Debra S. DelVecchio was born in Ankara, Turkey, the daughter of a Navy cryptologist serving overseas. She grew up in Gulf Breeze, FL and attended Spring Hill College, in Mobile, AL where she graduated in 1986 with a BS in Mathematics. Upon graduation, Debra attended Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, RI and began her Navy career as a cryptologist.
As an Ensign, and after graduation of the Cryptologic Division Officer Course (CDOC), she served at Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) Misawa, Japan as Division Officer of the site’s largest Division, and later served as an Operations Watch Officer, leading a 24-hour watch section.
Her next tour of duty was at the National Security Agency (NSA) where she participated in the Junior Officer Cryptologic Career Program (JOCCP). There, she studied over 1500 hours of cryptologic academic coursework and served in four diverse operational work centers.
While at NSA, Debra was requested, by-name, to work for the NSA Deputy Director for Operations (DDO), RADM Charles Clark. She worked directly for RADM Clark serving as an assistant aide for eight months.
Her next assignment, from 1992 – 1995, she served as the Navy Officer in Charge (OIC) at Bad Aibling, Germany. Concurrently, she served as a deputy branch chief in operations.
Returning to NSA, she established a new 24 hour watch floor operation within a larger office and then served as the collection manager for that larger office. In the late 1990s she was detailed to Commander, Naval Security Group Headquarters and served as Deputy in the Information Operations Cell where she successfully led a team to invest in areas such as Policy and Computer Operations. She finished that headquarters tour as the Aide (or loop) to the Commander, Naval Security Group, a position she thoroughly enjoyed.
In 2003 Debra moved to Menwith Hill Station, in North Yorkshire, England and served as the Commanding Officer of the Navy coupled with an operations position.
Her final assignment was at the Pentagon where she concluded her career as Deputy, National Capital Region Defense (NCRDEF) for NSA. In 2006, she retired after more than 20 years of active duty service.
After her Navy retirement Debra joined the Applied Research Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University (ARL-PSU) and served as a senior program manager for over 16 years leading the development of valuable tools and techniques for the military, Intelligence Community and DoD.
Debra is married to Michael Del Vecchio, and they have twins.
25 March 2023 at 15:55
Interesting career! In my 9th grade, 1963-1964 school year, I had a social studies teacher named Mr. Del Vecchio.. This was at Walt Whitman Junior High School in Yonkers, New York. This teacher is one of the few names I well remember from that period of my life. He was both an outstanding teacher and a highly-respected person whom the trouble makers from both inside and outside the school never messed with.
26 March 2023 at 23:06
Congrats from a old Ct in the 602
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27 March 2023 at 16:04
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27 March 2023 at 17:30
I had a senior moment with this story about Commander Del Vecchio. The teacher I was thinking of at Walt Whitman Junior High School in Tuckahoe (Yonkers), New York, was Mr. Tartaglia.
The teacher I had by the name of Mr. Del Vecchio was while in fifth grade while living (briefly) in Beach Haven, New Jersey. This would have been in 1958 or early 1959 during my family’s move from York Harbor, Maine (USS SWORDFISH was built at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard), to Pearl Harbor, Oahu. Mr. Del Vecchio chewed me out once—“as a Navy junior,” he said I should have known better—and removed my cover while the National Anthem was being played. Del Vecchio was right, of course, and I was wrong. (I never mentioned that chewing out to either of my parents. SWORDFISH with my dad embarked as the boat’s medical officer, was on its way to Pearl after being placed in commission.)
The most interesting aspect of SWORDFISH’s commissioning, from my standpoint of the past 39 years, is that then Vice Admiral John L. McCrea was the keynote speaker at the commissioning of USS SWORDFISH. In late December 1940, McCrea was officer messenger from the Navy war plans division who delivered the new RAINBOW THREE war plan to Admiral James O. Richardson at Pearl Harbor. Not too long after that, and while with CinCAF, Admiral Thomas C. Hart aboard USS HOUSTON in Manila, in January 1941, McCrea received a dispatch from CNO ordering him to deliver the RAINBOW THREE war plan to the CinCPac designee, Rear Admiral H.E. Kimmel. (I have a copy of McCrea’s long “secret memo” to CNO Stark that JLM wrote shortly after returning to the Navy Department. In January 1942, McCrea relieved John R. Beardall as naval aide to the President.)
Mr. Del Vecchio, like Mr. Tartaglia, was a superb teacher.
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