Lieutenant General Michael D. Barbero
Class of June 1971
One Hundred Eighth
Pioneer Achievement Award Winnner
Q & A
FAA: What was your most memorable experience at Frankford?
LTG Barbero: It is very hard for me to pick out one special event that stands out, since my entire experience at Frankford was so special. I would have to say that it was a combination of the friends that I made at Frankford and the teachers and mentors who influenced me in such a positive way.
FAA: Who was the faculty member who inspired you the most and why?
LTG Barbero: I had great teachers at Frankford and remember many of them as positive influences. I would highlight two individuals who had a great influence on me.
First, Mr Ernie Federoff was both my science teacher and cross country coach. He was a great teacher and coach. Second, Dr Harry Gutelius was an English instructor and a sponsor of the “13 Club.” Dr Gutelius was a great role model. Both of these gentlemen had a very positive influence on me.
FAA: What would you tell your 17-year-old self, if you were attending Frankford today?
LTG Barbero: I truly enjoyed my time at Frankford, but I would
try to tell a 17 year-old version of me to study a little harder; think a
little more seriously about where I wanted to go in life; and how to best
use the opportunities at Frankford to prepare for life.
FAA: How should Frankford students interested in joining the military prepare for this rewarding career?
LTG Barbero: I would tell them that, in addition to preparing physically
for the rigors of the military, that they should be truly committed to serving something greater than self. You will become part of a team ,
and your teammates will support you, while counting on you to pull your own share of any task.
I would encourage any Frankford student to consider serving their nation, and the military is a rewarding way to do that.
FAA: Now that you’re in the retirement chapter of your life, what advice would you give those on the verge of entering the retirement chapter.
LTG Barbero: Don’t stop! I remain very busy in this phase of life with business activities and I love it. I use the term “transition” and I would encourage all to look at it as a transition from one phase of a very active period to another phase of activity.
FAA: What was the best advice you were ever given? Who gave you that advice?
LTG Barbero: This is a great question! In the Army, it is a very hands-on, “people” business. And under times of stress, such as in combat, your soldiers will look to their leaders for guidance and orders.
The Army culture is one of “lead by example” and I have always tried to do that. It is one of those timeless principles of leadership, so I can’t ascribe it to any one person, but it is part of the Army culture in which I was privileged to serve.
FAA: What are your hobbies and interests?
LTG Barbero: Unfortunately, I am genetically impatient, so I tried golf, but it didn’t stick. I do enjoy reading and traveling. Whenever I travel, I try to get out on my own and explore that place and see as much as I can.
FAA: And if you don't mind answering, how did you meet your wife? How many years have you been married? What’s the secret to a successful, long marriage?
LTG Barbero: Linda and I met in Texas where I was a brand new Lieutenant and she was going to school there. My roommate set us up on a blind date, and the rest is history!
Linda was a perfect partner throughout my Army career as her gentle nature helped to soften my sometimes more direct approach to things. I would not have achieved much in the Army (or life) without her by my side.
I would say that you both have to maintain a sense of humor, it helps you get over the inevitable bumps in the road of life. We have moved 18 times, and the Army doesn’t always give you a vote on when and where, so it takes a special person with a sense of humor to be an Army spouse.
FAA: Thank you for joining us in our Frankford Alumni Association's Q&A
corner. Your story is an inspiration to us all.
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