AFJROTC’s ‘Terabyte Falcons’ take 2nd place in national cyber defense contest

  • Published
  • By Christian P. Hodge, Air Force Junior ROTC Public Affairs

A team of Air Force Junior ROTC cyber warriors flew across the nation to test their medal at the Air & Space Forces’ CyberPatriot XV National Finals Awards in Bethesda, MD, March 20.

The Terabyte Falcons, hailing from San Diego’s Scripps Ranch High School, were the AFJROTC national champions and second place overall in the All Service Division at the annual competition. Missouri’s Knob Noster High School Komputer Kernels were the AFJROTC national runner-up in their first year making it to the finals.

Scripps Ranch High has been taking trophies at national, intellectual-based Leadership Development Requirement competitions for several years now, and according to their instructor and mentor this continued success is not rocket science.

“This year was no different than previous years," said retired Master Sgt. Ferdinand Toledo, Scripps Ranch High School AFJROTC Aerospace Science Instructor. “There is no secret. It’s all about a combination of several things that are the recipe to success... it starts with the right people!”

Toledo said the team is highly knowledgeable, experienced, and for the most part self-taught.

“Our team captain, Cadet Nathan Min, has continued to do a marvelous job leading the team and teaching them all the nuances and fine details of the competition, rules and play. Prep was weekly and many hours were spent competing in other competitions to keep them fresh and current.”

CyberPatriot is the national youth cyber education program created to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines critical to the nation's future, according to their website.

“Going back was an interesting experience, and it was just as hard as it was last year if not worse!” said Cadet Nathan Min, AFJROTC Unit CA-935’s CyberPatriot Varsity Team captain. “Through multiple study sessions, they [the team] were constantly striving for greatness; they had unmatched, vigorous thirst and eagerness. It is this determination, along with the cadet-run structure of our unit, that I believe will form an invincible team next year, one that shall walk the pantheon of victory, one that shall go down in the history of a tradition replete with glory. Long live the Terabyte Falcons as CA-935th! Long live! Long, long live!”

The competition field started with 5,266 teams and just 28 qualified for the national finals.

Sponsors awarded a total of $51,000 at CyberPatriot this year and this is the fourth year that scholarships were awarded, totally over $200,000. The top three winners in the Open and All Service Divisions received renewable four-year undergraduate scholarships. Members on the winning Open and All Service teams received a full scholarship, while second-place team members received $4,000 each and third-place team members received $3,000 each.

For more information on CyberPatriot go to and for the list of winners go to