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.

Richard L. “Dick” Bernard

2018 Hall of Honor Inductee

Richard L. “Dick” Bernard, an electrical engineer, joined NSA in 1953 to work on ABNER, one of NSA’s first computers. He soon was in charge of a groundbreaking team doing research and development (R&D) on a new special purpose computer. In 1956, as chief of three teams maintaining large special-purpose computers, he planned and supervised the movement of these systems from the D.C. area to Fort Meade, Maryland.


In 1959, Mr. Bernard completed an extensive study of electronic intelligence (ELINT) signals processing for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and became the lead in specialized areas of ELINT research and development (R&D) policy. He had a role in drafting the DoD directive that established NSA’s ELINT responsibilities and became chairman of a working group that reviewed all DoD ELINT R&D efforts.


In 1962, successful as project manager for a major new telemetry collection/processing system, he was named project manager for two additional field collection systems in key areas. Mr. Bernard led the first large-scale planning effort for high-frequency signal remoting in 1970.


Throughout the 1970s, Mr. Bernard was a senior manager at NSA or field manager for large-scale collection programs, and was NSA’s senior technical representative in several projects with government and foreign partners.


As director of the Defense Special Missile and Astronautics Center (DEFSMAC) from mid-1980 to mid-1983, Mr. Bernard innovatively implemented major upgrades and new concepts in operations for this critical DoD organization.


Mr. Bernard retired from NSA in December 1984 to join private industry. Since the 1990s, as a consultant to the Center for Cryptologic History, he has written numerous monographs and articles on NSA’s technical history.