The mission of the Wounded Warrior Cyber Combat Academy (W2CCA) is to "To Build the Next Generation of Cyber Defenders by Cross-Training the League of Wounded Warriors to help Protect and Defend the Nation’s Information Systems."

The Vision

Today’s cyber attacks are continuing to become more technically astute and effective.  Gone are the days of simple denial of service attacks targeting websites and other Internet-facing IT systems.  Today’s attacks are targeting the intellectual property and economic foundations of organizations in every industry, vertical and country.  The theft of such information is a common occurrence as critical information systems are infiltrated through Internet connections and vital economic capital, critical technologies, and other forms of national wealth are being plundered.
Real-life events demonstrate that those organizations that employ highly technical cyber security professionals in areas such as incident response, network defense, and penetration testing or forensics analysis are in the best position to identify, quarantine and remediate today’s cyber threats.  The differentiator is not just a device or appliance.  There is a critical need for people who are able to use judgment and analysis at a deep technical level that can make the difference.

The problem for our nation is this: we don’t have enough people with the right mix of technical cyber security skills to adequately protect and defend all the information systems.
The need is real.  The supply of trained personnel is limited.  Something needs to be done.  That something begins with this program.

Industry Organizations Supporting the Program

April 2014 - General Keith B. Alexander, USA (Ret),  former Commander, U.S. Cyber Command Meets Students of the W2CCA! 
Who is a Wounded Warrior?

Wounded warriors are military service members who have suffered a serious life altering injury, both in combat and non-combat situations, that typically ends their ability to continue to serve on active duty as determined through normal Medical Evaluation Board/Physical Evaluation Board processes. Most are returning service men and women who have served in combat environments such as Iraq or Afghanistan. Each of the four services (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines) supports their wounded warriors in different ways. For example, the Army runs the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2), the Marines run the Wounded Warrior Regiment, the Air Force runs the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program (AFW2), and the Navy has the Safe Harbor program. The following are examples of disabilities that are used as criteria to determine wounded warrior status:


  • Loss of vision/blindness
  • Loss of limb
  • Spinal cord injury/paralysis
  • Permanent disfigurement and/or severe burns
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Mental Illness not limited to Schizophrenia/Bipolar Disorder
  • Fatal/incurable disease
  • Any other condition requiring extensive hospitalization or multiple surgeries


Many of them receive care at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland and are eventually honorably discharged. They attempt to reintegrate into society but options can be limited for these noble servicemen and women.

Why is a Wounded Warrior an Ideal Candidate as a Cyber Defender?

Wounded warriors are ideal candidates for a number of reasons:


  1. Ability to be trained - They have demonstrated a propensity to apply themselves and be trained for highly stressful environment - physical and mental warfare.
  2. Highly patriotic - They possess a high level of patriotism and desire to serve their country; they understand the need to preserve human rights and freedoms.
  3. Availability of time - The nature of their injuries requires them to spend a large amount of time recovering in solitude where they could be using that time to retrain in the cyber battlefield.
  4. Desire to repatriate - Becoming a cyber defender allows them to repatriate back into society in meaningful way.
  5. The Nation needs them - They can help fill a critical need as the Nation needs thousands of highly trained individuals with technical cyber capabilities.
  6. Aptitude for tactics and strategy – They understand physical battle tactics that correlate to the cyber battlefield.


These people are dedicated, highly motivated, disciplined, and trustworthy team players who both industry and government seek as workers.
A one hour webinar was conducted on 2/11/2013 to introduce the program on the web.  Click Here to watch the webinar!
Program Support
The W2CCA Program is being administered by the Federal IT Security Institute on behalf of the FITSI Foundation.  The Federal IT Security Institute and the FITS Foundation are non-profit organizations that are working with industry partners to support this worthwhile initiative.

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