NRO names 2021 Pioneers of National Reconnaissance

The National Reconnaissance Office honored the late Paul S. Demshur and Dr. Kerry D. Rines as the 2021 Pioneers of National Reconnaissance in a ceremony Thursday, July 14, 2022. Recognized as NRO’s highest honor, Pioneers are selected for significant, lasting contributions to national reconnaissance that inspired future innovations.

“The Intelligence Community is proud to celebrate Paul Demshur and Dr. Kerry Rines, said Director of National Intelligence Avril Hanes during remarks at the ceremony. “Our nation will be well-served if we all aspire to their example of leadership, teamwork, and discovery.”

NRO Director Dr. Chris Scolese presented Pioneer medallions and citations that will also be displayed in NRO’s Pioneer Hall. Today’s ceremony brings the total number of NRO recipients of this distinguished honor to 99 Pioneers.

“Since our inception more than 60 years ago, NRO has been pushing boundaries, finding more innovative ways to leverage space in order to secure and expand our intelligence advantage,” said Dr. Scolese. “Our Pioneers have led the development of tools and technologies that enable us to collect and deliver information essential to our national security and our modern way of life. Today is not only our chance to say thank you, but to extend some well-deserved accolades to their families and people whose vision and skill revolutionized the field of space-based reconnaissance.”

Demshur had more than 50 years of experience in military operations and all phases of overhead signals intelligence system development and operations. His valuable contributions advanced the legacy of national reconnaissance and helped make the world a better place. NRO and the entire national reconnaissance community mourn the passing of Demshur June 28, 2022.

Dr. Rines dedicated nearly 40 years to the NRO. His contributions helped build NRO’s robust space-based architecture, with a legacy of solving tough challenges. His introduction and effective use of a number of new technologies benefited the agency and the community.

Source: NRO

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