Col. Greg Gadson, Rocky Bleier, and Host Terry Bradshaw on the set of the Salute to Veterans Series. (Courtesy: Salute to Veterans Series)

Col. Greg Gadson, Rocky Bleier, and Host Terry Bradshaw on the set of the Salute to Veterans Series. (Courtesy: Salute to Veterans Series)

Salute to Veterans Airs in Tribute to Veterans Day and National Veterans & Military Families Month

Inspirational and Educational Series Discusses the Top Veteran Issues

Hosted by Terry Bradshaw, Co-Host of FOX NFL SUNDAY, the Salute to Veterans Series presented by SAP and Navy Federal Credit Union honors and covers the top issues that our 22 million veterans and 3.3 million active duty troops, reservists and military personnel face daily.

The inspirational and educational series offers insightful discussion, resources and solutions from distinguished military veterans who were accomplished college and/or professional football athletes: Rocky Bleier, Joe Cardona, Col. Greg Gadson and Alejandro Villanueva.

The program shares the stories of veterans who have served their country, overcame personal challenges in their lives and made a difference in their communities, while inspiring others to do the same. The veterans detail their path from service to success, and speak openly and honestly about their struggles and what it means to serve.

Some of the veteran topics discussed in the series include the following: employment/entrepreneurship, education, healthcare, housing, recovering from injuries (seen and unseen), overcoming personal setbacks in life, and career growth opportunities including government contracting and cybersecurity.

With 200,000 transitioning military each year for the next five years, and 314,000 unfilled positions in our nation’s cybersecurity workforce according to Cyber Seek, military veterans are well positioned to transition into these much needed cybersecurity jobs.

Cybersecurity among government, military, industry and consumers will continue to be a major priority in our lifetime. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, it is estimated that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally by 2021.

The cybersecurity field is full of opportunity for veterans, with or without degrees, and cybersecurity professionals report an average salary of $116,000 per year — almost triple the average salary nationwide.

Cybersecurity career opportunities are growing rapidly in this country and 12 times faster than the overall job market; trained cybersecurity professionals are needed to defend the government and private industry networks. Within the Washington DC Area, the population of cyber engineers and analysts is 3.5 times as big as the rest of the U.S. combined.

For the most part, veterans already have existing skill sets to transition from defending the country to defending our networks through cybersecurity jobs. With our veterans’ highly sought-after traits of a strong work ethic, problem solving skills, teamwork, situation adaptability and working under pressure to meet deadlines, our nation’s heroes are well equipped to step into and excel in cybersecurity roles.

The U.S. is projected to have 500,000 unfilled positions within cybersecurity by 2021, but with our service men and women steadily returning to civilian life, this talent shortage should not be our forecast. The timing is crucial for our veterans and military service members to be aware of some of the resources, opportunities and solutions that are available to them within the promising cybersecurity industry. We can all do our part by spreading the word, in our daily communications and through our personal networks.

There are many available channels of information available to our veterans. Here are a few:

• The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is offering several free resources to veterans looking to expand their education and knowledge within the growing field of cybersecurity, with free online training, scholarship opportunities, information on cybersecurity-related degree programs and a free, downloadable guide entitled “Cybersecurity Training and Education for Veterans: A user guide for those who formerly served in the U.S. Armed Forces.”

• The Forever GI Bill’s expanded tuition assistance will further advance veteran opportunities within the lucrative cybersecurity field through removing the time limit to utilize benefits and increasing tuition assistance access among National Guard, Reservists and Purple Heart recipients. Veterans can seek cybersecurity degrees that are becoming increasingly offered at universities, colleges, community colleges and online educational institutions nationwide.

• The SANS Institute is the largest source for information security training and security certification in the world. The SANS Institute provides training for defending systems and networks. In 2015, SANS launched its first VetSuccess Academy that is 100% scholarship-based and at no cost to participants, giving veterans the opportunity to receive advanced technical training, GIAC certifications, and employment opportunities among leading companies offering exciting cybersecurity careers.

Veteran employment has greatly improved nationally. With a talent pipeline of 1 million transitioning military over the next five years, our veterans have the existing skill set to transition from defending the country to defending our networks. Overall, veterans have an understanding of technology and IT through their training and military experience. With the cybersecurity unemployment rate at 0 percent, the timing is ideal for veterans to enter the cybersecurity job market.

Visit Salute to Veterans to learn more about the veterans series and to find specific viewing times in your area.

This content is made possible by our sponsor Salute to Veterans; it is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Government Executive's editorial staff.