The Michigan City High School (MCHS) Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps CyberPatriot team finished second in Indiana in the JROTC division in the national cyber security competition of the same name. There are 44 JROTC programs of all services in Indiana. The Wolves were denied the state championship by Howe Military Academy, a private boarding school.
CyberPatriot is a competition which challenges cadets and high school students nationwide to solve problems related to all aspects of computer security. Last year was the first year that MCHS had fielded a team, and this year’s team of Cadets Captain Alex Wyman, Sergeant Colin Catlin, and Lance Corporals Corey Witmer, Nathan Heim, and Mason Struppa made a marked improvement.
Master Sergeant Jeff Benak, the Marine Instructor, praised the efforts of Engineering and Technology Instructor Ralph Gee, who was the faculty advisor for the team. “Mr. Gee really did wonders with our cadets with the way they improved this year.”
Gee was very impressed with the cadets. “I am proud of the hard work and dedication of these students. They were able to accomplish a lot this year. I look forward to seeing how well we do in future years. These students have a bright future ahead of them.”
Major Tom McGrath, the Senior Marine Instructor, was also optimistic that the cadets will continue to improve. “Because this skill of being able to protect sensitive data via a computer network is so critical in today’s world, more cadets are becoming interested in this extra-curricular activity. This summer, I will be taking five of our cadets to The Citadel (the Military College of South Carolina) in Charleston to attend a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) camp. That camp will provide them with the basic skills needed for CyberPatriot and perhaps lead to a very well-paying job.” This camp is fully funded by the U.S. Marine Corps, without any cost to Michigan City Area Schools or the students.