Government Service

Darren Hartford

Consulting Editor
Charleston, SC

Darren retired as a Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force after a 28-year career.  He was a Command Pilot with over 4,000 hours of flight time in large military aircraft.  He led organizations from 100 to 4,000 people and commanded the largest deployed combat air wing in the U.S. military.   He has taken part in strategic arms control treaty negotiations as a member of the US Delegation to the New START Treaty negotiation with the Russia Federation in 2008.   His last job in the military was the Commandant of the National War College at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., the Department of Defense’s premier program senior-level course of study developing national security strategy.

After his Air Force career, Darren retired to Charleston, SC with his wife, Tina, and their two children.   He is the owner of Oliver Pluff & Company, a tea and coffee company that shares the story of historic U.S. beverages.  Here, he has gained a great appreciation for the leadership challenges and constraints small business owners and entrepreneurs face.

When you lead and take care of people, whether a small business or a large organization, it can be messy. Things don’t always go as planned, and when that happens, discovering and sharing the “rest of the story” allows you and the organization to learn, grow and move on from the experience.
Darren E. Hartford, Brig. Gen. (USAF, Retired)

Owner and Managing Member

Oliver Pluff & Company

Apr 2018 - present



National War College

Jul 2015 – Jul 2017


Commander, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing

U.S. Air Force

Jun 2014 - Jun 2015


Commander, 437th Airlift Wing

U.S. Air Force


Various Positions

US Air Force

1989 - 2017


United States Air Force Academy

B.S., Civil Engineering

Webster University

M.A., Human Resource  Development

United States Air Force, Air University

M.S., Operational Art of War

National Defense University, National War College

M.S.,  National Security  Strategy

Volunteer Details

Church of the Holy Cross

Senior Warden

Leads the Board of Directors/Advisors providing  both fiscal and strategic planning oversight for a 1000 member church

Church of the Holy Cross

Vestry member  

Member of  Volunteer board of Directors/Advisors

Charleston City Rowing Club


2016 - 2018

Member of the Board of  Directors for a small organization teaching teamwork and fitness to local Charleston youth through crew rowing.


Air Force Association

Life Member

Airlift Tanker Association

Life Member

Published Articles