For the first time in more than 20 years, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy will add a new academic program. Beginning with the Class of 2022, the Academy will offer an academic major in Cyber Systems that will allow a generation of young leaders to better meet the emerging operational and support needs of the service.
The U.S. Coast Guard has identified cyberspace as an operating domain in its Cyber Strategy plan, specifically pointing to defending cyberspace, enabling operations and protecting infrastructure as strategic priorities critical to overall mission success.
“The world of cyber is inherently multidisciplinary,” said Dr. Kurt Colella, Dean of Academics at the Academy. “It incorporates operating systems, policy, law, ethics, information assurance, network defense, big data, software design, cryptography and intelligence, including geospatial systems. All of these fields represent key areas that cadets will explore during their four years at the Academy.”
In the fall 2018, the service academy will open a new 2,000 sq. foot cyber lab that will house dedicated servers, a working laboratory and a uniquely designed classroom. In addition, a variety of cyber-related summer internships will be made available to interested and qualified cadets.
The Academy also has a Cyber Team, which operates as a club sport team that participates in a variety of organized competitions such as the Cyber Defense Exercise, a nationwide cyber defense competition between the federal service academies conducted by the National Security Agency. The Academy Cyber Team is open to cadets with an interest in developing high-level defensive and offensive cyber skills, and practices during weekday sports periods and receives required sports credit for participation.
“The new Cyber Systems major will join our other programs in shaping the development of the Coast Guard’s future leaders who must operate and excel in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) environment,” said Academy Superintendent Rear Admiral James E. Rendón.