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Fourth Star General incites excitment around Norwich campus

Fourth Star General incites excitment around Norwich campus

The conference took place on Wednesday, November 9th, in Mack Auditorium, as an extension of the Educational Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed between U.S. Cyber Command (USCYPERCOM) and Norwich University.   

“I thought it was pretty relevant, to say the least,” said an anonymous student attending the General Paul M. Nakasone conference. 

General Paul Nakasone, U.S Cyber Command and Director, NSA (National Security Agency) Chief, Security Service (CSS) visited Norwich Students to speak on the future and economic well-being of the nation through the lenses of Cyber development. 

“Most people in the Corps are going to be military officers or aspiring to do so. I think overall the scale and the type of combat that we are going to be in is a lot different than in the past, and cyber is going to play a huge role,” said the anonymous student.  

The conference covered current real-world conflicts that the United States is engaged in (the Russo-Ukrainian War, the Israel-Hamas conflict, and tensions between the US and China) and how students looking into cyber careers should be aware of opportunities and responsibilities that come with the career. 

“They did lock the doors and made us turn our cell phones off. We weren’t allowed to take any photos either, so you really didn’t have a choice,” said Benson Hawley, 21, a Civilian, majoring in Studies in War and Peace from Trappe, Maryland.  

With the high level of presentation security and no active phone policy, the conference proceeded without a hitch until the question-and-answer session.  

The audience was not instructed to withhold personal questions, as a result, a rook spoke out but was quickly interrupted and shut down due to the arranged questions that specific audience members were assigned to speak upon.  

“You had to sign up beforehand to ask questions,” said the anonymous student. This is the first time an event on campus wants to approve questions. In past events, people could ask freely if the time allowed; it was encouraged, whereas here, with General Nakasone’s presentation, it wasn’t. 

“I recall those of us in the Corps needing to be in Super Winter Bs to make a good appearance, and there being no exact idea of when it would be open for people to attend,” said Bryan Kott, 22, Corps of Cadets’24, majoring in SWAP, from Bamberg, Germany, hoping to make the conference. “Unfortunately, one of my classes held me back as they (my teachers) thought the doors would close at 2:50 PM when it started closing at around 2:40 PM. 

The message was simple: he was not someone to take lightly. General Nakasone is the Commander of the US Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency (NSA). He has a long and extensive Army career that began with commissioning through Army ROTC at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, MN, and took command in assignments in South Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan. 

Additionally, his visit and presentation serve another purpose: to help CYBERCOM and the NSA “generate recruits and bring in new and fresh talent,” said Hawley.           

After the conference, students through Yik Yak, a pseudonymous social media platform for those in nearby communities to converse, pointed out the rook incident. The rook was addressed by a member of the staff (said to be the provost) who briefly yelled at him, saying, “No, no!” Many people commented how they liked the Rook’s question and praised him in YikYak for asking; even one person said he “walked so we could run.”  


 “Yeah, that definitely did happen, but she (the staff member who addressed the rook) was not as rude as people make her out to be,” said the anonymous student. 

Overall, General Nakasone seemed delighted with his visit to Norwich. He later posted on X (Twitter,) “Great visit to @NorwichNews, ROTC’s birthplace, talking w/ future military leaders preparing for cyber careers. @NSAGov and @US_CYBERCOM rely on civilian and military employees alike. We are prepared to defend the nation because of their expertise and commitment to our mission.”  

General Nakasone goes on to visit several other universities: Belfer Center, Kennedy School, Dartmouth College, etc.  


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About the Contributor
Bryan Kott
Bryan Kott, Editorial Cartoonist & Staff Reporter
Bryan Kott is a student Editorial Cartoonist and Staff Reporter for the Guidon. He is a senior in the Corps of Cadets and is expected to graduate with the class of 2024. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Studies in War and Peace, with a minor in arts and army concentration. Kott's commitment to education is matched by his active involvement in the Army ROTC, where he honed his leadership and military skills. Kott's engagement with the campus and broader community extends into various extracurricular activities. He is a player of Ultimate Frisbee, actively participating in Model United Nations, and finds a constructive outlet in the Art Club, where he explores and develops his artistic abilities alongside fellow art enthusiasts.
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