Today, GEN Keith B. Alexander, USA, Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service, paid special tribute to SPC Joshua N. Nelson, USA, and SrA Julian S. Scholten, USAF, at a memorial ceremony held here. These service members gave their lives, "serving in silence," in the line of duty. The service was attended by family, friends, and distinguished guests.
SPC Nelson was assigned to Company D of the 297th Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Gordon, GA when he died in Afghanistan on September 16, 2012. He was operating as a member of a low-level voice intercept (LLVI) team while supporting U.S. Special Forces and Afghan Commando Forces. While on a LLVI mission, SPC Nelson's security element was overrun by insurgents wearing Afghan National Police uniforms. During the engagement, SPC Nelson as well as three members of his U.S. security element was killed in action. SPC Nelson was just one month shy from returning home from his deployment.
SrA Scholten was a Tactical Systems Operator assigned to the 25th Intelligence Squadron, 361st ISR Group, at Hurlburt Field, Florida. He was killed on February 18, 2012, when his U-28A reconnaissance plane crashed near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, after returning from a combat sortie flown in support of a joint special operations task force. SrA Scholten and his team were tasked to locate enemy high valued targets.
The ceremony included a traditional wreath laying and the unveiling of both names on the NSA/CSS Cryptologic Memorial Wall. The wall, dedicated in 1996, now lists the names of 171 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 Nelson's and Scholten's lives, service, and sacrifice can be viewed on the NSA/CSS website at the National Cryptologic Memorial web page.
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 email@example.com.