FORT MEADE, Md. — The National Security Agency (NSA) is celebrating Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW), a week-long annual event to honor the people who serve our nation as federal, state, county, local and tribal government employees.
"It's Public Service Recognition Week and I want to thank our workforce and our agency partners for your dedicated service and commitment to our nation," said General Paul M. Nakasone, Commander USCYBERCOM, Director NSA/Chief, Central Security Service to his staff. He and several other NSA leaders shared their reflections on why they chose a career in public service.
NSA/CSS employees are part of the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community in the federal government. Some employees serve for only a few years, some serve for several decades.
Capabilities Director Greg Smithberger joined NSA during the Cold War.
"I simply wanted to do whatever I could do to help inform the national decision-makers, the military commanders, to help navigate their way through that particularly dangerous time," said Smithberger.
"I chose a life of public service because I saw NSA making a difference in the Cold War," said Rob Joyce, Director of Cybersecurity. "I can see day-to-day that I made a difference."
Gil Herrera, Director of Research, was influenced by his parents' belief that service is a high calling and an important part of being an American.
"My parents reinforced the importance of doing our share and helping others," Herrera said. "Every day, NSA employees provide policy makers and the military with critical and actionable intelligence, secure our nation's information and networks, and save lives."
Jon Darby, Director of Operations, reflected on his overseas tours: "I remember seeing the United States flag flying - and that's when it dawned on me that this is my everyday life at work; my job reflects the values that that flag represents."
When asked, many NSA leaders and staff reply that public service gives them a chance to give back to the nation.
"I choose to stay in a career of public service because of a sense of purpose - relevant and impactful service," said Natalie Laing, the Director of Engagement and Policy.
As employees progress in their careers, it's not just what they do that matters, it's who they work with. Diane Dunshee, Director of Business Management and Acquisition, said she's inspired by the expertise and dedication of her "work family."
Catherine Aucella, Director of Workforce Support Activities, agreed, saying that, "Working with truly brilliant people reminds me of how lucky I am to be part of something much bigger than myself and that together, it's possible to overcome the impossible."
NSA employees, like all federal employees, voluntarily take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
"Public servants made a conscious choice to share their talents for the good of the Nation," said Deputy Director George C. Barnes. "NSA/CSS personnel have devoted their careers to serving this country, often behind the scenes, without fanfare or recognition."
NSA's mission is growing, and we are actively recruiting top talent to improve our ability to defend our nation. To learn how you can begin a career at NSA, visit intelligencecareers.gov/NSA.