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Hopper Hall


  POSTED ON: Friday, November 6, 2020 11:04 AM by

The Naval Academy cyber operations program was recently granted the National Security Agency (NSA) designation as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO).

The Naval Academy’s cyber operations program is the only program to receive this designation for 2020 and is the 22nd program in the United States to hold such a designation since the program was created in 2012. Diane M. Janosek, Commandant of NSA’s National Cryptologic School, which houses the CAE-CO program, will present the award in a small ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 10, at the Naval Academy. 

"Congratulations to the U.S. Naval Academy on achieving your CAE-CO designation and a special congratulations to the first class of midshipmen graduating from this deeply technical program,” said Janosek. “These cyber operators have been armed with deep mission expertise, multi-layered academic training and a passion to defend our Nation. Ex Scientia Tridens!"

The ceremony will fittingly take place in Hopper Hall, the Naval Academy’s newest building named after Grace Hopper, an accomplished mathematician who joined the U.S. Navy Reserve during World War II and retired as a rear admiral. 

“Hopper Hall’s innovative spaces, cutting edge technology, project-based learning focus, and synergy of cyber-related technical fields all housed together, will ensure that all Naval Academy graduates will be better prepared for success in the fleet and beyond,” said Director of the Naval Academy Center for Cyber Security Studies Paul Tortora.

The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) program is managed by the National Cryptologic School at the NSA. CAE-designated institutions must complete validation of a Program of Study (PoS) which is a series of courses and experiences that a student can reasonably accomplish in the course of attaining a degree or completing a certificate.

The Naval Academy’s Center for Cyber Security Studies supports internships in cyber and related studies including close cooperation with NSA, U.S. Cyber Command, Fleet Cyber Command, Marine Forces Cyber Command, and the Naval Cyber Warfare Development Command, all located at Fort Meade, to help give midshipmen hands-on experience in real world cyberwarfare during summer training months, as well as throughout the academic year. 

Upperclassmen cyber operations majors may engage in independent study or participate in summer internships with a variety of agencies including the National Security Agency. Annually, a select group of cyber operations majors participate with midshipmen from the computer science and information technology majors in the Service Academy Cyber Defense Exercise, hosted by NSA. The midshipmen have won the exercise three out of the past five years, earning trips to the White House in 2015, 2017, and 2018 for presidential-level recognition. 

After completing the cyber operations program at the Naval Academy, future officers can go on to advanced study or possible assignments within various military cyber-related fields in support of national security.  

"The Naval Academy's cyber operations major was accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in both 2016 and 2018, which recognized the high level of academic rigor and substance in our program,” said Navy Capt. James Caroland, chair of the Cyber Science Department, which oversees the major. “Achieving the NSA designation as a Center of Academic Excellence in cyber operations provides us with yet another distinguished level of recognition on just how solid our program is and how valuable it is both academically and with regards to national security."

The Naval Academy was the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to require cyber security classes for all students. For more information about that program, visit

Celebrating 175 years in 2020, the U.S. Naval Academy today is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally and physically to be professional officers in the naval service. More than 4,400 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen. U.S. News and World Reports has recognized the Naval Academy as a top five undergraduate engineering school and a top 20 best liberal arts college. Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in intercollegiate varsity sports and extracurricular activities. They also study subjects such as leadership, ethics, small arms, drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, and military law. Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 25 different subject majors and go on to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.

For more information about the Naval Academy, please see or our Facebook page at


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