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NEWS | Dec. 16, 2021

NSWCDD Engineer Wins Prestigious Rowlett Award

By NSWCDD Corporate Communications

Jacqueline Cheramie, a cybersecurity system engineer at Naval Surface Warfare Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD), was recently selected as a winner of the 2020 Frank B. Rowlett Award from the National Security Agency (NSA).

The NSA established the Information Systems Security National Awards to recognize outstanding Federal Government organizational and individual excellence in information systems security. The award is named in honor of the cryptographic pioneer Frank B. Rowlett.

“I was not expecting this at all,” explained Cheramie. “I’m just completely overwhelmed by the recognition.”

Recognition is not something someone in the cybersecurity world often receives. “My hope is that others in the cybersecurity arena will be inspired and motivated by this recognition.”

The 25-year NSWCDD employee reflected on what her team has accomplished during the past year. From May 2020-March 2021 the Gun Weapon System (GWS)/Naval Fires Control System (NFCS) Cybersecurity team achieved either authorization or assessment approval for 10 Afloat Risk Management Framework (RMF) packages. In the last three months alone, the team received six approvals.

This windfall of approved authorizations and assessments occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Cyber Team continued work onsite amid social distancing restrictions, flexing their work schedule to continue this high priority work for the fleet while leadership found alternate solutions.

“The Rowlett Awards were created to recognize efforts that have significant enhanced advancements in the field of cybersecurity,” read the congratulatory letter from NSA. “In your role as cybersecurity engineer at NSWCDD, you were instrumental in identifying and implementing cybersecurity requirements for the Mark 34/Mark 48 GWS that were critical in ensuring long-term security and readiness, and identifying new capabilities and techniques for sustained defense-in-depth for products under development.”

During the awards ceremony in November, which Cheramie attended virtually, she thanked the Rowlett family for their contribution to the cybersecurity world.

“Mr. Rowlett, your dad was a pioneer and innovator in his day,” said Cheramie. “I hope I can continue to live up to his standard and this award.”