Captain Darren B. Guenther hails from Honolulu, Hawaii and is a graduate of Punahou School. He earned a B.A. in Political Science in 1994 from the University of California at Berkeley, and was commissioned through the NROTC program. He was designated a naval aviator in 1997 and then reported to the Vikings of VAQ-129, the EA-6B Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), where he was named FRS Student Pilot of the Year for 1998.
Flying the EA-6B Prowler, Guenther completed a deployment to Incirlik air base, Turkey with VAQ-133 in support of Operation Northern Watch. He also deployed with VAQ-140 onboard USS Eisenhower (CVN 69) and flew in Operation Allied Force. He completed two deployments with VAQ-137 onboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65) in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He is a designated Wing Qualified Landing Signals Officer.
Guenther's shore assignments include VX-9 in China Lake, CA where he flew the EA-6B and F/A-18, as well as a tour with VAQ-129 as an FRS instructor pilot. In 2004 he attended the Naval War College in Newport, RI, where he was a Mahan scholar and graduated with highest distinction receiving his M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies. In 2008, Guenther reported to the newly formed US Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, where he worked as a strategic planner. From 2011 to 2013, Guenther commanded the Golden Eagles of VT-22 based at NAS Kingsville, Texas. During that tour he oversaw the winging of over 70 carrier strike pilots in the T-45 Goshawk. Following that tour Guenther served as Air Boss onboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) from 2013-2015.
Since July of 2015 Guenther has served as a National Security Fellow studying international security and politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Guenther has accumulated nearly 3000 flight hours, over 2100 EA-6B hours and over 400 carrier arrestments. His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, six Strike Flight Air Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals as well as various unit, service and campaign awards.