The CyberPatriot team for JROTC explains who they are and what they do.
CyberPatriot – a name that may sound foreign, but in reality, it is another program that takes place at the River. If this particular part of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) is anything, it is a mystery.
There are multiple branches of JROTC, such as Academic, Drill, Raiders and Rifle teams. However, this one is based entirely around computers. Typically, it is not well-known outside of JROTC.
“CyberPatriot is the national youth cyber defense competition,” junior Benjamin French said. “It’s a competition where we are given a network and have to secure it. We’re given one [computer] with all these security concerns and we have to fix it…and then there’s another part of the competition where we’re given a network and we have to configure the network properly.”
Pictured: Ayaka Quesen, Val Herrera, Ryan Watkins and Benjamin French
Photo courtesy of Kaelyn Free.
Not just anyone is granted the permission to obtain the images or computer concerns that the team has to fix. The members have to respect their privilege because what they do comes directly from the Air Force. If they abuse their privileges in any way, they are not allowed to continue the program, and team members are selected through a unique process to begin with.
“To be selected for our teams we have a knowledge probe,” French said. “If you sign up, you’re sent the knowledge probe [which is] 10 questions… the better you do on it, the better chance you have of getting on the team.”
The students involved in the CyberPatriot team at the River share differing feelings about the difficulty level of the program.
“Frankly, a lot of the people that join have no clue what they’re doing, to some extent we still fully don’t,” senior team captain Larz Sesante said. “But the expectation from me isn’t that they know it but are resourceful.”
For the past few weeks, the team has been participating in competitions that are leading up to the semifinals. Up until now, the team has not had the opportunity to make it this far and compete for finals.
The organization not only works with scenarios competition but it trains students for a possible career in the future. When asked how CyberPatriot will be beneficial in the future, sophomore Ayaka Quesen gave her input.
“CyberPatriot is based on cyber security and with the Internet expanding and many jobs beginning to be more involved with technology, cyber security is a huge demand,” Quesen said. “So, when I’m in need of a job, I can look toward cyber security.”
Feature photo courtesy of Kaelyn Free. Pictured: Alex Perren, Colin Watkins, and Larz Sesante.