AFA’s CyberPatriot Competition Reaches Over 1,000 Teams in Record Time

May 3, 2018

May 03, 2018

AFA’s CyberPatriot Competition Reaches Over 1,000 Teams in Record Time

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Air Force Association (AFA) today announced that CyberPatriot, AFA’s premier STEM education initiative, has surpassed 1,000 registered teams for the 2018-2019 CyberPatriot XI National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. This milestone comes just 32 days after the launch of registration, beating the previous record by seven days.

Registration opened on April 1, 2018 for prospective coaches and mentors to sign up teams for the upcoming competition, which will begin in October. To date, teams from 47 states are already represented in the competition field, missing only Alaska, Kansas, and North Dakota. Last year, CyberPatriot X broke all previous registration records after 5,584 teams signed up to compete from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Hungary, Australia, Canada, and DoD Dependent Schools in the Pacific.

“Watching AFA’s CyberPatriot program continue to grow at a fast rate is exciting,” said CyberPatriot National Commissioner, Bernie Skoch. “With the support of our generous sponsors we are addressing our nation’s critical need for cyber talent. To see the thousands of students join the competition and explore a promising career path is gratifying. CyberPatriot XI is off to a great start!”

CyberPatriot aims to inspire high school and middle school students to pursue careers in cybersecurity and other STEM disciplines critical to our nation’s future. The program’s unique structure provides students hands-on learning about technology, emphasizing teamwork and leadership, and exercising critical-thinking skills. The Air Force Association also provides its Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative and annual AFA CyberCamps through the CyberPatriot program.


How the Competition Works

A CyberPatriot team consists of a coach and two to six students enrolled in the same middle school, high school, or other approved youth or educational organization. CyberPatriot provides fundamental training materials and encourages coaches to work with technical mentors who register on the CyberPatriot website to volunteer to help train teams for competition. Neither coaches nor competitors need any special technical background, and the competition’s structure is designed to keep students of all skill levels engaged throughout the season.

During the competition’s preliminary rounds, teams compete online from their home locations on software that simulates real network environments IT professionals face. CyberPatriot places cybersecurity vulnerabilities in secure simulated networks, and competitors gain points by finding and fixing them. The competition has a tournament-style tiered structure, and teams advance based on scores from each round until the top 28 teams are identified. Those top qualifying teams then receive all-expenses-paid trips to the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition held in Baltimore, MD, each spring.

All high schools, middle schools, approved home school programs, JROTC units of all services, US Naval Sea Cadet Corps squadrons, Civil Air Patrol squadrons, scouting units, Boys and Girls Clubs, 4-H clubs, and other approved youth organizations are invited to participate.

Supporters of CyberPatriot include the Northrop Grumman Foundation, CyberPatriot’s presenting sponsor, as well as Cyber Diamond sponsors AT&T, Boeing, Cisco, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Microsoft; Cyber Gold sponsors Facebook, Riverside Research, Splunk, and Symantec; and Cyber Silver sponsors Air Force STEM, Air Force Reserve, American Military University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Leidos, Mastercard, and University of Maryland University College.

To learn more about CyberPatriot’s programs and initiatives, and to sign up for CyberPatriot XI, please visit

The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage.


McKinnon Pearse