First Class Petty Officer Darrell Deitenbeck was chosen as an ambassador of the U.S. Armed Forces representing the U.S. Navy at the 57th annual ceremony.
Deitenbeck, a 31-year-old Troup resident, called the application process “stringent.”
He said he had to send different photos and have an application letter from his commanding officer, among other things. More than 400 sailors applied to be an ambassador and about 50 were chosen.
It’s “an honor to be up here to be representing the U.S. Navy as an ambassador and member of the U.S. Navy,” Deitenbeck said by phone Thursday.
He added, “How much of an overwhelming sense of pride to be up here and to be selected to be part of a historical event.”
He said as such he will help ensure that dignified visitors are in the proper section and seated properly.
He said he looks forward to seeing the Commander and Chief Barack Obama take his oath and “being able to dignify him with proper honors.” He also looks forward to the camaraderie with his fellow shipmates, he said.
Deitenbeck has been in Washington, D.C. since the beginning of January doing various training for his ambassador role, according to information from his father.
Deitenbeck said he has been trained on public affairs and received general military training on proper military conduct and even how to handle cold weather.
He said he and others went on a walk of the parade route, where they saw exactly where things will happen.
“In case something were to happen, we would have rally points,” he said.
“I have 46 shipmates up here who have been excellent in helping each other and making sure we look sharp in our uniforms,” he said.
He was scheduled to be at the inauguration at 6:30 a.m. and stay until “the last person leaves.”
Deitenbeck has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and has received his Master of Business Administration last May from the University of Texas at Tyler.
According to information from his father, he served in Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Foal Eagle. He also served in South Korea and earned the Korean Defense Service Medal for racking up more than 60 non-consecutive days in country, according to the background information.
According to information from his father, Deitenbeck also served in Louisiana during the Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort and was on assignment in Maryland during the War of 1812 Celebration.
“Each assignment has afforded him experience and knowledge he could not have received in any other way,” the document from his father reads.
It also states that he has an extensive family history in the military dating back to the American Revolution and “has been inspired by this long history and desires to serve as his ancestors have.”
Deitenbeck will leave Washington, D.C., later this month. Next month, he will travel to a joint reserve base.