Richard Barney enlisted in the United States Army upon graduation from high school. After completing basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, he went to Goodfellow Airforce Base in Texas for his Advanced Individual Training, specializing in Military Intelligence. A Rochester native, the Army gave Richard the opportunity to see other parts of the country, as well as the world, stationing him at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and Grafenwohr, Germany. A combat veteran, he served two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning awards and distinctions such as the Army Commendation Medal (three of them!), Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and Army Combat Action Badge, among many others. After eight years of service and reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant, Richard was honorably discharged from the Army. Soon after, he decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Richard plans to work for a federal law enforcement agency someday, such as the Drug Enforcement Agency or the US Marshals.
Transitioning to RIT
Deciding to attend RIT was an easy decision for Richard, as he grew up in the Rochester area and has had several friends and family members attend the University. He was pleased with the smooth admissions process, aided every step of the way by RIT’s admissions team and the university’s Veterans & Military Services Office, which specializes in helping students navigate how to use their VA benefits. RIT is recognized as Military Friendly school, participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program which provides qualified veterans and dependents 100% tuition coverage each academic year.
Support for veterans carries over into the classroom at RIT, where Richard says his military experience is valued. “My professors are very understanding of the fact that I’m a veteran. They understand that I’m not a traditional student and that I do bring a lot of life experience into the classroom. There are relatable things between being a soldier and what we’re studying. They appreciate when I share my experiences in class.”
RIT also has a Veterans Club on campus, so military veterans are able to connect with one another outside of the classroom.
RIT and the College of Liberal Arts would like to thank Richard and veterans like him for their service to our country.