Rear Adm. Darren J. Hanson graduated from the University of Washington in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Following commissioning at Officer Candidate School in 1988, he completed Surface Warfare and Nuclear Propulsion training and entered the fleet in 1991.
Hanson’s first tour was aboard Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) George Washington (CVN 73) during which he was certified as engineer by Naval Reactors. He then served in USS Halsey (CG 23) as deck officer and deployed to the Arabian Gulf. Follow on tours included the Nuclear Propulsion Mobile Training Team Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and operations officer aboard USS Sacramento (AOE 1).
In 1998, Hanson transferred to the Naval Reserve and joined Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Mobile Unit 17. Over a six-year period, he completed U.S. Navy Dive School and served as an Ordnance Clearance Detachment (OCD) officer in charge and executive officer. He was mobilized for local harbor security operations following Sept. 11, 2001.
Reserve commands include Submarine Group 9 Force Protection Det. 1, Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 101; Maritime Expeditionary, now Coastal Riverine Squadron (CRS) 11; and CNFK Reserve Headquarters.
In 2008, Hanson attended the U.S. Naval War College in resident and received a Master of Arts in Strategic Studies and full Joint Professional Military Education. He then mobilized to U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany, in J3 and J5 Directorates.
In 2012, while in command of CRS-11, Hanson deployed to UAE as Commander, Task Group 56.7, providing security for U.S. ships and maritime infrastructure.
Hanson’s decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards), Navy and Joint Commendation Medals (2 awards), Navy and Joint Achievement Medals (3 awards), Expert Pistol and Rifle and various campaign and service medals. He also serves as a professional firefighter.