Lt. Col. Kirsten McFarland is a 2002 graduate of Saint Bonaventure University in New York where she received a Regular Army Commission and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, before going on to earn a Master of Environmental Management from Webster University and a Master of Irregular Warfare from the Naval Postgraduate School.
McFarland started her career in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC, where she deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and then as a Platoon Leader to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. She later Commanded a Medical Company in Hawaii taking care of wounded, ill and injured Soldiers before moving to Tennessee for the first time.
McFarland served in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, Airborne (SOAR(A)) at Fort Campbell, KY where she deployed again to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. After a second tour at Fort Bragg, McFarland returned to Fort Campbell to 5th Special Forces Group, Airborne (5SFG(A)) and deployed to Turkey with the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Syria.
She was then chosen to manage careers of officers in her career field (majors and lieutenant colonels) at Army Human Resources Command at Fort Knox before serving as the Branch Chief, overseeing Army manning and career development for all chemical officers and warrant officers in the active Army.
Prior to assuming command in Nashville, McFarland served for nearly two years at the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in Tampa, FL in the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate. While in Tampa, she also served as the Vice-President of the Tampa ROCKS, a Chapter of the ROCKS National Mentorship Organization.
Her awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the NATO Medal, German Parachutist Wings in Bronze, the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge in Silver, the Parachutist Badge, and the Combat Action Badge.