Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Encourage Cybersecurity Training in JROTC Programs
Washington, June 14, 2019
(Washington, DC) –Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) and Reps. Rob Bishop (UT-01), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Conor Lamb (PA-17), and Michael Waltz (FL-06) introduced H.R. 3266, the JROTC Cyber Training Act, bipartisan legislation to direct the Secretary of Defense to carry out a program to enhance the preparation of students in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) for careers in computer science and cybersecurity.
There is an increasing need for military and civilian personnel in our military to be trained in technical skills such as computer science, artificial intelligence, and cyber security. Access to this training in K-12 schools is limited and the defense sector must compete with other tech employers for the students with proper training.
JROTC programs operate through cooperative agreements between the services and schools. The programs train in leadership, civics, U.S. history, geography and global awareness, health and wellness, and life skills as well as other extracurricular activities. The JROTC Cyber Training Act would leverage this existing program and the relationships between the services and schools to prepare JROTC participants in computing, cyber security, and related technical skills during high school.
“The JROTC program prepares young students for a future career in defense through relevant classes and extracurricular activities. It makes clear sense that with the changing needs of the armed services, we provide training in the technical skills that will best serve both the students and our military,” Congresswoman Fletcher said. “These skills will not only help our armed forces, but diversify the field of future military and civilian personnel who can leverage their skills even beyond our nation’s frontlines. I am proud to support this legislation and introduce it today.”
The Department of Defense (DOD) reports that 30% of JROTC cadets join the military after high school or college, representing a significant workforce yield from the program. The remaining 70% of cadets represent a large pool of defense-leaning talent that could be tracked into civilian roles in the DOD and jobs within the defense and cyber security ecosystem.