Commandant’s Office New Hires

Commandant’s Hires Bring 89 Combined Years of Military Experience to the Corps

By Claire Sherling

Marion, AL—The Marion Military Institute (MMI) Commandant’s Office recently announced three additions to its staff over the summer. Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Darrell Martin, USA (Ret) was hired as the new Deputy Vice President of Student Affairs & Deputy Commandant of Cadets. Martin, an Alabama native and former University of Alabama football player, is no stranger to campus as he previously served as the Professor of Military Science in MMI’s ROTC department. Having also worked as a high school teacher, coach and JROTC instructor at Swainsboro High School (Ga.), he has a knack for connecting with students and bringing out their full potential. In his most recent position, he found that starting his own extracurricular boxing club was one of the best ways to make headway with some of his most challenging students. Martin is currently pursuing his second MA (in Human Performance and Kinesiology) at the University of Alabama—his first master’s degree is in Military Art and Science. He is dedicated to health and wellness personally, but more importantly, to educating and impassioning the Corps to develop their skills physically as well as mentally. Following Commandant LTC Kevin Dopf’s mission to improve the health and fitness of all students, he has plans to expand MMI’s athletic facilities and capabilities. 


In his previous 24-year active duty Army career, Martin commanded two Special Forces Operational Detachments: “Alpha” (ODA or “A-Teams”), ODA 714 and 782 in 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) {SFG(A)}. He was a battalion Executive Officer in Second Battalion, 5th SFG(A) ) in 2004-2005 and commanded the 5th SFG(A) Support Company in 2006-2007.  After serving combat deployments, one to Afghanistan and four to Iraq, Martin has accumulated numerous awards and decorations including three Bronze Stars, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and four Meritorious Service Medals.   


Also joining the Commandant’s staff this semester is Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Kevin Griffin, Alabama Army National Guard (ALNG), who is transferring from the MMI ROTC department as a Military Science Instructor to a position as a Teacher, Advisor, and Counselor (TAC) in Bravo Company. Griffin has an extensive military career that is as framed by formal training as it is combat-tested. Since completing Basic and Advanced Individual Training in 1978, he has served in a variety of assignments and positions to include Company Senior Medic E-325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division; Battalion Intelligence Sergeant 877th Engineer Battalion Mosul Iraq; and Command Sergeant Major Task Force Tarpon Kabul, Afghanistan, to name just a few.  Griffin has completed several tours overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In his 38 years of service, Griffin has received numerous awards and decorations, most notably three Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart, and three Meritorious Service Medals. In addition to his new duties as a TAC officer, Griffin will serve as supervisor to the White Knights precision drill team.


Hired as another new TAC officer, for Delta Company, is seasoned veteran First Sergeant (1SG) David Mennig (USA Ret). Coming off a 27-year military career, Mennig joins MMI’s staff after retiring in 2015, last stationed at Ft. Stewart, Ga.  Mennig has also served in the classroom—as a Military Science Instructor at the University of Alabama—as well as in the field and overseas. From Kentucky to Germany, and Korea to Kuwait, Mennig has held several roles including Assistant Operations NCO, HHC/1-2 SCR; First Sergeant, C/6-8 CAV, 4 BDE, 3 ID; and Operations NCO, HHT/6-8 CAV, 4 BDE, 3ID. Mennig has received numerous awards and decorations, most remarkably three Bronze Star Medals, a Purple Heart, and two Army Meritorious Service Medals.