Cyber Grad Helps Develop Tactical Network—and Young Minds

What CW3 Vernon Green learned in the classroom, he put to use in his military service. What he learned in the military, he’s putting to use in his community.

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of profiles to be featured on the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) Global Media Center throughout May in recognition of Military Appreciation Month, As part of the university’s observance, Vernon Green also participated in UMUC’s Facebook Live interview series on helping servicemembers and veterans successfully transition from military to civilian life. Watch Green’s interview here.

When you talk to servicemembers and veterans about heroism, it’s rare to hear them talk about themselves. Rather, they’ll almost always tell you about something greater that they were a part of. As a member of the U.S. Army, Vernon Green Jr. rose to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer and was part of something truly historic. As a civilian entrepreneur, he’s now part of something he believes to be every bit as important.

Green’s work as part of a team managing a large tactical information network during Operation Iraqi Freedom contributed to the success of coalition forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom. During this time, he was studying cyber security online at University of Maryland University College, starting with a bachelor’s program, which he completed in 2010, and eventually earning a master’s degree in 2014—all while on active duty. He chose UMUC because he received the most credits for his military experience there and because the university’s cyber program was designated by NSA and DHS as a center of academic excellence.

“What was crazy about it,” said Green, “I was taken out of school one month into a six-month course and deployed to Iraq. I had been stationed at Fort Belvoir INSCOM [U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command], defending against cyber attacks. Once I was in Iraq, it became more about offensive ops, cyber command. And everything we were learning in class I was doing in my job. All the technology and capabilities we studied I now had at my fingertips.”

One function of Warfighter Information Network–Tactical—or WIN-T—was handling the enormous numbers of military units moving in and out of the theater. Because the units did not all rotate in at the same time throughout the year, it was critical for the transitions to be as seamless as possible to maintain the support of the Iraqi people and to avoid leaving any gaps that the enemy could exploit.

“We had what’s called a RIP (relief in place) timeline,” said Green. “As new units came in and in-place units went home, I planned, managed and provided technical support for the handoff.”

As significant as his work in the military was, however, Green feels just as strongly about what he has been a part of since separating. Today he’s in the business, not only of cybersecurity but of serving his community by helping young people build character, connections and marketable skills.

Green retired from the Army in 2014 and immediately started his own small business, GCubed, Inc., a provider of IT and cybersecurity solutions. The name GCubed stands for “Giving, Growing, Globally,” because Green chose to make his company one that puts people first.

“I didn’t see the same culture and values [in the business world] as I had in the military,” said Green, “so I started a company that adhered to those values: mission over self; people over money.”

At the time Green was launching GCubed, he also started his own nonprofit organization, G3 Community Services, an organization focused on providing male mentors to kids who either have no father at home or need greater male influence in their lives to help them reach their potential.

One of the programs within G3 Community Services is called Extraordinary Young Minds (EYM), a mentoring program born out of Green’s desire to help young men and women build strong, safe relationships and develop outstanding character with an emphasis on personal responsibility, education, dream building and the importance of nutrition and physical fitness.

EYM works in tandem with GCubed to give those with an interest in cybersecurity a great start on a career. Green’s goal is to build a pipeline of young cyber talent by bringing them in, giving them experience in the field and even helping them get a security clearance.

“I believe in strengthening the community and giving back,” said Green, “and that comes directly from my faith. What G3 stands for in that regard, for me, is ‘Giving God Glory,’ which is what I believe in and try to accomplish with everything I do.”

 

Also Featured During Military Appreciation Month 

>In-depth profiles of UMUC Alumnus and U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Eric Konovalov and UMUC Alumnus and retired U.S. Navy officer Gary Hayslip, who both made successful transitions from military to civilian life. Read the UMUC Global Media Center posts:

>UMUC-Facebook Live interviews on the challenges facing veterans making the transition from military to civilian and student life—and the strategies and resources that can help them gain a strong foothold in the world beyond the military. In addition to Green, the series featured an interview with Yvette Branson, clinical psychologist and coordinator of the U.S. Veterans Administration’s Integration to Academic Leadership (VITAL) initiative. Watch the replays.

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