What is your hometown?
I hail from Shawnee, Kansas, which is a suburb of Kansas City. The Darnell family are loyal Kansas City Royals fans even though it has been several years since they’ve had a winning record.
Tell about your job and what you do.
I’m the commander for Army Field Support Battalion – Korea, and we report to the mighty 403rd Army Field Support Brigade. We are responsible for Installation Logistics at Army installations in Areas I through III. Essentially, we provide supply, transportation, and maintenance support from Camp Humphreys up to the DMZ here in the Republic of Korea. We also build unit readiness through our Life Cycle Management Commands where we assist with training Soldiers on various types of equipment, troubleshooting non-mission capable equipment and assist with finding supply chain solutions for hard-to-find repair parts.
How long have you been with the U.S Army?
I’ve been an Active Duty Soldier for 23 years and have loved every minute of it. I spent about four years as an enlisted Soldier before I transitioned to becoming an officer. I wanted to be in the Army since I was in elementary school. I’m lucky in the sense that I got to be what I wanted to be when I grew up.
What other positions have you held with the U.S. Military?
Oh, it has been quite the ride. I recently managed the Army’s Bulk Petroleum requirements in Europe with the 21st Theater Sustainment Command. Prior to that, I managed the Department of Defense’s Bulk Petroleum requirements in the Middle East while assigned to Defense Logistics Agency Energy Middle East. I’ve had the standard Brigade Combat Team assignments over the years but interestingly, this is my third assignment within Army Sustainment Command – I spent two glorious years at Army Field Support Battalion – Drum as a major and two amazing years at Army Field Support Battalion – Charleston as a captain.
How long have you been in this position?
My family and I arrived to the Republic of Korea in June 2022 and assumed command of the organization in July 2022.
What other duties are you responsible for?
Ultimately, a commander is responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen within an organization. Luckily, our organization is blessed with an extraordinarily talented and skilled workforce with expansive experience and institutional knowledge. Our people make it happen, I’m just the person who sits in many meetings and signs documents.
What are some of your personal accomplishments? Also, what are some of your accomplishments while at AFSBn-Korea?
Our team’s accomplishments are tremendous and I’m in awe of how much a team of 750 people can accomplish across Areas I thru III. I could write a book on everything our people have accomplished since I’ve been in the organization, but the most significant recent accomplishment is our organization winning the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence a few months ago. A recent personal accomplishment was running the 2023 Seoul Marathon and finishing in 3 hours and 14 minutes which is an average pace of 7 minutes 26 seconds per mile for 26.2 miles. In early April 2023, my wife Allison, and I completed the “4 by 4 by 48 Challenge” where you run four miles every four hours for 48 hours straight. This challenge really boiled down to a test in mental and physical endurance. It helped me realize that we can overcome the tactical advantage our minds have over our bodies, and we can accomplish far greater levels of success than we convince ourselves we are capable of.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Reading self-improvement books brings me joy. As human beings, if we aren’t striving to become the best versions of ourselves, then I believe we are missing an opportunity to maximize our precious time on earth. I’m also involved in coaching sports for the military children in our local community. I’ve been an assistant coach on my son’s baseball team and am currently amid my second season as head coach of my kids’ track team. We have 42 children on our track team this season and coaching gives me an opportunity to develop and improve all 42 of them physically and emotionally. It’s also a great platform to support the Army’s “Call to Service – Meet Your Army” campaign. Considering that many military children pursue military service as adults, I encourage all Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians to consider serving as a volunteer coach – it’s a fantastic opportunity to give something back to your community and invest in the development of our Army’s future Soldiers.
Do you have any interests or talents you would like to share (what is something people might not know about you)?
Not necessarily a skill, but I’ve attended baseball games in all 30 Major League Ballparks. This year my family and I plan to complete our quest to see baseball games at all the Korean Baseball Organization ballparks. If you’ve never been to a KBO baseball game before, I highly recommend it!