It’s no secret that the current and future battlefield rests in the cyber arena. The key for our nation to keep it’s competitive edge in this often uncertain space is the ability to train our soldiers to always be on the forefront.

By training every midshipmen in cybersecurity, the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) has made this mission a key priority. In addition, the USNA began offering its cyber operations major to the Class of 2016 – 27 midshipmen graduated last May with the specialized degree.  According to this recent Military.com article, 46 seniors will graduate in the major this year.

Paul Tortora, Director of USNA’s Center for Cyber Security Studies at the Naval Academy, has taken the lead in ensuring that all graduating midshipmen truly understand the issues surrounding cybersecurity well. For example, he keeps the issues timely and relevant by asking students to Google “cyber news” each day, then uses that to open the classroom to discussions of the latest threats – which there is no shortage of.

Tortora recently spoke with C4ISRNET Editor Amber Corrin about the curriculum and how the academy is training midshipmen to operate in cyberspace.

“So, the answer is we incorporate as many recent events as we can. This is the most demanding because there are so many current events happening in the cyber domain that rapidly change,” said Tortora, in the interview.

The curriculum does not only focus on current cyber events.  From faculty research that spans cyber law, policy, and information systems security to working with students on cutting-edge projects that combine the technical, policy, and human aspects of cybersecurity, this is a highly comprehensive program.

For working to ensure that future Naval leaders are fundamentally trained in cybersecurity, we are naming USNA and Tortora as this week’s GovTransformer. Stay tuned for our ongoing coverage of other federal executives and their agencies that are truly transforming how they support mission goals through the most effective use of IT.