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.”