25 Air Force Junior ROTC Cadets Selected for Elite Cyber Academy

CSforALL Stories
Published in
6 min readMay 21, 2020


Virtual cyber academy will prepare Air Force JROTC cadets for in-demand computing and cybersecurity careers.

Summit 2019, Salt Lake City, Utah

New York, NY (Wednesday, May 21, 2020) — Today, CSforALL, Air Force Junior ROTC, Mississippi State University Bagley College of Engineering, and the National Cybersecurity Training and Education Center (NCyTE) at Whatcom Community College announced 25 Air Force JROTC cadets selected for the inaugural Air Force Junior ROTC Cyber Academy, the capstone experience of the JROTC-CS Demonstration Project.

Participating cadets were selected through a competitive process from 30 Air Force JROTC host schools participating in the JROTC-CS Demonstration Project is a public-private partnership working to develop a national model for computer science and cybersecurity education to be deployed across the nationwide network of over 3,400 JROTC host high schools.

Blue shield with white lettering and a red border that reads JROTC-CS and the text Air Force JROTC Cyber Academy.

During the cyber academy, the cadets will build skills in state-of-the-art computing and cybersecurity under the supervision of instructors from Mississippi State University and Whatcom Community College’s Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense. The program will be delivered remotely due to COVID-19, and each cadet will be equipped with a cyber workstation including a laptop computer with a branded bag, gaming headset, and additional tools needed to fully engage in the program through support from Capital One. The cadets will work in small collaborative teams led by MSU students and supported by technical mentors from the Air Force, and will participate in weekly career conversations with high-level industry professionals. Upon completion, each cadet will earn three college credits from Mississippi State University and will have the opportunity to sit for the COMPTIA IT Fundamentals certification exam. The value of the AF JROTC Cyber Academy scholarship is $8,000.

“We look forward to having the cadets from across the country enroll at Mississippi State University in a for-credit cybersecurity course and get a jump start on their college education,” shared Sarah Lee, Assistant Department Head, Computer Science and Engineering Department, MSU Bagley College of Engineering.

“The NCyTE Center (ncyte.net) at Whatcom Community College is pleased to partner with Mississippi State University for this important endeavor. The overarching goal of the NCyTE Center is to strengthen and build the cybersecurity workforce nationwide. This academy serves as an important contribution to this goal and the ultimate goal of securing the nation.” — Corrinne Sande, Director/PI NCyTE Center at Whatcom Community College


The Selected 25 Air Force Junior ROTC Cadets for Cyber Academy

Currently the Department of Labor predicts cybersecurity jobs will grow at a rate of 32%, and the Center for Cyber Safety and Education reports there will be 1.8 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2022, a 20% increase over 2015.

“Headquarters AFJROTC is excited about this initiative and for each of our cadets selected. This program embodies the purpose and vision of the AFJROTC mission — developing young citizens.” shared Colonel Stephen T. Sanders, Director, HQ AFJROTC. “The cyber skills and technology certifications offered through this program will provide options and opportunities including up to $10,000 in enlistment bonuses and collegiate scholarships. Whether our cadets have military or civilian careers in mind, we are preparing them for the future.”

“The fact that these cadets are jumping in to be a part of our inaugural program — and doing so virtually — is a testament to the demand for technology career exploration opportunities among young people. We are looking forward to learning from their experience this summer and building out a model to bring computing and cybersecurity to JROTC cadets broadly.” said Ruthe Farmer, Chief Evangelist, CSforALL

The JROTC-CS Demonstration Project supports the goals of the JROTC Cyber Training Act of 2019 (H.R. 3266 and Sen. 2154) and is in alignment with Section 512 of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which amended Section 2031(b)(3) of title 10, United States Code, to include instruction or activities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the JROTC program. At scale, this program model has the potential to engage over 545,000 high school students in computer science and cybersecurity education pathways, as well as build technology education capacity at over 3,400 JROTC high schools, serving 4 million students overall.

The JROTC-CS Demonstration Project is public-private partnership led by CSforALL in collaboration with the JROTC-CS Advisory Consortium Members including:

Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot; U.S. Air Force Junior ROTC HQ; Capital One; Google; Intel Corporation; Lockheed Martin; Microsoft; Mississippi State University; National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE); National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC); SANS Institute; Snap Inc.; The College Board; The Internet Institute.

Interested in learning more, visit https://www.csforall.org/projects_and_programs/jrotc/

Logos for Air Force JROTC, CSforALL Mississippi State, and the Whatcom Community College NYCyTE Center

About CSforALL: CSforALL is the national hub of the Computer Science for all Movement with a mission to make high-quality computer science an integral part of K-12 education in the United States. Our three-pillar approach; Support Local Change, Increase Rigor and Equity, and Grow the Movement, directs our work across a national and local spectrum to provide equitable and accessible K-12 computer science education to every student. We engage with diverse stakeholders leading computer science initiatives across the nation to support and facilitate implementation of rigorous, inclusive and sustainable computer science. For more information: www.csforall.org Twitter: @CSforALL

About Air Force Junior ROTC: Air Force Junior ROTC is one of the Air Force’s largest educational programs operating in almost 900 high schools across the country and 15 overseas locations. More than 125,000 students in 9th through 12th grades are positively influenced every day. Air Force Junior ROTC’s focus is developing citizenship, leadership, character, responsibility and service oriented young people. This is accomplished through a world-class accredited curriculum, and disciplined uniformed environment, wrapped in aerospace and STEM related learning opportunities. For more information contact the Air University Public Affairs Office at maxwellmediarelations@us.af.mil.

About Mississippi State University’s Bagley College of Engineering: The Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University is at the forefront of education and research, offering degree programs in eight different academic departments. It currently ranks 51st among all engineering colleges nationally in research and development expenditures according to the National Science Foundation. U.S. News and World Report ranks its undergraduate and graduate programs in the top 100 nationwide. The Bagley College of Engineering is online at www.bagley.msstate.edu and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube at @msuengineering.

About Whatcom Community College: Whatcom Community College is a regionally and nationally accredited college with an accomplished faculty and staff who serve nearly 11,000 students annually. On its 72-acre campus in Bellingham, Wash., and through online courses, Whatcom offers transfer degrees, professional-technical training programs, as well as basic education, job skills, and Community & Continuing Education classes. Whatcom Community College is online at whatcom.edu and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @WhatcomCC.

About NCyTE: The National Cybersecurity Training & Education Center (NCyTE) is a consortium of colleges, universities, high schools, and industry partners working together to grow and strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity workforce. It is funded as a national resource center, by a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF-ATE) grant. Consortium members benefit from faculty development programs, faculty and administrative leadership mentoring, travel support, student pipeline development resources, curriculum resources, and support in fostering community and economic development that brings together government, industry and academia as well as opportunities to network with professionals in the cybersecurity industry. NCyTE is administered and led by Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington. For more information, visit www.ncyte.net. NCyTE is online at ncyte.net and on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.



CSforALL Stories

The national hub for the Computer Science for All movement, making high-quality computer science education an integral part of K-12 education in the US.