Ashore & Sea Tours
Captain Darling’s first sea assignment was aboard USS FORSTER (DER 334) as First Lieutenant, Main Propulsion Assistant, and Engineer Officer. In 1971, FORSTER was turned over to to the Republic of Vietnam and he was a member of the Transition Mobile Training Team.
Head of the Department of Naval Science at Texas Marine Academy for Texas A&M University was his first shore duty, followed by attendance at Surface Warfare Officer Department Head School, with subsequent sea duty as Engineer aboard USS REASONER (FF 1063). His split tour department head tour was as Staff Material Officer for Destroyer Squadron SEVEN.
In February 1980, he served as Academic Director for Surface Warfare School’s Command Detachment Coronado and while there, through off-duty pursuit, earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Financial management.
In 1981 he reported as Executive Officer aboard USS JOHN HANCOCK (DD 981) and upon detachment attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Following Graduation from ICAF, he was assigned to the office of DCNO for Surface Warfare in the Programming and Budget Division (OP 30) and was subsequently assigned as Head, Sea Control Analysis Section for the Director, General Planning and Programming Division (OP 80) for the Chief of Naval Operations.
Departing OPNAV, he commanded USS KIRK (FF 1087), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan and Long Beach, California from August 1987 to October 1989. In November 1989, he reported to Commander Seventh Fleet aboard his flagship USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC 19) in Yokosuka as Current Operations Officer. While at Seventh Fleet, he was “dual-hatted” as Current Operations Officer for Commander, Naval Forces Central Command during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
In July of 1992 he was again assigned to OPNAV as Branch Head, Surface Combatants (N865P) for the Director, Surface Warfare Division.
Captain Darling wears the Meritorious Service Medal with four gold stars, the Navy Commendation Medal, and Navy Achievement Medal in addition to various campaign and service medals.