“Mission Essential” is an upcoming feature in The Citadel magazine about four graduates who have been brought together in their work with the Secret Service to ensure the protection of the nation’s highest elected leaders.
When Andrew Lempp was 10, he tagged along with his father and his 16-year-old brother on a visit from their Jamestown, North Carolina, home to The Citadel. His brother quickly decided he wanted no part of the military college, but Lempp, who dreamed of going into the military or law enforcement, was intrigued.
From The Citadel, where he was a Kilo Company cadet, a political science major and a Summerall Guard, he became a logistics plans officer in the Air Force working on deployment plans. He then accepted an assignment as a command and control officer coordinating airlift missions for the Army.
Lempp became interested in working for the Secret Service after talking with an agent in charge of a transportation advance at McChord Air Force Base during Vice President’s Al Gore’s visit to Seattle in 1995. He was lured to the agency by the promise of worldwide travel combined with law enforcement. During his phase two assignment, he worked on the treasury secretary’s detail for one year and on presidential detail for four and a half years. Before joining the Office of Protective Operations in July, he traveled worldwide and oversaw the protective details for heads of state—kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers.
“I always enjoyed history,” said Lempp, “and just seeing some of the things that we get to see—11:00 at night, being the only person standing on the south grounds of the White House, looking at the house lit up is a neat thing. Or being in an award ceremony for a Medal of Honor recipient or just being next to history as it occurs.”