Sunday, November 21, 2010


Many intelligence officers work under noms de guerre, and each country’s agencies have adopted their own distinctive conventions. The Central Intelligence Agency assigns Directorate of Operations (DO) staff with a pseudonym which they retain throughout their career and use for internal purposes only, especially for signing communications. DO personnel posted abroad may also use an alias for a particular mission, although it is uncommon, but by no means unusual, for those under diplomatic cover to have an alias for the duration of their posting. Their Soviet counterparts of the First Chief Directorate often used a false family name while retaining their true given name and patronymic.