Barrier Breakers in History

#Innovator

1776: George Washington

Father of American Intelligence

Newly-appointed General George Washington knew the Continental Army was outmatched by the British in weaponry, manpower and supplies. He became increasingly aware that the...

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#Catalyst

1863: Harriet Tubman

Covert Spy Behind Enemy Lines

Harriet Tubman was already risking her life to rescue slaves on the Underground Railroad. Why not add warring armies into the mix? During the Civil War, Harriet Tubman and other...

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#Innovator

1942: Navajo Code Talkers

Inventors of the Unbreakable Code

Every WWII combatant appreciated the need for an unbreakable code that would help them communicate while protecting their operational plans. The U.S. Marines knew where to find...

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#Catalyst

1942: Roy Matsumoto

Military Intelligence Hall of Fame

Hero or enemy? That was a question that the United States asked about Roy Matsumoto and thousands of other Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor. Matsumoto and his family were...

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#Catalyst

1944: Julia Child

Chef Specialty: Shark Repellant

When the U.S. joined WWII, Americans found unique ways to use their skills to support the war effort. For some, the skills they learned during the war shaped their future. Julia...

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#Innovator

1954: Dorothy Blum

Computer Analytics Innovator

The Cold War era brought a new set of challenges to the Intelligence Community. This new way of waging war required innovative ways to enhance intelligence collection and analysis...

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#Catalyst

1960: Raymond Weir

First African American Polygrapher

When Raymond Weir started working at the NSA in 1951, he was the first African American polygrapher in the United States. In an era of segregation, he was also only allowed to...

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#Advocate

1972: Renetta Predmore-Lynch

Women’s Rights Advocate

In the 1970s, the workforce was changing rapidly, but not quickly enough for Renetta Predmore-Lynch. The Intelligence Community was still primarily comprised of male employees and...

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#Advocate

1975: Omego Ware

First Director of the OEEO at CIA

Omego Ware was a trailblazer—he often found that he was the first African American to hold each of his positions at the CIA. While he received recognition, promotions and...

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