G. Duane Whitman was born in northwestern Pennsylvania, and moved to upstate New York in time to celebrate his third birthday. He attended elementary school at Cobleskill Central School for grades K-2, and elementary, junior and one year of senior high at Canajoharie Central School, where he participated in wrestling, choir, band and orchestra. During the summer vacation of 1967, the Whitman's moved to New Berlin, NY, where Duane continued in choir, band, wrestling, cross-country and track and graduated in New Berlin Central School's Class of 1970.
Following high school graduation, he entered the U.S. Army in the fall of 1970, taking Basic Combat Training at Fort Dix, New Jersey followed by Advanced Individual Training at the Army Security Agency Training Center & School, Fort Devens, Massachusetts. Duane reported to his first duty station - the 8th Radio Research Field Station, Phu Bai, Vietnam - in the early summer of 1971, and was transferred to the 407th Radio Research Detachment in Quang Tri in time to experience the North Vietnamese Army's massive Easter Offensive of 1972. You can read his account of a few days of this combat tour at www.thelastsevendays.com, written shortly after he returned from Vietnam.
In addition to his tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam, his 20 years of active duty service included postings at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Vint Hill Farms Station, Arlington Hall Station, and the Army's Intelligence and Security Command (Fort Belvoir) in Virginia, the Consolidated Security Operations Center in San Antonio, Texas, the 330th Army Security Agency Aviation Company (Forward) in Kaiserslautern and Gruenstadt, Germany and the Allied Forces Central Europe's Reserve Corps in Maastricht, The Netherlands. Duane was promoted to Master Sergeant in the spring of 1984 and retired at this rank on the first of October 1990. Following his passion for the technical aspects of military intelligence, he entered the Federal Civil Service as a Department of the Army Civilian in December, 1990, and over the next 22 years served in the Army's Intelligence and Security Command, the Department of the Army's Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, and the Department of Defense's Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. Duane retired from active federal service in December 2012, 14 months after completing the Iraq deployment chronicled in "Papa's Log."
Duane and his wife Jeanne have raised four children, and are enjoying retirement in North Carolina, spending as much time as possible with their fifteen grandchildren. Throughout the course of their 42 years of marriage they have served God in local churches where they lived during Duane's military and federal service career. Drawing from his father's spiritual training and musical knowledge provided by his mother while being raised with three brothers and three sisters in a very musically inclined pastor's home, Duane has led worship, directed choirs, participated in vocal and instrumental ensembles and quartets, worship bands, and taught numerous and diverse classes at many of the churches where they lived. Their longest residency was in the quiet Northern Virginia village of Nokesville, from the fall of 1986 until Duane's retirement in 2012.