Winchester Civil Air Patrol CyberPatriot team lands in top 10 for state from first competition round
WINCHESTER, Va. (Nov 12, 2021) – A local team of cadets from Civil Air Patrol’s (CAP) Winchester Composite Squadron are gearing up to put their cybersecurity skills to the test in CyberPatriot XIV—the fourteenth season of the Air Force Association’s National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.
Since 2009, CyberPatriot’s competition has challenged teams of students to harden simulated computer systems and resolve real-life cybersecurity situations faced by industry professionals. The competition provides students hands-on experience securing computer networks while exciting, educating, and motivating them toward careers in cybersecurity and other STEM fields.
Led by Lieutenant Colonel CJ Muncy, the Winchester CAP team is one of over 5,200 high school and middle school teams from around the globe registered to participate. In all, 347 CAP teams will compete against fellow CAP squadrons, Junior ROTC units and Naval Sea Cadet teams in the All-Service Division. Another 102 teams of cadets in middle school will compete against other middle school teams.
Each team is guaranteed three rounds of live online competition. Round 1 of CyberPatriot XIV was held Oct. 22-24. Additional rounds are scheduled for November and December. Eliminations begin following the third round and only the top scoring teams advanced to the semifinals. Following the semifinals, only 28 teams advance to the in-person National Finals Competition in March, where the teams travel to Bethesda, MD with all expenses paid.
The Winchester CAP team placed 8th in the All-Service division across the Commonwealth. Cadet Master Sergeant Pardue serves as the team’s captain, now competing in her fourth season of CyberPatriot. When asked what makes CyberPatriot fun, she shared, “What makes it fun are the challenges and opportunities this can bring. The competitions feel like games that teach you something. I have learned a lot from being in CyberPatriot. The important things to me that I’ve learned are how to properly secure computers and working as a team with my teammates.”
In addition to the competition, CyberPatriot offers a variety of programs aimed at educating the public about the importance of cybersecurity. These programs include AFA CyberCamps, an Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative (ESCEI), a children’s literature series, CyberGenerations – a senior citizen cyber safety initiative, and a Tech Caregivers program designed to encourage cyber-savvy volunteers to give back to their communities.
CyberPatriot greatly benefits from the support and technical expertise of the program’s presenting sponsor, Northrop Grumman Foundation, along with Cyber Diamond sponsors AT&T and the AT&T Foundation, Boeing, Cisco, Microsoft, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Cyber Gold sponsors Air Force Reserve, BNY Mellon, Facebook, Symantec, and the USAA Foundation; and Cyber Silver sponsors the Air Force STEM, American Military University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Gannon University, Leidos, Mastercard, and University of Maryland Global Campus.
For more information about CyberPatriot, visit www.uscyberpatriot.org.