(From left) The Colorado Spring Cadet Squadron team – Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Victor Griswold, Cadet Chief Master Sgts. Isaac Stone and Noah Bowe, and Cadet 1st Lts. Taylor Coffey and Zachary Cramer.
The Cedar Rapids Composite Squadron team in action – (clockwise, from bottom left) Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Szewc, Cadet 2nd Lt. Josiah Stearns, Cadet Lt. Col. Daniel Holt and Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Charity Barker.
The Colorado Spring Cadet Squadron's team placed third nationally in the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition All Service Division finals, with results announced Wednesday night in Baltimore.
The Colorado Springs team was competing in the national finals for the sixth straight year. The squadron's entry finished first overall in 2012 and came in second last year.
The Iowa Wing’s Cedar Rapids Composite Squadron team also represented CAP in this year's finals, doing so for the second consecutive year.
In all, 13 All Service Division (including the two CAP teams), 12 Open Division and three Middle School Division teams competed for the overall title in their respective classifications.
In addition, the Colorado Springs team's captain, Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Victor Griswold, was honored with the inaugural Cyber All American award, presented to the one national competitor who has participated in the national-level event for the entire four years of high school. Griswold plans to attend Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, to study computer forensics with the goal of working as a forensics specialist with law enforcement.
Starting in October, a record 3,379 teams in three CyberPatriot divisions competed at the state and region levels in a series of increasingly difficult online rounds in which participants were given a set of virtual images that represented operating systems and were tasked with finding vulnerabilities and hardening the system while maintaining critical services.
On Tuesday the teams competed face-to-face in defending virtual networks and mobile devices from a professional aggressor team. The finalists also faced off in three additional competition components – the Cisco Networking Challenge, the Leidos Digital Forensics Challenge and a Facebook-hosted cyber security event – that factored into the teams' cumulative scores.
Along with Griswold, the Colorado Springs team – coached by Maj. Bill Blatchley – consisted of:
- Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Noah Bowe
- Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Isaac Stone
- Cadet 1st Lt. Zachary Cramer
- Cadet 1st Lt. Taylor Coffey
All but Griswold are competing in the national finals for the second year.
Senior Member Marshall Barker coached the Cedar Rapids team:
- Cadet Lt. Col. Daniel Holt
- Cadet 2nd Lt. Josiah Stearns
- Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Charity Barker
- Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Szewc
Barker and Szewc competed in the finals on last year’s team. Holt and Stearns are first-time team members. Stearns belongs to the Des Moines Composite Squadron.
Colorado Springs’ 2012 team placed first in CyberPatriot IV. The previous year, a team of cadets from three Florida Wing squadrons took the national title, giving CAP its first CyberPatriot crown. In 2014, the California Wing’s Beach Cities Cadet Squadron 107 team won the inaugural middle school competition.
Along with CAP, the All Service Division consisted of teams from the U.S. Air Force, Army and Marine Junior ROTC programs and Naval Sea Cadet Corps. The Open Division, meanwhile, was made up of high school teams. Middle School Division teams come from schools or units like CAP or Junior ROTC squadrons.
Once again this year, CAP accounted for the most All Service Division entrants, with 50 wings generating 522 teams – 40.7 percent of the division’s 1,281 total teams. The previous year, 433 CAP teams entered, translating into a 20.7 percent increase in participation.
The 3,379 teams competing in all divisions in CyberPatriot VIII represent a 55 percent increase over the more than 2,100 teams involved last year. This year’s entrants represented all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and Department of Defense Dependent schools in Germany, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
Supporters of CyberPatriot include Northrop Grumman Foundation, the competition’s presenting sponsor, as well as AT&T Federal and the AT&T Foundation, Cisco, Microsoft, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Facebook, Riverside Research, Splunk, Symantec, Air Force Reserve, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Leidos, University of Maryland University College and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.