Major General Thomas G. Darling is deputy commander in chief and chief of staff U.S. Atlantic Command, U.S. Naval Station, Norfolk, Va.
General Darling was born in 1932, in Abilene, Texas, where he graduated from high school in 1950. He received a bachelor of science degree in 1954 from Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University at College Station, and a master's degree in public administration from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., in 1964. He completed Air Command and Staff College in 1964, the Naval War College in 1971 and the University of Pittsburgh's Management Program for Executives in 1977.
He graduated as a distinguished military graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program, was commissioned a second lieutenant and entered the U.S. Air Force in July 1954. He completed pilot training at Marana Air Base, Ariz., and Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. He was assigned to the 7th Bombardment Wing, Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, from August 1955 to July 1963. While there he was a B-36 pilot with the 492nd Bombardment Squadron. After completing B-52 combat crew training in June 1958, General Darling served as a B-52 pilot, aircraft commander and standardization evaluator with the 9th Bombardment Squadron, also at Carswell.
In August 1963 he entered the Air Command and Staff College and upon graduation was assigned to the 824th Bombardment Squadron, Turner Air Force Base, Ga. While at Turner, General Darling served on temporary duty with the squadron at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, flying 46 combat missions in B-52s over Southeast Asia from March to October 1966.
General Darling was assigned to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., in January 1967 as chief of the Tanker Manning Section in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel. He was named bomber manning chief in July 1967 and in October 1968 become chief of the Aircrew-Operations Assignments Branch. The general entered the Naval War College in July 1970. After graduation in July 1971, he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as chief of the Force Structure Branch in the Directorate of Personnel Plans. In May 1972 he become executive to the assistant secretary of the Air Force for manpower and reserve affairs.
In July 1974 General Darling was assigned to the 97th Bombardment Wing at Blytheville Air Force Base, Ark., as vice commander and in July 1975 assumed command of the wing. He returned to SAC headquarters in February 1977 as director of training in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, and in July 1978 became deputy chief of staff for personnel.
In August 1981 General Darling was assigned to the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va., as commandant. In August 1984 he was named vice commander, 15th Air Force, at March Air Force Base, Calif. He assumed duties as chief of staff for Atlantic Command in June 1986 and was assigned concurrent responsibilities as deputy commander in chief in September 1986.
A command pilot, General Darling has more than 7,000 flying hours, including more than 500 combat hours in B-52s. His military decorations and awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster and Air Force Commendation Medal. In addition, General Darling was awarded the MacArthur Medallion for his leadership initiatives while serving as commandant of the Armed Forces Staff College.
He was promoted to major general Jan. 1, 1982, with date of rank Aug. 1, 1978.
(Current as of November 1986)