Through a series of grueling online rounds, the Youngstown ARS Composite Squadron's CyberPatriot Team, "Team Hercules," successfully completed the semifinal round and earned an all-expenses-paid trip to National Harbor, Md., for the final competition and a tour of the nation's capital at the end of March.
The achievement of this team to be one of 12 final teams in the All Services Division places them above 98 percent of all participating teams in the competition.
Team captain, Cadet Chief Master Sgt .Andrew "Bones" Stoneburner of Lake Milton, a Jackson-Milton High School sophomore indicates, "My favorite part of competing is watching us come together to solve problems." Other members of the team were Jacci "Mints" Acierno of Warren, Sean "Wise Man" Beatty of Austintown, Austen "Flops" Peters of Poland, team coach Capt. Paul Creed III, and mentor 2d Lt. Brian "Loopback" Stoneburner.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Standing front of the fountain at the Gaylord National Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., are Youngstown ARS Composite Squadron’s CyberPatriot “Team Hercules” members Andrew Stoneburner of Lake Milton, Austen Peters of Poland, Jacci Acierno of Warren, and Sean Beatty of Austintown. The group placed ninth nationally at a recent competition.
"With computer technology becoming more and more important in the daily lives of people along with its importance in national defense, training the youth to understand how to protect computers and networks from those who would do us harm is a vital skill and CyberPatriot teaches those skills," Creed said.
After two long days of competition, Team Hercules, earned a national ranking of ninth place overall. Having many hours of training and practice behind them, they look forward to the next season of competition.
Perhaps these young cyber defenders will one day protect us from those that wish to do harm to this great country.
Created by the AFA in 2008, CyberPatriot is a competition geared toward teen-agers that replicates real-life cyber security situations faced by computer administrators. It provides students hands-on learning about cyber security while exciting, educating and motivating them to be America's next cyber defenders.