National Guard Major attends National Defense University, bringing cyber security knowledge to force
Maj. Sameer Puri, Chief Information Officer for the Washington Army National Guard, at the National Defense University on April 21, 2022. Puri graduated from National Defense University College of Information and Cyberspace Chief Information Officer Leadership Development Program. (Courtesy Photo) (Photo Credit: Joseph Siemandel) VIEW ORIGINAL

Maj. Sameer Puri didn’t think twice when he was offered an opportunity to learn more about building cyber capacity. As the Chief Information Officer for the Washington Army National Guard, Puri is responsible for ensuring the organization stays connected to the network.

“Service in the Army National Guard has shaped my personality and worldview,” said Puri. “This was a great opportunity to bring more information and knowledge to our state.”

Recently, Puri attended the National Defense University College of Information and Cyberspace Chief Information Officer Leadership Development Program. The 14-week residential program trains senior-level managers and leaders who are responsible for promoting and attaining national and international security goals through the strategic use of information and information technology. It emphasizes developing leadership skills and abilities while learning content through the completion of five courses focusing on federal roles, cybersecurity, information technology, acquisitions, performance management and disruptive technologies.

“The program was challenging, but was well worth the time,” said Puri. “I feel that I am able to bring a lot back and our team in Washington will be able to become even stronger.”

Puri’s team from the Washington Army National Guard’s Information Management office will participate in multiple national level cyber exercises this summer including Cyber Shield 2022, the most significant unclassified cyber training event in the Army National Guard and Cyber Discovery, a cyber-defense training exercise.

“During Cyber Shield soldiers can complete industry certifications and learn about industry best practices for cybersecurity,” said Puri. “In Washington, we have developed a good relationship with our industry partners like Tacoma Public Utilities, which is the model example of the ‘whole-of-government’ approach. So earning the certificates is very important.”