Cyber Network Defense

California Army National Guard

Cyber and information technology opportunities are available within the California Army National Guard (CA ARNG).  Units such as the Cyber Protection Team (CPT 171) and the Defensive Cyber Operations Element (DCOE) exist to defend cyber exploitation, disruption and destruction.

Cyber Protection Team

California’s Cyber Protection Team 171 is the newest team of modern warfare. Soldiers in the Cyber Corps operate and defend the military’s cyberspace by conducting offensive operations against cyber threats. 

Defensive Cyber Operations Element

The Defensive Cyber Operations Elements performs computer network defense on DoD networks. DCOE is composed of Signal Soldiers that focus on computer network defense by detecting unauthorized activity in cyberspace domains. “The DoD is ultimately responsible for defending the nation from attack in cyberspace, just as it is in all other domains.  In the event of a foreign cyber attack on the United States with the potential for significant national security or economic consequences, the DoD, including USCYBERCOM with the support of NSA/CSS, will be prepared to respond.”

GEN Keith Alexander Cdr, USCYBERCOM Congressional testimony, 12 June 2013

Military Personnel working with computers

What To Expect In The Guard

The Signal and Cyber Corps support the State and DoD networks through infrastructure service, training operations and incident response.  Soldiers specialized in technology career fields conduct defensive and offensive cyber operations during natural disasters, incident responses, and training to support and maintain a ready force for Federal missions and State civil support. Soldier working with computers

Cyber Network Defense Team LogoCyber Network Defense

Cyber Network Defense Team at a Glance

The Cyber Network Defense (CND) team was established in 2013 as part of California’s approach to cyber awareness and mitigation. The CND team is a cybersecurity organization within the California Military Department (CMD).


The Cyber Network Defense team aims to provide cybersecurity assistance to State, Local, Academia, and Critical Infrastructure providers.

Cybersecurity Partnerships

Cyber Security Parternship Logo The CND team is partnered with the following State of California agencies to support the cybersecurity across the California west coast region and various other community programs/critical infrastructure providers:

  • State CIO/CISO
  • DHS Cyber
  • FBI – Cyber Team (Sacramento)
  • CHP Cyber Crime Unit

Cyber Network Defense Team Members

The CND team is comprised of individuals in the following services:

  • CA Army National Guard
  • CA Air Guard
  • California State Guard

The Soldiers in the CND are trained to lead, operate, and maintain small group teams and information technology systems to support the Cyber State mission. Employees receive training and hands on experience to defend against cyber threats. Training includes on-the-job experience and industry-based certifications.

Cyber Involvement

The CND team maintains its focus on cybersecurity through participation in State and National events.

Independent Security Assessments

State agencies are mandated to receive security assessments and penetration tests conducted by the Cyber Network Defense team on a rotational basis.

Lunch and Learn

The CND team hosts quarterly Lunch and Learn events for State Chief Information Security Officers and their teams. The events bring civilian and military cybersecurity professional together to focus on cybersecurity best practices.

Lunch and Learn

Cyber Dawn 2020

The Cyber Network Defense team and Defensive Cyber Operations Element (Federal) hosted the first Cyber Dawn 2020 training event. Cyber Dawn 2020 is a two-week exercise designed to provide a tactical level cyber response to defend web-based infrastructure and provide team training in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 9.

Cyber DawnCyber Dawn 2020

Soldiers and Airmen from the California National Guard, the Arizona National Guard and the Nevada National Guard participate in Cyber Dawn 2020 running across all three states.

State Annual Events:

  • Cybersecurity Education Summit
  • Critical Infrastructure Security Summit

Cyber Network Defense Logo STEM Opportunities in Cyber

The National Guard offers the opportunity for IT specialized individuals to use their cyber-related experience and education to defend the State of California and our nation.  Soldiers in STEM careers such as Cyber have additional perks than the benefits of being a service member.  Cyber Soldiers learn skills that make them immensely valuable in the civilian sector. These elite Soldiers dominate the fiber-optic fight and keep cyber threats at bay.

Training Benefits:

  • Military professional training in commercial and advanced military equipment
  • Certifications in security, network infrastructure and hacking
  • Real-world assessment of threats and vulnerabilities
  • Incident response

Education Benefits:

  • State and Federal tuition assistance
  • Scholarships
  • Transferrable military training towards civilian certifications and diplomas

Career Opportunities:

 As a Soldier in the CA National Guard, service members are eligible for full-time employment in military managed careers.

  • Available State career programs:
  • Army Guard Reserve
  • State Active Duty
  • Federal Technician

National Guard Logo


 Ways to Join the Cyber Team


  •     CA National Guard officer – Army and Air Guard
  •     Enlisted Soldier/Airmen
  •     California State Guard service member

National Guard Officers

  •  For officer opportunities, you can apply to attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) or participate in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), and then request the Cyber Branch
  • Air Force ROTC participation is also available

National Guard Enlisted Soldiers

  • To become an Army enlisted Soldier in the Cyber Corps, you can speak with a local Army recruiter and ask about becoming a Cyber or Electronic Warfare Specialist


See What The Guard Can Mean To Your Future

Contact the CND

Army National Guard

 STEM Careers in the Guard:

California Military Department Jobs: