On Dec. 6, 2012, Retired Chief Warrant Officer 2 Charles “Chuck” Barber was presented with his long awaited award for obtaining the Fort Huachuca Intramural 100 Meter Dash record in April 1997, by Lt. Col. Laura Knapp, commander, 309 Military Intelligence Battalion.
Barber received this award at the starting line on Bujalski Track, joined by family, friends and sports staff.
It was during the 1997 Commander’s Cup Track and Field Event that then Specialist Barber, Company A, 306th Military Intelligence Battalion, achieved a record time of 9.98 seconds in the 100-Meter Dash. He had been working side by side with Retired Lt. Col. Dick Haines, USA Track and Field official, with his goal of joining the All-Army Track and Field team. He had received an award then but there was no recognition of his record-breaking time.
Sports had always been a big part of Barber’s life. He ran on the Track and Field team in high school, resulting in a track scholarship to Ouachita Baptist University, Ark., where he ran track and played basketball. He said in his biography, “After my career at OBU, I enlisted in the military after learning about the All Army Sports program, with hopes of continuing to compete with an outside shot at the Olympics.”
After joining the military, along with the record-breaking time, Barber achieved many more accomplishments, to include anchoring the winning 4X100 meter relay team at the Grand Canyon State Games and winning the 100 Meter Dash at the 1997 All-Army Camp, and earned the nick name “the fastest man in the Army.” He said, “I also earned the Military Outstanding Volunteer Medal for volunteer work at several track-and-field programs at local high schools in Sierra Vista. I was also presented a coin from the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Dennis Reimer for athletic achievements and giving back to the community — I’m very proud of that.”
After many injuries and mission requirements in his military career, Barber eventually stopped competing. “I currently reside in the DC area, and I continue to be a huge fan of track and field and basketball. I’ll admit that I was very depressed after my athletic goals did not fully pan out … but being recognized here at Fort Huachuca brings closure and I am honored,” Barber stated.
Barber said, “Bald Knob [his hometown] has a population of 3,000 people so an achievement like representing the Army as a Soldier Athlete goes a very long way and serves as a good way to be a role model for youngsters who consider the Army.”
According to Les Woods, division chief for Sports/Fitness and Aquatics, Barber’s record-setting time still holds today for the best time recorded on Bujalski Track Field at Fort Huachuca.