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NSA Historical Figures

Command Sergeant Major Odell Williams, USA

2016 Hall of Honor Inductee

African American Honoree

Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Odell Williams was a superb Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) whose impact extended far beyond those he supervised. Flag-rank officers referred to him as an "extraordinary soldier" and "charismatic leader." As one senior officer put it: "We learned lessons of character, selfless service and leadership from him." When he was the Director of NSA, Lieutenant General William Odom chose CSM Williams to be his Senior Enlisted Advisor and later commented that his counsel "was of greater value to me than I can possibly explain in words."

CSM Williams was an exceptionally talented educator and manager. He reduced the review cycle time for military cryptologic training by two years, and the time to implement curriculum changes by sixty days. He coordinated the development of courses in Operational Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) and Fusion Intelligence, instituting "first of its kind" virtual/online training at the Naval Technical Training Center. His initiatives helped gain significant additional Congressional funding to support ELINT training. He also brought innovative capabilities to computer networks and network exploitation training for military cryptologists.

CSM Odell Williams' ability to get things done and to find solutions to challenging problems were what made him a superb NCO.