WASHINGTON -- The Army plans to implement a new cybersecurity and tech education program for high school students enrolled in junior ROTC programs, leaders told lawmakers March 11.The program, scheduled to be implemented at select schools by fiscal year 2022, will focus on cybersecurity and computer science. Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Casey Wardynski said the program’s curriculum remains under development.The Army wants to reach a broader, more academically diverse group of students while also expanding its science, technology, engineering and math curriculum in its JROTC programs, said Assistant Deputy for Recruiting and Retention Lin St. Clair.While the Army’s JROTC programs aren’t inherently a recruiting tool, they could open the doors toward a possible military career, Wardynski said. The cyber pilot program is being developed by the Office of the Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), Army Training and Doctrine Command and U.S. Army Cadet Command.“Our effort here is designed to capture the imagination of young adults,” Wardynski said during a Senate Committee on Armed Services personnel oversight hearing. The assistant secretary added the service has been working to expand the number of eligible candidates for military service through education.Through the program, Army leaders hope young men and women will be steered toward a possible Army career earlier in life. While the goal of junior ROTC remains to create better citizens, Wardynski said the program will raise awareness of career opportunities in computer science and cyber security so that the Army will be on recruits’ radars when they decide on their post-high school plans.In many of the Army’s 22 priority cities for recruiting, young people don’t have much awareness about the Army as a potential career path, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army Jim Bland said recently. CASAs are community leaders who provide advice and counsel to Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy.“We need to begin educating them much earlier about the opportunities in the military, the benefits of service and the challenges of service,” Wardynski said, “so that as they form their set of life-course alternatives, military service can be in there early enough to shape their behaviors throughout high school. So by the time they graduate, they can avail themselves to those opportunities.”St. Clair said many of areas with schools that remain underrepresented in junior ROTC programs lie in the Midwest and Northeast. And that diverse student populations are located in or near the Army’s priority cities.The proposed pilot program is intended to educate students at the Advanced Placement and honors course level  St. Clair said the program would cover the entire four-year junior ROTC program.The pilot program as envisioned would be “rigorous and arduous enough that it would warrant AP or honors-level equivalency in terms of points or grade structure,” St. Clair said. He added it would be graded the same and it would be viewed the same as an honors or advanced-placement class.Army.mil: Worldwide NewsSTAND TO!: 2019 Army Modernization Strategy