The Lincoln-Way East Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) CyberPatriot teams each placed 3rd in their respective tiers for the state of Illinois. CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future. At the core of the program is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, the nation's largest cyber defense competition that puts high school and middle school students in charge of securing virtual networks. More information about CyberPatriot can be found at

This is the 14th year that Lincoln-Way AFJROTC cadets have competed in this event. This year there were 5254 teams from around the world competing in the event. Of those teams 1449 were in the “All Service” division which includes JROTC, Sea Cadets, and Civil Air Patrol organizations. Teams are broken into tiers based on their performance in qualifying rounds of the competition. East’s “Cyber Griffins 1.1” placed in the middle 40% of teams and was therefore assigned the Gold Tier. Cyber Griffins 1.0 placed in the top 30% and was assigned to the “Platinum Tier” which includes the best teams in the world.

CyberGriffins 1.0 placed 3rd in Illinois in the Platinum Tier and CyberGriffins 1.1 placed 3rd in Illinois in the Gold Tier.  The Cyber Griffins’ sponsor, Master Sergeant Dale Steen said “I’m very proud of East’s teams. Even though we have mentors that teach the cadets some cyber security principles they are mostly self taught.  They competed in five rounds this year and each round is six hours of stress and frustration as the teams attempt to find and correct security defects in virtual computer networks.  Both of the teams stayed focused and performed exceptionally well.”

Pictured are: 

Back row from L to R: Shane Limas, Caitlin Scott, Easton Klein, Rachel Leonard, Maxwell Bacon, MSgt Dale Steen.

Front row from L-R: Mason Lehan, Teagan “Andy” Powers

Not pictured: Miguel Castro, Edward Kuhnhofer