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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.

Lt. Gen. Kenneth A. Minihan, USAF

2019 Hall of Honor Inductee

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Lt Gen Kenneth A. Minihan, USAF, Director, National Security Agency / Chief, Central Security Service from 1996 to 1999, conceived of and drove two of NSA’s most momentous transformations. In the 1990s, NSA/CSS abandoned its WWII blueprint. Under his slogan “One team, One mission,” real-time collaboration developed between missions that had previously interacted through episodic exchanges, seldom in real-time operations. 

In the second transformation, Minihan changed external perceptions about 21st century cryptology. His direction during the 1997 Eligible Receiver exercise shocked DoD into preparing for an era in which cyberspace would become a domain in its own right.  NSA analysts hacked into DoD computer networks, using only commercially available soft­ware. It was the first high-level exercise preparing for a cyber-attack, and the outcome was alarming. 

Further, he introduced NSA to an outside world needing to understand its purpose and outcomes. He doubled the size of the National Cryptologic Museum, and conceived of National Vigilance Park.   

General Minihan’s recognition that NSA/CSS success depends on public understanding was 15 years ahead of its time. Together, these transformations set the stage for NSA/CSS success in an age of digital revolution, where friends and foes operate side-by-side in the global commons and at network speed.