Naval officer designated next NSA chief has Greencastle ties

Dana (Walck) and Mike Rogers, and their children, Patrick, left, and Justin, may soon be entering a new phase of public life. Mike Rogers is in line to become head of the National Security Agency.

The name Mike Rogers may soon be a household name, and with an extra special meaning in the Greencastle-Antrim area.

The vice admiral, who is married to Greencastle native Dana (Walck) has been tapped by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to become director of the National Security Agency.

After that announcement last Thursday, President Barack Obama nominated him for head of the U.S. Cyber Command, which requires a hearing and Senate confirmation. If confirmed, he would also be slated to receive a fourth star.

Rogers would lead the NSA through controversial issues such as the U.S. secret surveillance programs, ongoing ramifications from leaks by former contractor Edward Snowden, the use of drones, telephone data collection and protecting the country from terrorist attack.

As Rogers carries those heavy responsibilities, his wife Dana, will be at his side.

A military life

Dana (Walck) Rogers, 51, met her future husband in Washington D.C. in 1984. She was a working college student and he was on liberty in the city. They married the following year. She supported his Navy career, which focused on cryptology. The job sent them to Maine, Hawaii, Italy, Washington D.C., Europe, and their current home not far from his base at Fort Meade, Md.

They have two sons, Justin, 25, also in the Navy, and Patrick, 21, a student.

“We are so proud of Mike,” said Dana on Saturday, having just dropped him off at the airport for a trip to Australia. “He's worked so hard. It is exciting, interesting and overwhelming.”

If confirmed, he would replace Army Gen. Keith Alexander, who is retiring in mid-March.

Mike Rogers, 54, is a native of Chicago, and his current title is Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command; and Commander, U.S. 10th Fleet.

To Dana, “he is still my little lieutenant grade husband when I met him.”

Though they have traveled the world, they are just everyday people, she said.

“Our uneventful life is pretty simple. We see an occasional movie and talk about the kids.”

Dana graduated from American University with a B.S. in Business Management, and had a career in human resources. She devoted much time as a volunteer aiding military families at support centers wherever they were stationed. She was also active in the boys' schools.

The daughter of Franklin “Bud” and Marilynn Walck, she gets back to Greencastle as much as she can for family events. She called it a wonderful place to grow up and come home to. She also has two sisters, Pam Landis and Carla Wright, and their families to visit.

The spotlight on the Rogers' may get brighter these days, but Dana is prepared.

“It's a wonderful life, but no question about it, it's a lot of work on the spouse and children.”