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NSA Historical Figures

Captain Howard Ehret

2014 Hall of Honor Inductee

Captain Howard C. Ehret was a modern pioneer in the U.S. Navy, who made naval cryptologic capabilities an indispensable part of naval operations during the late 20th century.

Captain Ehret played a key role in developing and extending to sea an innovative way for the U.S. Navy to collect vital intelligence about Soviet naval operations during the Cold War. This breakthrough significantly reduced the Soviet navy threat to U.S. naval forces.

He also ensured Navy cryptologists realized that information demands are greatest at the land-sea interface. His pioneering efforts in this realm underpin the Navy's ability to operate across this interface today in support of ground component commanders and special operations forces.

Captain Ehret authored Technical Standards of Readiness (TSORs) to establish job requirements, curriculum standards, and on-the-job performance criteria in the Navy's cryptologic force. He guided the morphing of TSORs into Navy-wide Performance Qualification Standards, which led to formal training curriculum development. His work with the Navy training community helped incorporate current and timely fleet input into cryptologic training.

Captain Ehret was "Naval Cryptology's Rickover." He developed and implemented new cryptologic technology at sea and made it as inseparable to naval operations as nuclear power. He drove integration of technology and supported it with dynamic training, tactics and procedures, realistic exercises, and readiness measurement. He combined his technological and managerial gifts to change the culture, ethos, and operational impact of Naval Cryptology.