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Press Release | Nov. 10, 2011

NSA/CSS Adds Three Heroes to the Cryptologic Memorial Wall

FORT MEADE, Md., November 10, 2011  –  

Nov. 10, Fort Meade, MD - Today, GEN Keith B. Alexander, USA, Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service, paid special tribute to CTRCS David B. McLendon, USN; Sgt Lucas T. Pyeatt, USMC; and CTR1 Michael J. Strange, USN, at a Memorial Ceremony held here. Each of these service members gave their lives, "serving in silence," in the line of duty. The service was attended by family, friends, and distinguished guests.

CTRCS David "Blake" McLendon, USN, a cryptologic technician, assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Group in Little Creek, VA, made the ultimate sacrifice on 21 September 2010 while performing a cryptologic mission in Afghanistan. McLendon's family summed up their son best after his death by noting that Blake "joined the Navy to serve his country and make the world a better place for those less fortunate…"

Sgt Lucas T. Pyeatt, USMC, a team leader for the 2d Radio Battalion SIGINT Support Team attached to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 10th Marines made the ultimate sacrifice while on his first patrol on 5 February 2011 when he was felled by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Pyeatt will be remembered for his tremendous leadership and technical skills. His father proudly remarked that his son had "accomplished more in his 24 years of life than most people accomplish in a lifetime."

CTR1 Michael J. Strange, USN, a Tactical SIGINT Operator, assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Development Group made the ultimate sacrifice on 6 August 2011 when his team's helicopter was hit by an insurgent-fired rocket propelled grenade. Strange, along with 29 members of this team and 8 Afghans, was killed while performing an important mission in Afghanistan. Strange's fellow service members remember him as a hard worker, physically fit, and a real credit to the U.S. Navy.

The ceremony included a traditional wreath laying and the unveiling of the names "CTRCS David B. McLendon," "Sgt Lucas T. Pyeatt," and "CTR1 Michael J. Strange" on the NSA/CSS Cryptologic Memorial Wall. The wall, dedicated in 1996, now lists the names of 166 Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, and civilian cryptologists who have made the ultimate sacrifice, "serving in silence," in the performance of their duties since World War II.

Additional information on the Memorial Wall and a special historical monograph highlighting McLendon's, Pyeatt's, and Strange's lives, service, and sacrifice can be viewed via the NSA/CSS web site at NSA/CSS Memorial Wall WebSite.

NOTE: Media outlets interested in receiving photographs from the ceremony or additional information should contact the NSA Public and Media Affairs Office via phone at 301-688-6524 or via email at