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The largest unit in the Tennessee National Guard will have a new commander after ceremonies on April 14.
The ceremonies, starting at 1 p.m. at the West High School Football Stadium, 3326 Sutherland Ave., Knoxville, will kick off Col. Darrell D. Darnbush’s command of Tennessee’s 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment.
The Rockwood National Guard Armory is part of the 278th, which has been commanded by Col. Frank C. McCauley since May 2011.
McCauley, who deployed twice to Iraq in his years with the 278th, is retiring from the military after 32 years of service.
Darnbush previously served as chief of joint staff for the Tennessee National Guard and deputy chief of staff for operations. He brings 30 years of military experience to the new position.
He enlisted in the Tennessee Army National Guard in 1983 and received his commission in 1986 from the Tennessee Military Academy. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Middle Tennessee State University in 1986 and is enrolled in the Masters in Strategic Studies program at the U.S. Army War College.
He’s served in all levels of leadership and was deployed in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield as the Battalion Chemical Officer for the 7-158 Aviation Regiment.
He served as regimental operations officer during the regiment's deployment to Iraq in 2004 and 2005.
Darnbush took command of the Regimental Special Troops Squadron in Lebanon in May 2006.
He has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, and the Combat Action Badge.
His predecessor, McCauley, has had a long and distinguished career with the 278th. He commanded the 278th’s 2nd Squadron from Kingsport in his 2004 deployment to Iraq. He was regimental deputy commander with the 278th during its deployment to Iraq in 2010. He then served as the 10th regimental commander.
The 278th is Tennessee’s largest command, with units from Kingsport to Memphis and more than 3,700 soldiers in three maneuver squadrons, a support squadron, a special troops squadron and a fires squadron.