FORT MEADE, MD — Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Dowdy, a Clarkston native and graduate of Asotin High School, protects America from cyber threats as a member of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command.
Information technology is advancing at an astounding rate. Virtually all major systems on ships, planes, submarines, and unmanned vehicles are networked to some degree. This includes most combat, communications, engineering and navigation systems. While connectivity provides the military with speed, agility and precision, it also opens up many attack opportunities for skilled cyber adversaries.
Dowdy attended Asotin High School and graduated in 2014.
“It’s important to work hard at everything you do,” Dowdy said. “I had several jobs growing up, and I remember how my father instilled in me a strong sense of duty to do his best.”
Today, Dowdy plays a critical role in defending against cyber threats in support of the command’s mission to collect, analyze and report communications signals using computers, specialized equipment aided by computer and video display terminals.
According to Navy officials, the networks are under constant threat of attack from a wide range of state actors, terrorist organizations, “hacktivist” groups, organized crime and individual hackers. Motives include personal gain, theft of information, discrediting the United States, sabotage, political gain, denial or impairment of Navy access to cyberspace.
“As leaders and experts in information warfare, our sailors and civilians are at the forefront of disrupting the ability of bad actors to execute their plans, which often degrade American interests,” the vice said. -Admiral Ross Myers, Commander of US Fleet Cyber Command and United States. 10th Fleet. “Because of our manpower, world-class skills and dedication to service, today’s Navy has the agility, tactical skills, cutting-edge technologies and spirit of innovation to succeed. Alongside our sister services, Fleet Cyber Command is on the front lines of thwarting malicious efforts in cyberspace – we are engaged against adversaries, worldwide and 24/7 – 24/7/365.
This is why the work done by Dowdy is so important.
Serving in the Navy means Dowdy is part of a team that takes on new importance in the United States‘ focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support national defense strategy.
“The Navy is critical to national security because we defend the waters and are where we need to be to respond to any threat,” Dowdy said.
With more than 90% of all commerce traveling by sea, and 95% of global telephone and Internet traffic carried by fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the America’s prosperity and security depend directly on a strong and ready navy.
Dowdy and the Sailors with whom they serve have many opportunities to achieve greatness during their military service.
“I’m very proud to have become a petty officer first class,” Dowdy said. “Having only been there a little over six years, it’s an achievement to make this rank so quickly.”
As Dowdy and other Sailors continue to train and complete the missions assigned to them, they are proud to serve their country in the United States Navy.
“It is an honor to serve my country,” added Dowdy. “It’s a great way to give back. Serving in the Navy is also a great opportunity for my career and education.”