The CIA Book of Honor — Star 80 : Helge Philipp Boes


Memorial at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia

“Helge was everything a superior case officer should be: bright, energetic, and ever prepared to apply his skills where they were needed most.  He believed deeply in our mission of defending freedom.  And, in his all too brief time with us, he made powerful contributions to that cause. He was no stranger to Afghanistan and its dangers, having served there before and done outstanding work.  In fact, he was on the weapons training range yesterday preparing for yet another intelligence collection operation.  He died doing what he loved.”

Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet (February 6 2003)

May 15 2019 — Currently, there are 129 stars carved into the marble of the CIA Memorial Wall: 91 are unclassified. Who are those men and (11) women? When did they die? Why are they honoured by a star? Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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In 1974,  the CIA dedicated the Memorial Wall with 31 stars in 1974 to honor those who had fallen since the Agency’s founding in 1947.

On June 8 2001, the CIA formally commemorated the 78th star on its Memorial Wall, honoring former Agency officer Tucker Gougelmann, who died in Vietnam in the summer of 1976 after 11 months of torture.

Since the attacks of September 11 2001, 51 stars have been added to the Book of Honor and the Memorial Wall.

Helge Philipp Boes, a graduate of Georgia State University and Harvard University Law School, joined the CIA in January 2001 after working as an attorney in private practice.

On February 5, 2003, Boes – a special operations officer who had served in the CIA for only 2 years – was on a temporary duty (TDY) assignment in Afghanistan.

He was killed when a grenade detonated prematurely during a live-fire training exercise on a weapons-training range.

At the time of his death, Boes was the 80th CIA officer in 56 years to die in the line of duty.

The circumstances surrounding his service to the CIA and his tragic death were such that CIA determined that his name could be released publicly without compromising security or any current intelligence activities.

The Agency decision to publicly acknowledge Boes’ service also was made with the knowledge and support of the Boes family.

Helge Boes In Memoriam

Remembering the life of Helge Boes, who died in February 2003 while on assignment for the CIA in Afghanistan. Edited by Henrik Boes.


Remembering CIA’s Heroes: Helge Boes — CIA Website


The CIA Book of Honor — Star 80 : Helge Philipp Boes

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