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NEWS | March 29, 2016

ARCOG Soldier Wins Information Systems Security Association’s Annual Volunteer Award

By Courtesy Story: Shadi May, contributing writer for the Army Reserve Cyber Operations Group 335th Signal Command (Theater)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The military has always encouraged its uniformed members and civilian employees to volunteer and make a difference both inside and outside its community. One Army Reserve Cyber Operations Group soldier takes volunteering seriously and contributes his time and knowledge to various organizations. The ARCOG’s Chief Warrant Officer 3 David Vaughn won the 2015 annual volunteer award for the Information Systems Security Association at a ceremony held in Raleigh, North Carolina, October 13, 2015.

ISSA is an international not-for-profit organization of information and cyber security professionals who dedicate their time to provide educational and growth opportunities in the field of technology management and critical information and infrastructure protection.
Vaughn served as ISSA’s director of education for all ISSA members, in particular the Raleigh, North Carolina Chapter. His particular contribution to the organization was the creation of a program called, “Back to Basics,” which are courses on basic information security topics targeted to all skillset levels. 

“I did not nominate David for this award based on his impressive personal achievements in information technology security, but for his encouraging others to strive for a better understanding of security and risk for society as a whole,” said Craig Cunningham, a fellow ISSA member who nominated Vaughn for the annual award. “I never see him when he is not volunteering, whether it is educating our members here or acting as a safe and secure online expert teaching children how to use the internet more safely.”

For Vaughn, an 18-year veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve, ISSA is not his only volunteer work. He also volunteers on the board of directors with the Fort Bragg Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association and served as the president of the High Technology Crime Investigators Association, as well as being a contributing lifetime member of the Bragg Silver Chapter of the Warrant Officer Association. Vaughn engages in all these off-duty activities while still working full time for Hewlett Packard Enterprise as a cybersecurity engineer.

 “I have been very fortunate to have an employer that not only supports community outreach but encourages it. They support me with both my volunteer work and my Reserve commitments,” said Vaughn, who is now on his third deployment with the Army Reserve supporting Operation Spartan Shield in Southwest Asia.

Vaughn’s dedication to his line of work is noticeable to everyone in his military units from his immediate supervisors to his commanders. “David was a 255A network technician, so it was only logical that as a next step in his professional military education, he would go to the senior network technician course; however, thanks to his exceptional performance and the fact that he went above and beyond of what we expected of him, his leadership supported him to attend the six month long training to become a 255S network defense technician, and a very talented one, I might add,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Robert Hembrook, Vaughn’s supervisor and Command Chief Warrant Officer at the ARCOG. 

Vaughn was assigned to the Army Reserve National Capital Region Cyber Protection Center Battalion, Forensics Mobile Support Team when the command selected him to be a member of the Master Cyber Training Team at the ARCOG. “CW3 Vaughn is a driven and motivated soldier, and cybersecurity professional,” said Col. Michael Smith, Vaughn’s commander at the ARCOG. “He was instrumental in creating the Army Training and Evaluation Program developed by the ARCOG for the Army Cyber Protection Teams in active, reserve and guard components. CW3 Vaughn also crafted collective training tasks based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework and converted them into mission training plans which provide commanders, leaders and soldiers with guidance on how to train collectively for the CPT mission.”

When Vaughn heard of the operational need for a network defense technician in Southwest Asia, he volunteered to deploy and serve in that region’s cyber center. While this deployment is in support of his military mission requirements, Vaughn continues to teach and mentor his fellow soldiers. 

“CW3 Vaughn contributes a combination of energy and expertise to my team,” said Lt. Col. William Bardon, Vaughn’s current commander, who is also deployed with him. “He is conversant in a wide range of current security topics and is always ready to explain a topic to his fellow soldiers. He maintains constant vigilance to identify opportunities for improvement and proposes resolutions.”

“Volunteering has done a lot for me,” Vaughn says. “It is a give and take relationship. I can only take what I can give into it, and it takes a lot of time because once you commit yourself to something, someone is depending on you to come through.”

Upon completion of his current deployment in Southwest Asia and his assignment at the NCR CPC battalion, Vaughn desires to obtain an assignment with the U.S. Cyber Command and also hopes to be among the first reserve soldiers to change branches to the Army’s new 17 series cyber career field.