Leilehua High School JROTC
WAHIAWA — A local team of students from Leilehua High School is headed to Baltimore as a finalist in the national championship round of CyberPatriot IX — The National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.
This is the Leilehua JROTC’s third trip to the national finals where it captured consecutive Army Service Championships in 2012 and 2013.
Since 2009, CyberPatriot’s National Youth Cyber Defense Competition has challenged teams of two to six students to harden simulated computer systems and resolve real-life cybersecurity situations faced by industry professionals. The competition provides students with hands-on experience securing computer networks while also exciting, educating, and motivating them toward careers in cybersecurity and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Leilehua’s Army JROTC Mighty Mules, led by Coach Lt. Col. (Ret.) Nick Spiridigliozzi, and mentors 1st Lt. Ben Allision, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lee Unrein, and Spc. Evan Wittman, is one of 13 finalists for the competition’s All Service Division.
Team members are Cadet Brandon Unrein, Cadet Tyler McWilliams, Cadet Jarod Olive-Stalling, Cadet Jacob Huerta, and Cadet team support person Lejah Amantiad.
This group recently claimed its third consecutive Hawaii State CyberPatriot Championship. This year’s three-track competition had public, private, and home-school teams registered in the Open Division, while JROTC units and Naval Sea Cadet Corps and Civil Air Patrol squadrons filled the All Service Division. The third track consisted of middle school competitors. In all, more than 4,400 teams registered to participate, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools in both Europe and the Pacific, and other teams abroad.
The All Service Division began with more than 1,500 teams registered. Now, the group has been narrowed to 13 final teams, and each team will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition at the Hyatt Regency in Baltimore, where they will compete face-to-face and defend virtual networks from a professional aggressor team.
Competitors will participate in several timed events to showcase a myriad of cybersecurity skills in an attempt to win the coveted national championship award and scholarships.
“The CyberPatriot competition engaged our students in real cyber security threats, showing real-world applications of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, lessons,” said Leilehua High School Principal Jason Nakamoto. “I applaud the hard work of our students, coach, and mentors in qualifying for the highly competitive national championship round.”
CyberPatriot greatly benefits from the support and technical expertise of the Northrop Grumman Foundation and the competition’s founding partner – CIAS at the University of Texas-San Antonio.
For more information about CyberPatriot, visit www.uscyber patriot.org.