Ambassador James W. Darden, a retired major general, served in the Army Reserve for thirty-eight years, from his commissioning in 1966 to his retirement in 2004.
Prior to his terminal assignment as the Director of Mobilization and Reserve Affairs/Deputy J5 of the European Command, Mr. Darden held three command-level positions as a General Officer in the Army Reserve, including commanding general of the 81st Regional Readiness Command in Birmingham, Ala., from May 1995 until February 1999.
Mr. Darden is a native of Memphis, Tenn. He earned an undergraduate degree from Mississippi State University and his master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Mississippi. Now a Birmingham resident, he is president of Darden and Associates, a real estate and construction company. He is also the vice president of Ellis Services Corporation and a partner in Springville Properties.
He and his wife Madelaine have a son, David Darden, a daughter and son-in-law, Anne and Chad Forsythe, and a grandson, Hunter Forsythe.
In 2005, Mr. Darden was appointed by Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly, Chief of the Army Reserve (CAR), to his first term as Army Reserve Ambassador for Alabama.