Cybersecurity Training Track Blends Two National Programs – SANS VetSuccess and Onward to Opportunity – Together at JBSA

SANS VetSuccess and Onward to Opportunity collaborate on a program that will provide access to transitioning veterans with interest in cybersecurity careers

San Antonio, TX  — (June 28, 2016)  — SANS Institute, in collaboration with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), and Onward to Opportunity (O2O), today announced that the SANS VetSuccess Academy will offer a cybersecurity training track in the O2O program at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA).

For transitioning service members, the Academy provides advanced technical training, industry-recognized certifications, and connections to leading employers in cybersecurity. For employers, it’s a faster, more reliable, and less expensive way to find, train, certify, and employ highly qualified cybersecurity talent. SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of cybersecurity training and certification to professionals at governments and companies world-wide. Its programs now reach more than 165,000 security professionals around the globe.

“Transitioning veterans can be an excellent source of qualified talent to address the technical skills gap in cybersecurity,” said Jim Michaud, SANS Director for CyberTalent Solutions. “SANS is proud the Academy can support the mission of the IVMF and O2O by offering transitioning service members the opportunity to choose a direct path to elite skills development and rewarding careers in cybersecurity as they separate from the military.”

O2O is an industry-focused career skilling program that connects transitioning service members, active duty military spouses, and members of the National Guard and Reserve to high-demand careers in Customer Service Excellence and Information Technology.  Delivered by the IVMF at Syracuse University and supported by the Schultz Family Foundation, O2O partners with leading veteran service organizations and private sector companies to connect transitioning service members, military spouses and veterans with meaningful employment opportunities at companies across the country.

The application period for those interested in the O2O/SANS cybersecurity track at JBSA has officially commenced and will run through August 8.  Participants are required to take the qualifying exam and complete the application process before enrolling in O2O and SANS courses that are slated to begin in mid-September.

Cybersecurity track participants will complete the Onward to Your Career course (a series of modules preparing candidates for a civilian career) delivered by O2O and then progress through three world-class training courses taught by the SANS Institute. Following the completion of each course, participants will take the associated Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) exam. A sampling of the courses and certifications available includes:

  • SEC401 – SANS Security Essential Boot Camp Style (Required); GSEC
  • SEC 504 – Hacker Techniques, Exploits & Incident Handling (Required); GCIH
  • Applicants will be able to select one (1) course/certification from the following:
    • FOR408: Windows Forensic Analysis; GCFE
    • SEC501: Advanced Security Essentials – Enterprise Defender; GCED
    • SEC503: Intrusion Detection In-Depth; GCIA
    • SEC542: Web App Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking; GWAPT
    • SEC560: Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking; GPEN

“The private sector seeks highly talented, technically trained individuals who are motivated by protecting business, our nation and American people from the rapidly evolving cyber threat,” said Serafina De Los Santos, Executive Director, 502 Force Support Group at JBSA.  “We look forward to the partnership with SANS VetSuccess and Onward to Opportunity offering this unique benefit for the transitioning service members as they embark in their new career combating the war on cybersecurity.”

“The IVMF is excited about this partnership with SANS, and the development and implementation of an on-base cybersecurity training program at Joint Base San Antonio,” said A.J. Florkowski, O2O’s National Program Manager.  “We see this pilot as a model for national replication at future military installations where the O2O program is offered.”

Anthony Cosby, O2O Program Manager at JBSA, added, “We look forward to maintaining the high quality standards of the VetSuccess Academy and provide a seamless experience for our O2O transitioning participants while they complete the cybersecurity coursework at JBSA.”

For more information, visit Onward to Opportunity or SANS VetSuccess Academy.  To apply, contact O2O Program Manager at JBSA, Anthony Cosby, at (210) 844-8154.or


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Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University/
Onward to Opportunity (O2O) Program

Wayne Westervelt, Director of Communications, IVMF
Mobile: (315) 558-9483, Email:
Onward to Opportunity (O2O) Program/Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA)

Anthony Cosby, O2O Program Manager
(210) 844-8254, Email:
SANS VetSuccess Immersion Academy

Tiffany Keller, SANS CyberTalent
720-883-3333, Email:

About Onward to Opportunity
Onward to Opportunity (O2O) is a no-cost career skills program (no use of GI Bill Benefits) offering in-demand, industry-validated training and credentials.  O2O is a multi-phased process designed to help participants select the best training pathway, provide tailored training, and prepare our nation’s service members and their families for the process of successfully securing employment with one of our nation’s top military-friendly employers.  Offered on U.S. military installations across the country, O2O provides in-person and online training to the next generation of leaders of America’s economy.  The program partners with leading veteran service organizations and private sector companies to identify employers committed to training and hiring veterans and military spouses. These employer partners are engaged throughout each phase of O2O delivery by assisting in curriculum design, interacting with participants as they progress through the program and identifying specific career paths and interview opportunities within their company that align with the skillsets of our graduates.

Onward to Opportunity brings together the longstanding curriculum development and program delivery expertise of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF); the breadth of knowledge, reach, and specialty in business and state engagement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative; the honed personal touch of service member coaching and mentoring of Hire Heroes USA; and the philanthropic resources of the Schultz Family Foundation (SFF).

Onward to Opportunity is a Solider for Life (SFL) program being offered at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) to members of all services and their families.  For more information, visit Onward to Opportunity.

About SANS Institute
The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of training and certification to professionals at governments and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach over 50 different courses at more than 200 live cybersecurity training events as well as online. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates employee qualifications via 30 hands-on, technical certifications in information security. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers master’s degrees in cybersecurity. SANS offers a myriad of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, and newsletters; it also operates the Internet’s early warning system–the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to help the entire information security community.

About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)
The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. Supported by a world-class advisory board and public and private partners committed to advancing the post-service lives of America’s service members, veterans and their families, the IVMF and its staff of more than 60 professionals deliver class-leading programs in career, vocations, and entrepreneurship education and training. The IVMF also provides actionable and national impacting research, policy analysis and program evaluation; coordinates comprehensive collective impact strategies; and works with communities and non-profits to enhance service delivery for veterans and their families. Read more at IVMF.

About the Schultz Family Foundation
Announced in the spring of 2015, in conjunction with U.S. Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Ashton Carter, Onward to Opportunity is the latest initiative of the foundation co-founded by Starbucks chairman and chief executive officer Howard Schultz and his wife Sheri Schultz. The Schultz Family Foundation, established in 1996 by Howard and Sheri Schultz, creates pathways of opportunity for populations facing barriers to success. The Foundation invests in innovative solutions and partnerships that unlock people’s potential, and strengthen our businesses, our communities, and our nation. In March 2014, the Schultz Family Foundation launched Onward Veterans, a national initiative that empowers post-9/11 and their families to successfully transition to civilian life. For more information about the Foundation and its work: Schultz Family Foundation.

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