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TWRA celebrates area coordinator's 42 years of service

An Iraq war veteran, TWRA area coordinator, and UT Knoxville grad, Danny Akins, was celebrated for his service to his country and community last week.

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said farewell to Region 4 Wildlife Management Area Coordinator Danny Akins last week after 42 years of service. 

Family, friends, and colleagues gathered at the Ball Farm Convention Center in LaFollette to celebrate.

Akins began his career with TWRA in 1979 as a wildlife technician at Tellico Hatchery with the responsibility of culturing fish. 

During his tenure at the hatchery, he attended night classes at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville earning his Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife and fisheries. 

In 1998, Akins was promoted to the Assistant Manager position at the then Royal Blue WMA and promoted into the Region 4 WMA Coordinator position in 2014. 

In total, his TWRA career spanned 42 years.

Credit: TWRA Matthew Cameron
TWRA Wildlife Technician Tony Hickle (right) presents Danny Akins (left) with this handmade TWRA sign at his retirement party last week.

During this time period, Akins was also in the U.S. Army National Guard. 

After starting his military service as a private, he worked his way up through the ranks and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel with 30 years of service. 

Akins is also an Iraq war veteran serving as a Major in the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

Regional Wildlife Program Coordinator John Mike said, “Danny is a phenomenal person, as in his military and TWRA career, he always led from the front, always demonstrated great care and concern for the safety of his employees, never ordered anyone to perform a task that he would not perform himself."