Between now and Veterans Day, UAB invites you to send a message of thanks to military veterans for their service to our country.
As we pay tribute to all military service men and women, we would like to recognize the veterans who work alongside us in the UAB Human Resources department. Below, meet four HR employees who have agreed to share part of their story.


Bobby Barnes | Employee Relations/Manager


U.S. Air Force, 1980-2000

Bobby served 20 years in the USAF, from 1980 until 2000. He spent his entire service in a dental squadron where he began as a dental assistant. Most of his career consisted of administrative duties, including in the role of Superintendent of Dental Services. This position served as an advisor to the Dental Squadron Commander, and was responsible for the management of all ancillary services and supervision of all enlisted and civilian personnel.

Bobby’s assignments included:

  • McConnell AFB, Wichita, KS
  • Brooks AFB, San Antonio, TX
  • Ramstein AFB, Germany
  • Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, AL
  • Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS

Bobby retired in April 2000, and was hired by UAB that same month as an HR Employment Representative. He has been in UAB HR ever since.


Grant Cochrane | Hospital HR/HR Consultant


U.S. Coast Guard, 1980-1983

Grant was commissioned as an Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1980, and was on active duty for three years. Grant trained in Yorktown, VA. After completing his training, he was a Line Officer stationed at Governor’s, New York City, NY, with the Third Coast Guard District Command, which no longer exists.

Grant’s primary assignment was employee relations type responsibilities covering a five-state area. He moved back to the south, first to Atlanta for a few months, then accepting a HR position as a Recruiter with his alma mater, the University of Florida, before joining the HR team at UAB.


Mike Maner | Organizational Learning and Development/Manager


U.S. Navy, 1982-2002

Mike’s job assignment in the U.S. Navy was a fulltime professional musician in the Navy Music Program, after passing an official audition and meeting the qualifications. For the first 15 years of his career, he served in Navy bands as a trombone instrumentalist located in Yokusuka, Japan; Memphis, TN; Great Lakes, IL (Chicago); and Seattle, WA. In each place, he traveled extensively and performed in a wide variety of groups and ensembles, as well as a variety of musical styles. Performances included military ceremonies, elaborate productions and events, presidential events, special ceremonies for foreign dignitaries, international parades, appearances on live TV and radio broadcasts and for the public at large.

Travels included almost every country across Asia, and almost every state in the U.S. In the later years of his career, he served as leader and conductor for some of the groups to which he was assigned. In the summer of 1997, Mike was selected to serve on the staff of the Armed Forces School of Music in Norfolk, VA where he was responsible for instructor certifications, course reviews, course development and maintenance, and staff training. Mike remained on the staff until November 2002, at which point he elected to retire from active duty, having completed 20 years in the U.S. Navy.

After his retirement from active duty, he relocated to the Birmingham area and joined UAB Organizational Learning & Development in September of 2004.


Marty Smith | HRIS/System Programmer II


U.S. Air Force, 1971-1975

Marty served four years active duty in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam and Cold War eras. After basic training, Marty was in school for one year at Kessler AFB in Mississippi being trained in microwave communications. During that time, he was given a top secret access clearance. He was stationed at Andrews AFB, Maryland, for two years and maintained the incoming communications from around the world along with encrypted communication to the Pentagon.

Marty’s fourth year of service was spent in Turkey, where he maintained communications at a NATO site in the outskirts of Istanbul. The site was comprised of numerous Turkish and U.S. Army troops, but only eight USAF personnel. The USAF personnel lived off site in Turkish condos in a nice suburb community, Yesilyurt/Yesilkoy, and drove to and from the NATO site. Although it was a very dangerous time to be in Turkey with the Greek-Turkish Cyprus conflict and subsequent Turkish takeover attempt of U.S. bases, Marty managed to have quite a bit of fun in his spare time and made friends in the community.

After his Turkish tour, Marty returned to the U.S., was honorably discharged at McGuire AFB, New Jersey, and returned to civilian life.

Interested in sharing your HR employee veteran story? Contact Sherri Moultrie at srmoult@uab.edu for more information.