Cyber Boss Praises AFA’s CyberPatriot Program in HASC Testimony

April 18, 2024

Air Force Gen. Timothy Haugh, Commander of U.S. Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency, pointed to CyberPatriot, AFA’s national youth cyber education program, as a prime example of where the armed services should look to recruit the next generation of math, technology, and cyber professionals, during his recent testimony before House policy makers. 

“I just attended the Finals of CyberPatriot … They’ve done a really nice job of bringing people towards the technology,” Haugh said in his April 10 testimony before the House Armed Services’ cyber, information technologies, and innovation subcommittee. “It’s our job to be able to [create] opportunities with the ROTC programs that are in high schools, and also to be able to reach out and be able to explain, ‘What would you do if you came and worked with us, either as a civilian or in the military?’ That’s our story that we’ve got to tell.” 

Haugh attended CyberPatriot’s National Finals ceremony on March 18, where he presented the All Service Division trophy to the winning team. This was the competition’s 16th season. 

CyberPatriot is the world’s largest national youth cyber education competition. Every year, thousands of K-12 students go head-to-head in a series of cybersecurity competitions. Teams are tasked with managing virtual operating systems and fixing cybersecurity vulnerabilities while maintaining critical services.  

“Our country has more jobs in cybersecurity than there are qualified workers to fill them. CyberPatriot’s main goal is to attract students to careers in cybersecurity and other STEM fields to help bridge the gap,” said Rachel Zimmerman, CyberPatriot’s National Commissioner. “Since the programs launch, we estimate that over 100,000 CyberPatriot alumni have gone on to pursue a degree and/or career in cybersecurity of computer science, reducing our nation’s deficit in cyber defenders by 15%.” 

CyberPatriot is already gearing up for its 2024-2025 season. To learn more about the program and how to get involved, visit