CyberVets U.S.A.: The Mission After Transition
Christopher Marshall, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, currently serves as Director of Cybersecurity Research for Cisco Talos Intelligence Group.
As a veteran of the U.S. Navy, I’ve had the opportunity to use some of the greatest technology this country has to offer — from night vision goggles, to thermal cameras, to radio and satellite command and control equipment — even the care and feeding of nuclear reactors. When it was time for me to transition from the military to the civilian world, my post-military career led me to work for the Cisco Talos Intelligence Group, where I’ve found that many who served are also excellent teammates in the fast-paced, ever-shifting domain of cybersecurity. These men and women exhibit leadership, teamwork, inclusion, integrity, efficiency, and (importantly) the ability to acquire technical prowess. These are highly desirable traits in any industry, especially one that is predicated on trust and a willingness to always learn and evolve.
Within the next few years, we are facing the global reality of nearly 2 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs, which poses a threat to our national security, businesses and the local community. At Cisco, and Talos in particular, we recognize the value veterans bring to the workplace. We strive to create opportunities for the training, hiring and advancement of veterans because of the intangibles they bring with them. A major obstacle we face in that endeavor is how to support the military community as they transition to the civilian workforce at a rate of over 200,000 each year. In November 2016, Virginia announced the Virginia Veterans Cyber Training (VVCT) program, or as we at Cisco call it, CyberVets USA. Leading the partnership alongside Amazon Web Services and (ISC)2, Palo Alto Networks, and Fortinet, Cisco launched a free online entry-level cyber training pilot for 200 veterans who want to work in Virginia’s cybersecurity industry.
Today, we are excited to announce a CyberVets USA program in Talos’ backyard here in Maryland with the help of Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, in conjunction with a proclamation to make this November “Hire-a-Veteran Month.” Additionally, NetApp and the National Development group have joined on for the Maryland program. Developed to address a growing talent gap in the cybersecurity arena, CyberVets USA is an industry partnership of cyber-focused companies offering free training and certifications to the military and veteran community. In collaboration with the Departments of Labor, Commerce, and Veterans Affairs, as well as several of Maryland’s state colleges and universities, this program provides the training needed to develop the extrinsic skills to succeed in the cybersecurity workforce while capitalizing on the intrinsic values that hiring veterans brings to the commercial workforce. (To learn more, click here.)
Additionally, in the near future, Cisco will be launching other programs that include a targeted employer matching program, a proprietary matching engine to map military skills and newly earned certifications, linking veterans to the thousands of jobs posted by any one of Cisco’s 60,000 channel partners across the globe.
With the support of the governor’s office and the state of Maryland, the CyberVets USA program will identify, train, and help find next-generation tech jobs for the veteran and transitioning military population of Maryland, giving the vets their next mission after transition. I am proud to continue my journey with a company dedicated to serving those who served and look forward to welcoming veterans as they join the Cisco team.
To learn more, visit cs.co/CyberVetsUSA.