This is Godzilla's world, we just live in it.
— Jackson Barnes (Godzilla: King of the Monsters)
Barnes fulfilled his childhood desire to protect and serve by joining the United States Armed Forces, acing military training and becoming a munitions and heavy explosives expert. Barnes grew up watching monster movies, and his fascination for monsters only grew during his military career when he eagerly attempted to catch a glimpse of Godzilla while spending much of his military career at sea. This led Barnes to try out for Monarch's "G-Team" military branch, where he became a munitions expert serving under Col. Diane Foster. Barnes tests munitions and heavy ordinance intended for use against Titans, though he is aware it is intended primarily for use as a distraction rather than a deterrent against such creatures.
Following the kidnapping of Emma and Madison Russell, Emma's ex-husband Mark ventured to Monarch's underwater Outpost 54, known as Castle Bravo, where Barnes and the organization were present to discuss the kidnapper Alan Jonah's intentions. After witnessing Godzilla leave the outpost's staff unharmed after they deactivated their weapons, Barnes accompanied Diane Foster, Rick Stanton, Staff Sergeant Anthony Martinez, and First Lieutenant Lauren Griffin aboard the USS Argo to Monarch's Outpost 32 in Antarctica, where it had been determined Jonah's men had arrived. Descending in one of the Argo's Ospreys, Barnes and Monarch's G-Team entered the outpost, only to be ambushed in a firefight by Jonah's men. Barnes provided support with the rest of the team, though he required Russel's help to escape via elevator once Ghidorah had been released by Emma. Barnes and a portion of the team then managed to escape the ensuing gunfight and Ghidorah's conflict with Godzilla on the remaining Osprey.
Onboard the Argo, Barnes and other Monarch members discussed the incident, before hearing Emma's true intentions to cooperate with Jonah and receiving information that Rodan was likely to be released next. Deployed to rescue civilians, Barnes landed in Isla de Mara and assisted in guiding townspeople onboard. Once Barnes' unit's Osprey was full, it took to the skies and cautiously took after the Argo, avoiding Rodan until he was lured into combating Ghidorah. Though the Argo's hangar bay doors were jammed, Russel took the initiative to clear the way for Barnes and the civilians to land. Soon after, the Argo returned to Castle Bravo, with the United States' Admiral Steinz briefing them on the gravity of the situation, as dozens of Titans had escaped and begun wreaking havoc. However, it had been discovered Mothra had slowly begun healing Godzilla, and a limited number of Monarch members left to investigate in a Navy submarine.
After the Argo later escorted the revived Godzilla into Boston, Barnes touched down with G-Team and Russel to search for Madison and the Orca. Though the group only found the latter, Emma arrived in a jeep to help them search. Russel and Emma debated where Madison could be, prompting Barnes to suggest she may have simply ran home. Upon arriving at the Russel's old home, they found Madison unconscious in the bathtub, and managed to wake her. Seeing Godzilla was losing, Emma took the Orca to distract Ghidorah, leaving the rest of the group to board an Osprey. Barnes and the rest of the group watched from the Osprey as Godzilla was revived, defeating Ghidorah and emitting strong nuclear pulses before the remaining Titans bowed down to him.
- Upon seeing King Ghidorah freed in Antarctica, Jackson Barnes says, "You gotta be fucking kidding," possibly a reference to Palmer's line after spotting the Spider Head in The Thing.
- During filming of the sequence where G-Team attempts to rescue Emma and Madison at Outpost 32, Jackson Jr. was informed that his wife had gone into labor, and struggled to remain in character for the duration of the sequence.
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