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Civil Air Patrol Front and Center at CyberPatriot VIII

Two teams, one Cyber All American representing CAP in national finals


Civil Air Patrol will be represented by a pair of familiar names next week in the finals of the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.

The Colorado Springs Cadet Squadron team has reached the national stage for the sixth straight year, and the Iowa Wing’s Cedar Rapids Composite Squadron team is making a second consecutive trip to the title round.

The CyberPatriot VIII national finals are set for April 10-14 at the Baltimore Hyatt Regency. Thirteen All Service Division (including the two CAP teams), 12 Open Division and three Middle School Division teams will compete for the overall title in their respective classification.

One veteran competitor from CAP will be singled out for special recognition. Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Victor Griswold, Colorado Springs team captain, will be 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 April 12 the teams will compete face-to-face to defend virtual networks and mobile devices from a professional aggressor team. The finalists will also face off in three additional competition components – the Cisco Networking Challenge, the Leidos Digital Forensics Challenge and a Facebook-hosted cyber security event – that will factor into the teams’ cumulative scores.

Along with Griswold, the Colorado Springs team – coached by Maj. Bill Blatchley – consists 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 is coach of 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.

Last year, the South Dakota Wing’s Big Sioux Composite Squadron team – which was competing in its fourth straight national finals – finished as national runner-up in the All Service Division.

Along with CAP, the division consists of teams from the U.S. Air Force, Army and Marine Junior ROTC programs and Naval Sea Cadet Corps. The Open Division, meanwhile, is 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.

Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 56,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Its unpaid professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. Performing missions for America for the past 74 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit for more information.

Contact info:

Julie DeBardelaben – jdebardelaben(at)capnhq(dot)gov – 334-953-7748, ext. 250

Steve Cox – scox(at)capnhq(dot)gov – 334-953-7748, ext. 251

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