Amanda Pinson worked as a cryptologist in Iraq. Amanda
enlisted in the Army after graduating from Hancock Place
High School, Mississippi. She won several scholarships,
excelled in academics and athletics and planned to attend
college after her military service to become an FBI or
CIA agent. After enlisting, Amanda received training in
electronic intelligence at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri,
after which she was assigned to the 101st Military
Intelligence Detachment, 501st Special Troops Battalion,
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell,
Kentucky. In 2006, her unit was deployed on the
frontlines in Iraq. Amanda was part of a highly skilled
group who fought their battles not only on the sands of
the desert, but also in the electronic ether. As a
cryptologist, her role was to provide and protect
essential communications, as many cryptologists did in
past wars and conflicts. She died on March 16, 2006, at
the age of 21, when insurgents detonated a mortar round
in her compound in Tikrit, Iraq.
Signals Intelligence and communications
security personnel not only works from within their
garrison. They must also perform on the front lines in
time of war. Amanda's tragic story reminds us to respect
all those who serve in silence and risk their life for
things we don't see, hear or know of. Their work is
considered secret and vital to their nation's security,
not allowing them to disclose their achievements. They
also play an important role in peace time by protecting
and gathering information that keeps military powers
balanced, as we saw in the Cold War. Amanda is the first
female soldier to be honored by the National Security
Agency. On May 30, 2006, Lieutenant General Keith B.
Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, paid
special tribute to Amanda during the Agencys annual
Memorial Day Observance and unveiled Amanda Pinson's
name, inscribed on the NSA Memorial Wall.
1984 - 2006
shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.