FORT MEADE, Md. –
The Cryptologic Hall of Honor was created in 1999 to pay special tribute to the pioneers and heroes who rendered distinguished service to American cryptology. Many thousands of people have contributed in meaningful ways to NSA and its predecessors, but only 90 persons or groups are recognized with this honor. The women and men who have been inducted are all giants in this once silent world of cryptology.
On 8 May 2019, Mr. George Barnes, NSA Deputy Director, led a small contingent of NSA representatives to Cincinnati, Ohio to personally induct Mr. Richard L. “Dick” Bernard, who was unable to attend last November’s ceremony, hosted by GEN Paul Nakasone, USA, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, NSA/ Chief, CSS, at Fort Meade, Maryland.
Barnes opened the presentation ceremony at the Wellspring facility at which Bernard resides by describing to those in attendance the importance of cryptologic work to our nation’s security, and Bernard’s own achievements that earned him a place in the Hall of Honor. He presented Bernard with his official plaque, an NSA coin, and a personal letter from the director of NSA.
Bernard came to NSA in 1953, to work on one of NSA’s first purpose-built computers, ABNER, at Arlington Hall Station, Virginia, and led the research and development of later computer systems. He would later supervise the movement of these machines to their new home at Fort Meade, Maryland.
In his penultimate assignment at NSA, Bernard served as Director, Defense Special Missile and Astronautics (now Aerospace) Center (DEFSMAC) from mid-1980 to mid-1983. Therefore, it is fitting that Mr. Bob Doan, current Chief Operating Officer, DEFSMAC, and Mr. Doug Nieman, former Director, DEFSMAC made the trip as well.
As an NSA Center for Cryptologic History (CCH) volunteer consultant, Dick has been serving as the DEFSMAC Historian since the 1990s. In this capacity, he has written numerous monographs and articles on NSA’s technical history. At the ceremony, CCH Chief John Tokar listed his many career accomplishments, to include his contributions to Agency history, saying, “Dick is, by far, CCH’s most accomplished and prolific contributor. His ability to take complex, technical subjects and document them in a manner that is understandable to the layman is remarkable.”
In addition to the NSA team, members of Mr. Bernard’s family and friends were present to witness this momentous occasion, including his daughter Mrs. Ann Maris Bernard, and son-in-law Mr. Robert MacLachlan.
Mr. Larry Castro, representing the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation (NCMF), also attended the ceremony. He presented a letter and coin from Mr. Dick Schaeffer, Jr., NCMF President, as a token of thanks for many years of dedicated support, including extensive updates and new additions to National Cryptologic Museum displays and content.
To learn more about the Cryptologic Hall of Honor, visit https://www.nsa.gov/about/cryptologic-heritage/historical-figures-publications/hall-of-honor/.