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Cryptologic Hall of Honor

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.

The standards are high for induction into this great hall. The individuals honored were innovators over their entire careers or made major contributions to the structure and processes of American cryptology. The men and women who have been inducted to the Cryptologic Hall of Honor are all greats in the once silent world of cryptology.

In the early days of America's cryptologic effort, many of the "giants" did both Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance. They made important contributions to both offensive and defensive cryptology. As such, they were among the first inducted into the Cryptologic Hall of Honor. 

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Lester K. Myers, 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
Lester K. Myers
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About Lester K. Myers, former NSA Senior Language Analyst, mentor, and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

Dr. Whitfield Diffie, 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
Dr. Whitfield Diffie
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About Dr. Whitfield Diffie, computer security pioneer and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

Barbara A. McNamara, 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
Barbara A. McNamara
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About Barbara A. McNamara, former NSA Executive Assistant to the Director, former NSA representative to the Department of Defense, former Deputy Director NSA, and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

Dr. David Kahn, 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
Dr. David Kahn
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About Dr. David Kahn, Journalist, Author, former NSA Scholar-in-Residence, and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

George R. Cotter 2020 Hall of Honor inductee
George R. Cotter
By | Dec. 15, 2020
About George R. Cotter, former NSA Chief of Staff, NSA Chief Scientist, and 2020 Hall of Honor inductee.

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.