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National Security Agency to honor Shannon Kent, Fort Meade sailor killed in Syria

Navy Chief Petty Officer Shannon M. Kent. (U.S. Navy/Released)

Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent on Thursday will become the third woman to have her name added to the National Security Agency’s National Cryptologic Memorial, which honors cryptologists killed in the line of duty, according to agency officials.

Kent was a Navy cryptologic technician stationed at Fort George G. Meade and one of four Americans killed in a blast set off by a suicide bomber in northern Syria last month. She is the first female Navy service member killed in the battle against ISIS.

According to the NSA website, the black granite memorial stands 8-feet tall by 12-feet wide with the words “They served in silence” etched into it. The memorial is housed in the NSA headquarters complex on Fort Meade. The event is not open to the public.

Kent follows Army cryptologists Sgt. Amanda Pinson, who was killed in Iraq in 2006, and Sgt. Trista Moretti, also killed in Iraq in 2007, as the 177th entry on the memorial.

Kent was honored Saturday by firefighters from Anne Arundel County, Annapolis, Odenton, the Naval Academy and Fort Meade as her funeral procession traveled through Anne Arundel from Dover Air Force Base to Arlington National Cemetery, where she was buried Monday. Firefighters stood on top of their trucks, waving flags to pay their respects on the overpasses along Route 50.

Kent was in the process of appealing the waiver denial that led to her deployment before she became the first female sailor killed in the fight against ISIS on Jan. 16. After her death, the Navy changed the waiver policy with regard to its medical examination and waiver system for officer commissioning programs, according to the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.

Kent, 35, was supposed to be getting her doctorate in clinical psychology, but the Navy reversed their decision to send her to the program last fall because of her history with cancer and sent her to her fifth combat deployment instead — where she died two months later, according to Stars and Stripes.


© 2019 The Capital (Annapolis, Md.)

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