R 030815Z FEB 23
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC DCI WASHINGTON DC//
SUBJ/ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE MARINE CORPS CYBER GAMES FOR THE SPRING SERVICE-WIDE CAPTURE THE FLAG COMPETITION//
POC-DC I/V. M. CROWDER/MAJ/CAPABILITIES OFFICER, DC I/703-784-5985/VICTORIA.CROWDER@USMC.MIL//
POC-DC I/S. M. YOUNG/CWO5/DEFENSIVE CYBER WEAPONS OFFICER, DC I/703-695-9551/STEPHEN.M.YOUNG@USMC.MIL//
POC-DC I/R. A. HIDALGO/CTR/MCCA INTAKE MANAGER, DC I/703-784-5985/RACHEL.HIDALGO.CTR@USMC.MIL//
GENTEXT/REMAKS/1. Purpose. This message announces the Spring Service-wide Cyber Capture the Flag (CTF) competition taking place from 1-5 May 2023. Deputy Commandant for Information (DC I), in partnership with the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC), DOD Test Management Resource Center, and the National Cyber Range, will conduct a remote CTF event with secure access provided through the Joint Information Operations Range (JIOR). The CTF competition provides a venue where Marine cyberspace operators can compete in a tailored scenario to complete cyber challenges of varying difficulty, referred to as cyber flags.
2. Background. On 1 March 2018, the Marine Corps established an occupational field dedicated to the professionalization of cyberspace operations. In January 2020, discussions began on developing a competitive venue in which Marine cyberspace operators could securely compete, share expertise, and hone tactics, techniques, and procedures to increase cyberspace effectiveness and readiness across the Fleet Marine Force (FMF) and Cyberspace Mission Force (CMF). To address this gap, DC I began hosting the Marine Corps Cyber Games that consists of two CTF competitions each year: one in the spring and one in the fall. Since the inaugural CTF in November 2020, the CTF competitions have provided a secure venue to foster camaraderie amongst the community and provided opportunities for Marines to display their skills in a competitive environment. Past CTF iterations focused primarily on offensive cyber operations. Participant feedback suggested the community desired a competition focused more on defensive cyberspace operations (DCO). As a result, the upcoming CTF competition will be DCO focused. Additionally, as has been the case in past CTFs, highly qualified cyber volunteers from the Marine Corps Cyber Auxiliary will be on standby to train, educate, assist, and mentor Marines as they compete. The intent of the Marine Corps Cyber Games is ultimately to accelerate excellence through competition.
3. Execution. The intended participants for this event are cyberspace operators from the DCO-IDM Companies and the Cyber Mission Force. Event registration and additional information can be located at: https:(slash)(slash)usmc.sharepoint-mil.us/sites/DCI_IMD/CTF_Registration. E-mail the completed form to the below listed points of contact in the event the SharePoint submission is inaccessible.
3.A. The Marine Corps will permit up to eight teams to participate in this event. Due to range constraints, the competition will split into two separate sessions of four teams. Specific team alignment to a session will be adjudicated in the weekly CTF Working Groups beginning 11 April. The competition session for the first group will be 1-2 May, and the second session for the second group will be 4-5 May. Current allotment of team slots is depicted in the table below and subject to change based on unit supportability and access to the JIOR. Only team lead names are required to register. Finalized team participants are due prior to Session Comms Check. Recommended team size is between 6-10 Marines with defensive cyberspace skillsets.
3.B. Command Representation. A total of eight teams will be admitted to the CTF. Each MEF Information Group is allotted one team to participate. Additionally, the Marine Corps Cyberspace Operations Group (MCCOG) and the Marine Corps Cyberspace Warfare Group (MCCYWG) are each allotted one team per group. An additional three teams will be allowed into the competition from across the Service.
3.C. Timeline. The timeline for the CTF competition is below. Dates are subject to change and will be posted on the registration portal.
3.C.1. NLT 1 March 2023: Draft ISA agreement with participating remote locations.
3.C.2. 4 April: CTF registration deadline.
3.C.3. 11 April: Weekly CTF working group begins.
3.C.4. TBD: CTF Intelligence drop.
3.C.5. 25 April: Final weekly CTF working group.
3.C.6. 28 April: Session 1 communications check.
3.C.7. 1-2 May: CTF event (Session 1)
3.C.8. 3 May: Session 2 communications check.
3.C.9. 4-5 May: CTF event (Session 2)
3.C.10. 19 May 2023: AAR draft
3.C.11. TBD: Remote awards presentation
4. Direct all questions to MARADMIN POCs.
5. Release authorized by LtGen M. G. Glavy, Headquarters Marine Corps, Deputy Commandant for Information.//