Army JROTC Training Next Generation Of Cybersecurity Leaders
by Kyle Crawford
U.S. Army Cadet Command Public Affairs
June 1, 2022
“The Army is committed to investing in our
nation’s youth, and the need for emerging technology talent
continues to grow,” Maj. Gen. Johnny K. Davis, the commanding
general of U.S. Army Cadet Command, said.
The Army Junior
Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (Army JROTC) will launch a new
cyber pilot program, designed to provide Cadets an introduction to
the critical field of cybersecurity, during the 2022-23 school year
at several high schools across the nation.
Cadets from James
Clemens High Schools join in on the computer assembly
learning activity during the Army JROTC Cyber pilot program
kickoff event, Huntsville, Alabama on April 27, 2022.
Throughout the event attendees learned about the cyber
security industry, meet experts in the field and participate
in workshops. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from photo
by Kyle Crawford, U.S. Army Cadet Command Public Affairs.)
will have the opportunity to study under the guidance of cyber
instructors to hone their skills in a hands-on curriculum and can
receive industry-recognized certifications. Students can begin the
program at any grade level. In addition, Cadets will train to become
better citizens through traditional Army JROTC lessons.
JROTC Cyber is a complementary component with a dedicated focus on
expanding science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
opportunities. The four-year curriculum was developed in
collaboration with the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army
- Manpower and Reserve Affairs (ASA M&RA), U.S. Army Cadet Command
(USACC) and the cybersecurity experts at the University of Alabama
in Huntsville (UAH).
During a conference April 26-27, 2022 at
UAH with incoming Army JROTC Cyber instructors, senior Army leaders
and industry partners, Davis announced the program.
thrilled to launch this innovative JROTC program that will encourage
and inspire JROTC Cadets to hopefully pursue careers and
opportunities in cyber and STEM.” Davis said.
across the country will participate in the Army JROTC Cyber program
during its inaugural year.
Francis Lewis High School – Fresh Meadows,
Franklin Military Academy – Richmond, Va.
High School – Washington D.C.
Liberty Magnet High School – Baton
Missouri Military Academy – Mexico, Mo.
Military Institute – Roswell, N.M.
Putman City West High School –
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Shortridge High School – Indianapolis, Ind.
Sidney Lanier High School – San Antonio, Texas
Thomas Edison High
School – Queens, N.Y.
Vanguard High School – Mesquite, Texas
Maj. (Ret.) Crystal Armstrong, Liberty
Magnet High School, is one of the many Soldiers For Life who have
stepped up to teach the first cohort of Army JROTC Cyber Cadets.
“The most important thing is that the students will get hands-on
experience working with us,” Armstrong said. “The goal is to teach
the kids a lot about the systems and help them get their
certifications so that they can be successful earlier in the cyber
Armstrong was an information systems officer for
several years during her Army career. At one point she was the chief
officer in charge of an unclassified and classified server network
serving over 10,000 personnel. Armstrong holds a master’s degree in
the cyber field.
Armstrong said Liberty Magnet High School
Army JROTC has seen strong interest in the incoming cyber program
with 72 students already signed up. This is in addition to the
school’s established traditional Army JROTC program with three
instructors and approximately 150 Cadets.
Lt. Col. (Ret.)
Mark O’Connor, the senior Army instructor at Jackson-Reed High
School, will be leading cyber classes this fall.
definitely the future, it’s going to impact all aspects of their
lives,” O’Connor said. “There’s no part in society that won’t be
touched in some way, shape or form for all of our students. Giving
them these skills now will open up numerous opportunities…”
O’Connor is a great example of a teacher gaining experience in the
modern cyber field. Within the past year he has taken classes with
the GenCyber program hosted by the University of North Georgia and
is actively training with Army JROTC Cyber curriculum designers.
Upon the completion of the program, students will have the
foundation that will allow them to take their knowledge to the next
level in the civilian workforce, higher education, or military
There were 597,767 online job listings for
cybersecurity-related positions between October 2020 and September
2021, according to
a job tracking site supported by the National Initiative for
Cybersecurity Education (NICE), a program of the National Institute
of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of
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