Local soldier retires from White House security team

WARRENSBURG - There's a mahogany plaque bearing a U.S. Presidential seal in Darren Duell's house that represents considerable pride on behalf of Duell, his family and local citizens.

It bears his credentials as a member of the White House security team.

For years he used this identification booklet to gain access to the White House and places top U.S. officials visited. Now, the credentials are now affixed to the honorary plaque as a memento.

Duell, 37, just retired from the Navy after a 20-year career, most recently as a member of the White House Communications Agency.

Although he won't get specific about his work, apparently he worked on an advance team of military officials that secures sites and sets up communications apparatus whenever a U.S. president goes on a trip.

He's been is Washington D.C. since 2008 working on the White House security team on behalf of the Department of Defense.

On July 17, dozens of Duell's friends and neighbors attending an open house congratulated him for his two decades of service to the nation. This retirement celebration was held at the American Legion Post on River Street. Among those attending were his parents, Rusty and Donna Duell and Darren's brother Doug Duell, principal of Warrensburg High School.

Duell said this week he is happy to be retiring from the military and returning to his hometown, where his wife and children have been situated for several years.

"I enjoyed my Navy career," Duell said. "I had the opportunity to go a lot of places, and I did a lot of things."

Soon after graduating from Warrensburg High School in 1990, Duell enlisted in the Navy.

In the Navy, he learned how to maintain computer equipment used in cryptology - the field of encrypting data and interpreting coded messages - plus how to maintain and repair high-frequency direction finder devices - arrays of antennas that detect the location of covert radio transmissions.

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