Hall of Honor

NSA Cryptologic Hall of Honor Sign

The making and breaking of codes and ciphers is a profession that demands intellect, patience, and imagination, while providing little recognition beyond the confines of the cryptologic community. That is why we participate in the NSA's efforts to honor those whose contributions to this discipline have been significant.

Members of the Foundation and its Officers and Board of Directors are well qualified to assess such contributions to cryptology, since they have long-term, intimate knowledge of the events and the people who have played significant roles in these events.

The Foundation makes nominations to the NSA Center for Cryptologic History of candidates for induction into the Cryptologic Hall of Honor. The Hall of Honor, exhibited in the NCM, was created in 1998 and pays tribute to Americans and others who have given especially distinguished service to the United States in cryptology and its related fields. The process is open to all individuals, military and civilian.

Call for Nominees

The Foundation invites your nominations for the NSA/CSS Cryptologic Hall of Honor. The nominee must have made significant contributions to the security of the United States in the field of cryptology either by one important achievement or contributions over a career. The nominee must be retired from active duty for a minimum of 10 years. The justification should be substantive and well written. You are encouraged to consult with others who worked closely with the nominee for input.

Tips to Aid You in Preparing a Nomination

If you need some help in thinking of who to nominate, you might find it help to spend some time looking through the On this Date in History Cryptologic Calendar on this Web site. The calendar provides many memory joggers of past cryptologic events, as well as the names of many notables from the cryptologic community. Naturally the events listed in the Calendar are either unclassified or have been declassified. 

If you are a member of the Phoenix Society, the "Members Only" section of their Web site contains a database of active members, as well as one of those who are deceased. 

Many will recall the old NSA publication, The Cryptolog. Browsing through redacted versions available on the Cryptome Web site could very well result in ideas for candidates.

As part of NSA's 60 year anniversary celebration, NSA published a vast amount of information on the NSA Web site consisting of significant events, documents (also redacted), and photos covering the period from 1952 to 2012, as well as some information before the formation of NSA. When you do a search by name or subject on the NSA Web site you will get links to all information available on the individual or subject from not only the 60th anniversary but from all other postings on the site. 

Finally, contributions made by more recent deserving retirees might well remain highly classified. In this case, if you identify the individual, the NSA Center for Cryptologic History, which has access to at least some pertinent classified material, can research the contributions made by the individual, and if warranted, submit the individual for consideration.

Please review the HOH Selection Guidelines (see link below) and the careers of previous inductees. Mail your nominations to NCMF, PO Box 1682, Ft. Meade, MD 20755 or send via E-mail to the NCMF (cryptmf@aol.com).

****The submission deadline for consideration in the 2017 cycle is 15 March 2017 (please note change in the date from 24 March). However, you can submit a nominee at any time during the year and they will be considered during the next cycle. Go to HoH Selection Guidelines (click on image below) to read and/or print the NSA guidelines for the HoH process.

2016 NSA/CSS Cryptologic Hall of Honor Inductees

In an official press release dated 18 October 2016, NSA announced that three cryptologic pioneers were inducted into the NSA/CSS Cryptologic Hall of Honor at the National Security Agency. ADM Michael S. Rogers, USN, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command, Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service, presided over the ceremony and highlighted the achievements of each of the distinguished inductees.

The inductees are noted below. Click here to visit the NSA web page regarding the 2016 inductees.

  • His visionary leadership was a critical element in the Agency's transformation from a predominantly strategic support organization to one proficient in real-time intelligence support to the war fighter. Click on his photo or name to learn more about him via his Hall of Honor page on the NSA website.

  • A pioneer in the development of clandestine radio intelligence for the U.S. Coast Guard in the 1930s and 1940s, his expertise in cryptology laid the foundation for the impressive successes Coast Guard cryptologists achieved against the Prohibition-era "Rumrunners" and against Germany during World War II. Click on his photo or name to learn more about him via his Hall of Honor page on the NSA website.

  • An exceptionally talented educator and manager, he coordinated the development of courses in Operational Electronic Intelligence and Fusion Intelligence, instituting "first of its kind" virtual/online training at the Naval Technical Training Center. Click on his name or photo to learn more about him via his Hall of Honor page on the NSA website.

2015 NSA/CSS Cryptologic Hall of Honor Inductees

In an official press release dated 29 October 2015, NSA announced that five "cryptologic greats" were inducted into the NSA/CSS Cryptologic Hall of Honor today at the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM). ADM Michael S. Rogers, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command, Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service presided over the ceremony and highlighted the distinguished achievements of each of the inductees.

Visit the 2015 Cryptologic Hall of Honor page on the NSA site.

*** Click below on the individual's name or photo to read the full Hall of Honor entry on the NSA Web site.***

  • A superb Vietnamese language analyst and an extraordinary manager and mentor of linguists who rose to the Agency's second highest civilian position as Executive Director. He was a champion of diversity at NSA who recognized the importance of equality in the workforce.

  • A strategic leader and visionary innovator who shaped NSA policies and practices that led the Agency through the Cold War. He improved and developed relationships across the Intelligence Community and with foreign partners, and developed an early watch center at NSA that served as a model for today's National Security Operations Center (NSOC).

