sense of the word, a warrior.
I want to introduce you to Marty, the other side of this coin. He was a brother, a father. Born in 1962, first of three boys born to Ray and Gloria Barreras. Although raised in the bad side of town, he managed to stay out of trouble. In school, he lettered in various sports and chorus ensemble. He married, raised three beautiful children. He was also a Tio (uncle) very dedicated to his nieces.
In a starch contrast of what he was as a military man, Marty would come home, sit on his favorite recliner with a Pepsi and Oreos. He was not the go-go-go military man, he was Tio, playing with his nieces. The kids loved it. He was an amazing brother, a role model, lay-back and kept everyone laughing.
Those two sides of Marty and CSM Barreras made him a whole man. Compassionate, carrying, understanding, determination, strength, love wisdom, faith in God, allowed the two sides to co-exist.
I want to end with a quote from Gen. George S. Patton, "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men that died, rather we should thank God such men lived.
Thank you for this honor you are doing for CSM Barreras, my brother Marty, Thank you very much."
WHINSEC inaugurates Academic Chair
WHINSEC created the first of three academic chairs in a ceremony on April 28 at the WHINSEC Roy P. Benavidez NCO Academy. The chair was named in honor of CSM Martin R. Barreras, former Institute Operations Sergeant Major. Here, COL Rob Armstrong, presents a memento to Mr. Andy Barreras, CSM Barreras' brother in gratitude for his remarks. U.S. Army photo by SPC Jaden Witt (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

In honor of the CSM Martin R. Barreras Academic Leadership Chair, former Colombian Armed Forces Senior Enlisted Advisor, CSM(RET) Argemiro Posso Rivera has been appointed as the honorary professor to fill the NCO Academy Academic Chair.

Posso, enlisted in the Military School of Non-Commissioned Officers, Sergeant Inocencio Chinca on Sept. 13, 1986. On Sept. 1, 1987, he was promoted to Corporal within the Engineer branch. After a long career in various military positions and serving in different divisions, on August 29, 2015, the Commander of the Colombian Army, General Alberto José Mejía Ferrero, appointed Command Sergeant Major Argemiro Posso Rivera as the Sergeant Major of the Army. He was subsequently appointed the first Senior Enlisted Advisor of the Colombian Military Forces, and then was promoted to the rank of Sergeant Major of Joint Command on March 1, 2018.

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
During his remarks he commented, “It is an honor and a privilege for this soldier to speak on behalf of the MSG Roy P. Benavidez Noncommissioned Officer Academy, to celebrate a hero of yesterday, today and forever. Honoring the memory of CSM Martin Barreras, is undoubtedly a commitment of honor and at the same time a special opportunity to recognize the hero, the Soldier, the comrade, the instructor and the endearing friend, whose indelible mark is in every corner of our sacred Institute.
Barreras contributed with his great professionalism to turn WHINSEC into an international benchmark for Latin America and a torch of professionalism, ethics and leadership, which illuminates the minds and hearts of thousands of men and women who carry with honor the uniforms of their countries, fighting under the postulates of freedom and democracy.
I assume with immense gratitude and commitment the Academic Chair on behalf of my brother in arms, CSM Martin Barreras. It is for him, a hero and Soldier of honor that we commit ourselves with all our spirit to promoting the professional development of the NCO Corps of our allies in the Western Hemisphere, based on a high-quality education based on the highest standards of the US Army. USA, with special emphasis on respect for human rights and International Humanitarian Law.
Thanks to education and training, our noncommissioned officer leaders have the ability to confront the different multidimensional threats that operate in our region, from terrorism, the fight against crime or transnational crime, among many others.
The US Army, through its brave history, has become the beacon and epicenter of the professional development of its noncommissioned officers, which has allowed the generation of an institutional culture that today offers itself as one of the most important best practices for any ground force.
Barreras was precisely a hero formed in this environment of dedication and professionalism that the US Army offered him; in addition to the love and patriotism instilled in him within his home. That is why his family will forever be part of our beloved Institution and the source of inspiration for all instructors.
HONOR AND GLORY CSM Barreras.”
WHINSEC inaugurates Academic Chair
Mr. Andy Barreras, brother of the late CSM Martin R. Barreras admires the static display in honor of CSM Barreras. Items on display were donated to WHINSEC by the Barreras' family. The display will occupy its place of honor next to the Roy P. Benavidez static display at the entrance of the NCO academy. (Photo Credit: Milton Mariani Rodriguez) VIEW ORIGINAL

As part of the conclusion of the ceremony, CSM José S. Lopez, Institute CSM and WHINSEC NCOA Commandant and Andy Barreras unveiled a display case containing CSM Martin R. Barreras class A uniform and other military memorabilia donated by the Barreras’ family. The display case will take its place of honor next to the Roy P. Benavidez memorabilia display case at the entrance of the academy.