Commander Darren W. Nelson
Commander Nelson is a native of Rushville, Nebraska. He received his commission and Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska December 1993. His initial sea tour was onboard USS BAINBRIDGE (CGN 25), where he served as Communications Officer and Administrative Officer.
His second sea assignment was as Damage Control Officer in USS BARRY (DDG 52), where he deployed to the Arabian Gulf conducting visit board search and seizure operations. Following Barry, he was assigned to Regional Support Group Ingleside Texas and served on as the OIC of the Integrated Support Group. ISG was a CNO sponsored group to improve the reliability of the Mine Hunting sonar. Upon completion of Department Head School, he served onboard USS Ingraham (FFG 61) as the Combat Systems Officer and completed a deployment to the 5th fleet AOR during the initial operations of Enduring Freedom. Subsequently, he was assigned as the 1St Lieutenant onboard USS SAIPAN (LHA 2). During his tour on SAIPAN he conducted the back load of Marines for operation Iraq Freedom. Following his department head tours, he was assigned as the Assistant Surface Operation Officer for Commander Carrier Strike Group Eight. Commander Nelson then served as Executive Officer of USS GUNSTON HALL (LSD 44), where he participated in another 5th Fleet deployment. Following his XO tour he was assigned to the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island were he received a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies.
His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards), and various campaign and service ribbons.