  • A key innovator who led the development of cryptographic systems to protect the security and integrity of our nation's vital U.S. Nuclear Command and Control (NC2) communications and built a legacy upon which today's NC2 capabilities operate.

  • A dynamic leader who developed a science of system evaluation for computer security (COMSEC) practices, redesigned mathematical applications for crypto-security, and influenced the design and development of all U.S. government cryptographic devices.

  • A consummate cryptologist who taught herself cryptanalysis and computer programming, and also excelled as a linguist, cryptanalyst, educator, computer practitioner, and senior manager. She wrote and implemented one of the most widely-used statistical programs for all cryptanalysts during her time, and introduced new curricula in cryptanalysis for generations to come.

2014 NSA/CSS Cryptologic Hall of Honor Inductees

In an official press release dated 22 October 2014, the NSA announced that five "cryptologic greats" were inducted into the NSA/CSS Cryptologic Hall of Honor today at the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM). Visit the 2014 Cryptologic Hall of Honor page on the NSA site.

Rick Ledgett, Deputy Director of the National Security Agency, presided over the ceremony and NSA/CSS Director Admiral Michael S. Rogers joined the event by video conference to congratulate the families and friends of all inductees. Among the guests were the Polish Ambassador to the United States and other Polish officials. Members of Great Britain's intelligence and security organization, GCHQ, also attended. Deputy Director Ledgett highlighted the distinguished achievements of each of the inductees as follows:

*** Click below on the individual's name or photo to read the full Hall of Honor entry on the NSA Web site.***

  • An innovative and forward-thinking NSA Inspector General who created a new system still used to manage signals intelligence today, dramatically improved cryptologic educational curriculum, and was the driving force behind the establishment of the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity.

  • A hard-charging and results-focused leader in crisis management, communication development, and cryptologic standardization who catalyzed the most significant improvement to the security of government voice communications in 50 years and impacted intelligence analysis by facilitating real-time reporting.

  • A modern pioneer in U.S. Naval cryptology - namely "Naval Cryptology's Rickover" - who brought state-of-the-art technology to naval operations and standardized naval cryptologic work roles and education to change the culture of naval cryptology and reduce the threat of enemies to the U.S.

  • An unconventional and innovative Polish mathematician who became an international hero by developing the first higher-algebraic attack against a cryptographic system to decode Nazi Germany's encrypted messages and enable the U.S. and its allies to defeat the enemy. Click on Mr. Rejewski's name or photo to read the full Hall of Honor entry on the NSA site. You can also read an article about him in our Cryptologic Bytes Archives.

  • A brilliant theoretician whose concepts underpin 70 years of computing, enabling processing of very high-grade enciphered communications and led to development of the modern computer, and whose work turned sophisticated encrypted messages into actionable intelligence.

2013 NSA/CSS Hall of Honor Inductees

NSA Cryptologic Hall of Honor Display at the National Cryptologic Museum

Three pioneers of American cryptology and a unique group of American citizens were inducted into the NSA/CSS Hall of Honor on 13 November 2013 at the National Cryptologic Museum. Inducted were: Ms. Vera Filby, Mr. Richard Proto, Mr. Washington Wong, and ALL of the Native American Code Talkers. View the July 2013 NSA press release. Click on the honoree's name or photo to visit their Hall of Honor page.

  • A renowned educator, technical leader in intelligence analysis, and role model who developed and taught courses on reporting and related skills that determined signals intelligence practice for decades and influenced several generations of NSA employees.

  • A brilliant mathematician and innovative thinker who revitalized the mathematics program at NSA and whose technical leadership was critical to the success of many complex projects that were essential to our Nation's security.

  • A language expert who successfully tackled many of the most difficult linguistic problems at NSA and mentored two generations of language officers in Asian and other languages in the theory and practice of language work.

  • Secure communications on the frontlines in two world wars whose innovation in tactical voice communications to foil enemy eavesdroppers and skillful manipulation of language gave U.S. forces a level of security and a speed of communications that would have been otherwise impossible. In April 2014, the official Hall of Honor plaque for the Native American Code Talkers was presented to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Click here to learn more about that ceremony.

    Source of the symbol: NSA graphic designers created the image shown here based on guidance from the Center for Cryptologic History (that was based on their own research). They created an image that would represent ALL Code Talkers regardless of tribe or nation. The image includes the eagle feather, which is a universal symbol among Native American Nations. It represents the greatest of creatures created by the Great Spirit. On top of the eagle feather are two lightning bolts, which have been used many times in history to represent military signals and communications.

Additional Information about 2013 Honors & Awards

Additional Honors: on 20 November 2013, Congressional Gold Medals, the nation’s highest civilian honor, were awarded honoring the service of hundreds of overlooked code talkers from 33 tribes. Although most of those who served have passed away, Edmond Harjo, 96, a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma who served as a radio man with the 195th Field Artillery Battalion in France, was in attendance as were many representatives of Native American Tribes.  

For more information on the contributions of these individuals or to see those inducted in prior years, visit the NSA/CSS Cryptologic Hall of Honor.