CDR Darrick Berens, a native of Selby, SD, enlisted out of high school in 1996 as a Cryptologic Technician (CTR) and served at Naval Support Group Activity, Rota, Spain. Having been selected for the Naval Recruit Officer Training Corp, he separated from the Navy in 1999 and earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota and received his commission in 2003. He was designated a Naval Flight Officer at Randolph Air Force Base in May 2005.
After selecting the E-6B Mercury platform and completing Fleet Replacement Squadron (VQ-7) training, he was assigned to the Ironmen of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron THREE (VQ-3) in Oklahoma City, OK in 2005, where he served as Public Affairs Officer, Personnel Reliability Program Manager, Schedules Officer, Combat Systems Officer Instructor, and Mission Commander and deployed to throughout the United States as well as England, Germany, Australia, Diego Garcia and Qatar.
CDR Berens transferred to the Weapons Tactics Unit in 2008 as a Weapons Tactics Instructor where he taught advanced tactics and managed proficiency training and qualifications for aircrew personnel attached to Strategic Communications Wing ONE (SCW-1) in Oklahoma City, OK.
USS GEORGE WASHINGTON welcomed CDR Berens to Yokosuka, Japan in 2011. He led 80 sailors as Operations Intelligence Division Officer, Operations Department INSURV Lead and qualified as Tactical Action Officer in the Combat Direction Center.
CDR Berens attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, CA in 2013 where he was awarded a Masters in Strategic Studies with an emphasis in Western Hemisphere.
After E-6B refresher training at VQ-7 in November of 2015, CDR Berens returned to VQ-3 where he served as Administrative Officer and Operations Officer. Following his Department Head tour, he remained in Oklahoma City at SCW-1 to take over as Current Operations Officer from 2018 to 2021.
CDR Berens returned to sea duty and currently serves as Chief of Plans in the Future Plans office on Commander, U.S. Naval Central Command’s staff at Naval Support Activity Bahrain. He has accumulated over 2500 flight hours on missions around the globe. His personal awards include Air Medal (2 Strike/Flight awards), Naval Commendation Medal (3 awards), Navy/Marine Corp Achievement Medal (2 awards) and various unit, campaign, and service awards. He resides in Manama, Bahrain with his wife and their two children.