SC National Guard hosts inaugural Cyber Boot Camp at The Citadel

Charleston County News

Twenty-Eight U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers with the South Carolina National Guard, from units assigned throughout the state, participated in The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute inaugural National Guard Cyber Boot Camp, June 7-18, 2021 at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. For two weeks, the Soldiers pursued training in Security+ and Penetration testing. The students learned basic to intermediate security concepts and how to conduct PenTest+ testing to enhance a company’s cybersecurity program. (Courtesy photo)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Citadel Department of Defense Cyber Institute (CDCI) recently hosted the South Carolina National Guard (SCNG) for the inaugural National Guard Cyber Boot Camp.

A class of 28 soldiers spent nearly two weeks participating in the Cyber Leaders Development Program, which trains in Security+ (Sec+) and Penetration Testing (PenTest+).

The Citadel served as a prime location for the training due in part to its new cyber lab, which allowed “hands-on training to develop and enhance cyber-competency skills.”

Strengthening cyber defense at military colleges was a focus of the 2020 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which allocated around $1.5 million “to establish a cybersecurity institute as pilot programs on their campus.”

The programs are in furtherance three priorities identified in the Department of Defense’s (DoD) 2018 Cyber report:

  • Sustaining a cyber-ready workforce
  • Enhancing the nation’s cyber talent
  • Establishing a top talent management program

Dr. Shankar Banik, CDCI Cyber and Computer Sciences professor and department head and director, pointed out that “there is a critical shortage of qualified cyber professionals within the [DoD], both military and civilian.”

U.S. Army Col. Linda Riedel, CDCI Deputy Director of operations and outreach, said that “the opportunity to partner with [The Citadel] in training our Soldiers not only builds the cyber workforce capacity, but really adds value to South Carolina as a whole. When you train a National Guard Soldier, you are also training the civilian workforce and ultimately the community.”

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