Senior Officer Biography
COLONEL BARR D.E. , MSM, CD
CHIEF MILITARY PLANNING SERVICE - SECONDMENT
In 1980, Colonel David E. Barr graduated from Royal Military College with a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) and a Commission in Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.
Colonel Barr's early Regimental Duty consisted of seven consecutive years of platoon commanding (three years with Rifle Platoons and four years with Reconnaissance and Regimental Pathfinder Platoons), initially with the Third Battalion PPCLI in Victoria, British Columbia (1980-84), and subsequently with the Canadian Airborne Regiment in Petawawa, Ontario (1984-87). During these years he completed, amongst other Light Infantry courses, the United States Army Ranger Course, and the Military Freefall Parachutist Course.
In 1987, Colonel Barr was posted to the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston as an instructor in the Officer Training Squadron. Upon completion of Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College in 1989, he returned to 3 PPCLI as the Operations Officer. Promoted to the rank of Major in 1990, he commanded B Company for two years and Administration Company for one year, the highlight of which was 3 PPCLI's 1992/93 operational deployment to Croatia as a part of the United Nations' Protection Force.
In 1993/94, Colonel Barr attended the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College in Toronto, which was followed by a posting to the National Defence Headquarters in the Directorate of Land Force Development. In 1995, he was selected to be the Deputy Commanding Officer of Joint Task Force 2. In 1996, he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, and posted back to NDHQ where he served on the central staff in the Director General Strategic Planning for two years.
In June 1998, Colonel Barr returned - as Commanding Officer - for his third tour of duty with 3 PPCLI, the highlight of which was command of the 3 PPCLI Battle Group (1100 all ranks) on operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Multi-National Division (South West) with the NATO Stabilization Force from March to September 2000.
At the end of his tour of operational command, Colonel Barr was promoted to his present rank and appointed Chief of Staff, Land Forces Western Area. This tour of duty concluded with challenging employment as Chief of Staff of the Joint Task Force formed to support the security and conduct of the G8 Summit in Kananaskis, Alberta.
In September 2002, Colonel Barr embarked on a year of professional development commencing with the three month Executive Course in Asia-Pacific Security Studies in Hawaii, followed by the six month National Security Studies Course in Toronto. Upon completion of his studies in the summer of 2003, he was appointed Project Director for the Land Force Reserve Restructure Project as well as Director of Infantry. In June 2004, Colonel Barr assumed the position of Executive Assistant to the Chief of the Defence Staff.
On September 12, 2005, Colonel Barr was appointed the founding Commander of the newly created Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM). During his tenure as Commander CANSOFCOM, Colonel Barr also deployed to combat operations in Afghanistan, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, to command the Canadian Special Operations Task Force.
In summer 2007, Colonel Barr reluctantly took down his Tan Beret, but is thrilled with his present appointment in Victoria, BC as Chief of Staff for the Joint Task Force Games that has been created to support the security and conduct of the Vancouver/Whistler 2010 Olympics and Paralympics Games.
Colonel Barr is a skier, an avid hockey player, and a minor hockey coach who refuses to acknowledge that he may have lost a step and his touch around the net. In recent years, against his wife's far better judgement, he has competed in four Marathons and four Mountain Man Endurance Competitions.