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News | May 24, 2019

A final resting place for DIA’s former deputy director

By Chasen Thoennes, DIA Public Affairs Defense Intelligence Agency

Friends and family gathered on a near perfect spring day for the interment of former Defense Intelligence Agency Deputy Director Melissa Drisko at Arlington National Cemetery, May 21.

Drisko, who passed away November 14, 2018 after a two-year battle with cancer, served for 14 years at DIA. Her leadership roles included director of the Science and Technology, chief of staff and she ended her career as deputy director—a position she held from August 2016 until shortly before her passing.

Born into an Army family, Drisko continued the tradition of military service. She attended the University of Virginia on an ROTC scholarship, graduated in 1981 and received commission as an ensign in the United States Navy. Drisko’s military career included assignments at the Office of Naval Intelligence, the State Department and as aide to the director of naval intelligence. While at ONI, Drisko met her husband Phil of 32 years, and the two would go on to raise three children.

Following her time in the Navy, Drisko continued her service to the nation as a civilian in the Intelligence Community, holding positions in several agencies, including ONI, CIA and DIA. Even with her many career successes, Drisko remained proudest of her role as a mother to her three children and ensured they were her priority.

Many at DIA remember Drisko for her honesty, integrity, inquisitive mind, sense of humor and willingness to challenge the status quo.