Army Cyber Protection Brigade welcomes new commander
Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett, commander of the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (left), passes the U.S. Army Cyber Protection Brigade (CPB) guidon to incoming CPB commander Col. John F. Popiak during the brigade’s change of command ceremony at Alexander Hall on Fort Gordon, Ga., Oct. 22, 2020. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. John Portela) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT GORDON, Ga. -- The U.S. Army Cyber Protection Brigade (CPB) officially changed command in a ceremony at Alexander Hall here, October 22.

During the ceremony hosted by Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett, commander of the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, Col. Michael L. Hammerstrom passed command of CPB to Col. John F. Popiak.

Hammerstrom served as the CPB's commander for the past two years. Barrett said his leadership significantly increased the capabilities of the CPB and made the brigade more resilient.

“Colonel Hammerstrom, you have continued to mold this brigade into a cohesive, resilient, dynamically seasoned and effective fighting force capable of delivering global operations and effects.” Barrett said. “Under your leadership the Cyber Protection Brigade continued to evolve its mission from being solely defensive to simultaneously hunting and delivering effects against our adversaries.”

Barrett added that even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hammerstrom launched the brigade’s Cyber Protection Teams in record time in response to missions, and increased the CPB’s focus on training and cybersecurity readiness inspections.

Hammerstrom called the CPB’s people “phenomenal in every way” and said he is honored and privileged to have served with them.

“Our Soldiers and civilians, and our family and friends at CPB -- you drive and constantly improve, making each day fun to come to work. I appreciate each and every one of you, and thank you for your unique and diverse backgrounds, experience and personalities that each of you brought in support of building this highly successful team.”

Assuming command of the CPB is a return to the brigade for Popiak. Prior to his previous assignment as Chief of Future Plans (J53),

U.S. Cyber Command, he commanded the CPB’s 1st Cyber Protection Battalion.

Popiak said he is humbled to rejoin the CPB and celebrate the accomplishments of a unique brigade.

“The CPB stands alone in the joint Cyber Mission Force,” he said. “Today the CPB is in the forefront of one of the most transformative times in our young branch's history. I’m humbled to join you in this endeavor.”

The CPB mission is to defend key terrain in cyberspace to deter threats and deliver effects that ensure freedom of action for friendly forces, while denying the same to adversaries. To carry out its mission, the CPB is made up of 21 Cyber Protection Teams manned by a mix of Soldiers and civilians.


ABOUT US: U.S. Army Cyber Command integrates and conducts cyberspace, electronic warfare, and information operations, ensuring decision dominance and freedom of action for friendly forces in and through the cyber domain and the information environment, while denying the same to our adversaries.

Interested in becoming an Army cyber Soldier or civilian employee? Check out the career links at