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Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Gary D. Brown was recently selected as the academic chair of the Cyber Security department at Marine Corps University. Brown served 24 years in the Air Force as a judge advocate, which included two deployments and the senior legal counsel of U.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Maryland. As a civilian he was employed as the Washington Delegation Communications and Congressional Affairs department head, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. As chair, Brown will help define the landscape of cyber security to the new leaders of the Marine Corps, DoD partners and international cyber security professionals.

Photo by Ida Irby

MCU appoints first Cyber Chair to faculty

27 Aug 2015 | Ida Irby Marine Corps Base Quantico

“Cyber technology is ubiquitous and touches everything, so it is great to study in every facet,” said retired U.S. Air Force Col. Gary D. Brown who was recently appointed the academic chair of the Cyber Security department at Marine Corps University.

MCU is home to military and civilian professors, who come together to educate a large diversity of international officers and servicemembers throughout the Department of Defense.

“The Marine Corps was in the forefront of understanding how cyber security fits into military operations,” said Brown who credited Marines for excelling at being an expeditionary force in warfighting.

Brown stated Thursday that the overall goal is to integrate cyber education into the curriculum of each school in order to educate offensive cyber-warriors in the Marine Corps. Increased cyber educational opportunities at MCU will be available to students in Command and Staff College and the School of Advanced Warfighting, in addition to adding general technology discussions to the school assembly.

"We must educate the service members to 'not underestimate the day-to-day threat of bad cyber hygiene, including social media," said Brown.

“Everyone is attached to the net and can present vulnerability to the federal network. The number one thing we can do is educate the military down to the lowest level about potential threats to network,” explained Brown, who spoke from his experience as the senior legal counsel at U.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Cyber sanitation is essential throughout the department of defense. Thoroughly educating leaders, and training of the forces will penetrate throughout the ranks to strengthen the military.

Cyber warfare has grown as an additional tool for Marines in the recent conflicts.

“Any Marine involved in the planning process of operations …may be able to recognize potential threats to the network or take action against an adversary,” said Brown.

Marines must not forget the execution of cyber capabilities when fighting in war. Cyber capabilities and electronic warfare classes will focus on how to conduct offensive and defensive cyber operations. The application of international law to cyber operations will affect how future military operations move forward.

For more current information about cyber warfare visit the Cyber Corner at

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