Nov 16, 2018

TAPS: DIA Deputy Director Melissa Drisko


 
DIA Deputy Director Melissa Drisko
 
It is with deep regret that we pass the sad news about the passing of shipmate Melissa Drisko, who recently retired from her position as Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. While details of her memorial and interment are incomplete, her team at DIA passes the following:
 
"Team,

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I share the news of Melissa Drisko's passing.  Melissa was brilliant, determined, and among the finest intelligence officers of her generation … and a pretty good Sailor to boot.
 
We were honored to have her as part of the DIA family and she was a tremendous teammate. She was a quiet and visionary leader, which few could match. I was beyond grateful to have her at my side as a battle buddy and friend as she served as our Deputy Director.
 
Melissa had a long career in public service, beginning with her commissioning as an officer in the U.S. Navy in 1981. Her military assignments included watch officer, intelligence officer, Soviet submarine readiness analyst, and aide to the Director of Naval Intelligence.  Her distinguished career in the Intelligence Community composed of tours at the Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, The CIA's Directorate of Operations, and as the Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence. She joined DIA in October of 2004, and this was her home for the better part of the last 14 years.  She served as our Deputy Director, Director for Rank-in-Person Implementation, Director for Science and Technology, DIA Chief of Staff, Vice Deputy Director for Collection Management, Deputy Defense Collection Manager, Deputy Chief Financial Executive, and many other positions.
 
Melissa's family reached out to tell us how much she loved DIA and appreciated us. I can say the feeling is returned tenfold. She was a true standard-bearer of this Agency and of the Intelligence Community. Please keep Melissa's family in your thoughts.
 
Melissa would always tell people to speak up and not be intimidated or worried about what others thought. In her words, "Have confidence in your own abilities. … Don't ask for permission every time. … When it's time to speak up, speak up. You have a right to have a voice and don't apologize."
 
Melissa lived these words, and we're better off because of it.  DIA wouldn't be the Agency it is today without her."