US Army Security Agency Lapel pin

US Army Security Agency Lapel pin

When I was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. it was in the Army Security Agency, which this pin represents.

The United States Army Security Agency (ASA) was the United States Army’s signal intelligence branch. The Latin motto of the Army Security Agency was Semper Vigilis (Vigilant Always), which echoes Thomas Jefferson’s declaration that “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

The Agency existed between 1945 and 1976 and was the successor to Army signal intelligence operations dating back to World War I. ASA was under the operational control of the Director of the National Security Agency (DIRNSA), located at Fort Meade, Maryland; but had its own tactical commander at Headquarters, ASA, Arlington Hall Station, VA. Besides intelligence gathering, it had responsibility for the security of Army communications and for electronic countermeasures operations. In 1977, the ASA was merged with the US Army’s Military Intelligence component to create the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM).

Composed of soldiers trained in military intelligence, the ASA was tasked with monitoring and interpreting military communications of the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, and their allies and client states around the world. The ASA was directly subordinate to the National Security Agency and all major field stations had NSA technical representatives present.

All gathered information had time-sensitive value depending on its importance and classification. Information was passed through intelligence channels within hours of intercept for the lowest-priority items, but in as little as 10 minutes for the most highly critical information.

ASA personnel were stationed at locations around the globe, wherever the United States had a military presence—publicly acknowledged or otherwise. In some cases, such as Eritrea, it was the primary military presence. One former Field Station, outside of Harrogate, England, in what is now North Yorkshire, was a primary listening post that was subsequently turned over to the British and became an RAF station. It is called RAF Menwith Hill and has been the site of peace protests.

Location: 1-F5

Advertisements