First Cyber Warrior Scholarships Awarded to Veterans

U.S. Navy by Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Wahl

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Six veterans are the first recipients of a scholarship program trying to close the cyber skills gap. By Brittany Ballenstedt

Six military veterans have been chosen as the inaugural recipients of a scholarship that aims to close the skills gap in cybersecurity by providing career training to qualified veterans who have served in the U.S. military.

The (ISC)2 Foundation and Booz Allen Hamilton on Thursday announced the first recipients of its new U.S.A. Cyber Warrior Scholarship designed to ease veterans’ transition back into the civilian workforce by helping them obtain specialized certifications in the cybersecurity field.

The scholarships will cover all of the expenses associated with a certification, such as training, textbooks, mobile study materials, certification testing and the first year of certification maintenance fees. The program focuses on four (ISC)2 certifications – including the popular Certified Information Security Systems Professional (CISSP) – each of which require cybersecurity experience ranging from one to five years.

This year’s scholarship recipients are: Brian Eighmey of Temecula, Calif.; Bryan Johnson of Midvale, Utah; Regina Porter of Chesapeake, Va.; Jacob Schreiber of Owens Cross Roads, Ala.; Eric Shaver II of Crossville, Tenn.; and Jacobo Soriano of Fayetteville, N.C.

The Cyber Warrior scholarship was created in response to findings in (ISC)2’s recent Global Information Security Workforce Study, which found a significant workforce shortage in the cybersecurity field – one that is negatively impacting organizations and leading to more frequent and costly data breaches.

Many job ratings in the military require security certification, and many veterans perform tasks in the military that could prepare them for work in the cybersecurity field if they received additional training.

U.S. veterans who are returning to the civilian workforce provide a viable pool of motivated, intelligent professionals with a solid work ethic,” said Julie Peeler, director of the (ISC)2 Foundation. “The scholarship opens doors for individual veterans while at the same time helps to fill the collective gap in the workforce.”

Announcement of the scholarships follows efforts by the White House and several private companies to help up to 161,000 service members gain access to training and certifications for 12 high-demand technology professions through the IT Training and Certification Partnership. Other programs like Vets in Tech also are working to train up veterans for tech careers.

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