Shawnee man now lieutenant colonel.

Oklahoma Army National Guardsman Maj. Clifton “Pete” Barger, Jr., of Shawnee,, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in a ceremony at the Oklahoma National Guard Regional Training Institute recently.

Barger started his military career in 1987 as an Air Traffic Controller in the 145th Air Traffic Control Platoon. He worked his way up the enlisted chain to Staff Sergeant and held the position of air traffic control tower supervisor when he left the 145th to attend Officer Candidate School (OCS). Barger successfully completed OCS in 1995 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Aviation branch. He returned briefly to 145th Air Traffic Control Platoon as a section leader before temporarily transferring to Fort Rucker, Ala., to attend the Aviation Officer Basic Course and the Initial Entry Rotary Wing Qualification Course.

Since receiving his commission, Barger has served in many significant positions to include: Special Aide to the Secretary for the General Staff of the Oklahoma National Guard; Administrative Officer for the State Resource Management Office; State Aviation Operations Officer; Commander of Detachment 1, Company G, 149th Aviation; Chief of Operations, Training and Standardization for Joint Force Headquarters; Facility Commander for Army Aviation Support Facility 1 (Lexington, Okla.); 90th Troop Command personnel officer; and, Plans/Administrative Officer for the Oklahoma Aviation Command.

Barger holds multiple flight ratings and certifications in a multitude of aircraft to include the CH-47 “Chinook” and the UH-60 “Blackhawk.”

His military education includes: the Aviation Officer Advanced Course, the Combined Arms Staff Exercise, the Command and General Staff College (ILE), the Air Assault Course, the CH-47 Qualification Course, the CH-47 High Altitude Training Course, the UH-60 Qualification Course, the Strategic Planning Course, the Leadership Development Course, the Army Training Management Course and the Brigade S-1 Course.

Some of Barger’s awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the United States Coast Guard Commendation Medal with Operational “O” device, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal with one Service Star, the Overseas Training Ribbon, the Oklahoma Commendation Medal, two Oklahoma Exceptional Service Medals, the Air Assault Badge and the Senior Army Aviator Badge.

In 2003, Barger was mobilized as the commander of the Detachment 1, Company G, 149th Aviation to the Baghdad region of Iraq.

Barger holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master of Science Degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He is a longtime member of the National Guard Association of Oklahoma and the Army Aviation Association of America.

Barger has been married to his wife, Crystal, for 11 years and they have two daughters, Elle and Olivia. Clifton has served in the Oklahoma National Guard for 26 years.