The Information Professionals Association (IPA) awarded the Order of Hermes to Rear Admiral (Ret.) Steve Parode for his exceptional service and leadership in information operations and information warfare. Admiral Parode, who most recently served as Director of the Navy’s Warfare Integration Directorate (N2/N6F) in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations from 2018 through 2020, received the award during the re-invented Phoenix Challenge 2.0 virtual conference co-sponsored by IPA and the University of Maryland’s Applied Research Lab for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS) on April 13, 2021. IPA selected Rear Admiral Parode for the Order of Hermes based on his decades of commitment and contributions as an information operations/information warfare (IO/IW) pioneer for the U.S. Navy and the Joint Force.
“It is fitting that Rear Admiral Parode be recognized as the first Phoenix Challenge recipient as he is, without a doubt, one of the key plank holders of the information warfare profession,” said Austin Branch, Executive Director of Information Strategy and Programs at COLSA Corporation and Co-founder and former President of IPA. Branch noted that Rear Admiral Parode’s work has helped form the foundation for a community of information professionals to evolve.
IPA is a professional association that provides a forum for information professionals to interact, collaborate, and develop solutions that enhance the cognitive security of the US and our friends and allies. IPA’s partnership focuses on the study, advancement, and application of information-related activities and technologies to achieve specific, predictable effects. The IPA serves as the nexus for information professionals interested in the application of soft and hard science, advanced analytics, and innovative technologies to advance security, prosperity, shared values, and international order through the free flow of ideas and information. The Order of Hermes is an honorary award from IPA to recognize individuals for exceptional service and contributions in the field of cognitive security and information operations. More information on the Order of Hermes, including other past recipients, can be found on the IPA website.
Throughout his career, RADM Parode served on staff tours that have contributed to both the Naval and information operations professions, including in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations (N3/5) and in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence as the deputy director for IO. RADM Parode validated IO and cyber requirements, served as program manager for Special Program Capability Development, guided policy implementation for intelligence support to IO and cyber operations, and qualified as an information warfare officer and full joint duty. As a flag officer, Parode has served as director of intelligence (J2) for U.S. Strategic Command and deputy chief of Computer Network Operations (X43) at NSA.
At sea, RADM Parode served aboard USS Wisconsin (BB 64) as intelligence department head and main battery targeting officer during Operation Desert Storm, where he also qualified as a surface warfare officer; two special submarine mission deployments; cryptologic resource coordinator and force protection officer for Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group 8/USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) strike group and Staff Cryptologist and Information Operations (IO) director for U.S. 6th Fleet aboard USS La Salle (AGF 3) in Gaeta, Italy, where he was fleet battle watch captain during Operation Iraqi Freedom and the J2C and J39 for Joint Task Force, Aztec Silence in West-Central Africa.
Ashore, in addition to a series of assignments in fleet signals intelligence, while assigned to Naval Security Group Command, he led its first IO division and served on the Network Red Team for Exercise Millennium Challenge. He commanded Navy Information Operations Command, Sugar Grove, West Virginia and became the first field station commander of National Security Agency (NSA) Sugar Grove Research Station. As commanding officer of Navy Cyber Warfare Development Group, he also served as commander, Task Force 1090 as part of the U.S. 10th Fleet.
RADM Parode is a native of Washington, D.C., and was commissioned in 1986 from the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in History (Soviet Studies). He subsequently received a Master of Arts in National Security Studies (American Government) from Georgetown University and was a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval War College. He is a member of the Navy’s Information Warfare Community and Space Cadre. Upon commissioning, RADM Parode completed Basic Cryptologic Officer training and proceeded to his first duty assignment at Naval Security Group Activity San Vito dei Normanni, Italy. His military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards), Legion of Merit, Combat Action Ribbon and other personal awards, various campaign and unit decorations.