The Central Security Service (CSS) provides timely and accurate cryptologic support, knowledge, and assistance to the military cryptologic community.
It promotes full partnership between the NSA and the cryptologic elements of the Armed Forces, and teams with senior military and civilian leaders to address and act on critical military-related issues in support of national and tactical intelligence objectives. CSS coordinates and develops policy and guidance on the Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance missions of NSA/CSS to ensure military integration.
The CSS was established by presidential directive in 1972 to promote full partnership between NSA and the Service Cryptologic Components of the U.S. Armed Forces. This new command created a more unified cryptologic effort by combining NSA and CSS. The Director of NSA is dual-hatted as the Chief of CSS.
The principal advisor to Director, NSA/Chief CSS on military cryptologic issues is Major General Mark W. Westergren, USAF, Deputy Chief/CSS (DCH/CSS). As the DCH/CSS he oversees the function of the military cryptology system, manages and cultivates the partnerships between NSA/CSS and the Service Cryptologic Elements, and ensures military capabilities to fulfill the National Cryptologic Strategy.
Although NSA had its own emblem, for many years, CSS did not. In 1996, Director, NSA/Chief, CSS Lt Gen Kenneth A. Minihan, USAF, requested an insignia be created to represent both the National Security Agency and Central Security Service. As a result, a CSS seal was designed and adopted that year. Today, the emblem displays all five Service Cryptologic Components, which are comprised of the United States Fleet Cyber Command, the United States Marine Corps Director of Intelligence, the United States Army’s Intelligence and Security Command, the 25th Air Force, and the US Coast Guard Deputy Assistant Commandant for Intelligence. Each are equally balanced around a five point star on which is centered the symbol of NSA/CSS, who provides the funding, direction, and guidance to all of America’s SIGINT activities.