Marshall University welcomes Jaylan L. Mobley (pictured) of the West Virginia National Guard to serve as the university’s first West Virginia National Guard fellow. The fellowship was outlined in the university’s recent memorandum of understanding with the West Virginia National Guard and provides a fellow to work full-time in the Institute for Cyber Security (ICS).

“We are pleased to have our first West Virginia National Guard fellow at Marshall,” said Dr. David Dampier, director of the Institute for Cyber Security at Marshall and dean of Marshall’s College of Engineering and Computer Sciences. “This fellowship is integral to our operations and will provide immeasurable benefits to faculty and students, as the fellow will share real-world Department of Defense experiences that will enhance the research and education experiences for all.”

The position will focus on research and involve teaching a class each semester and helping Marshall’s programs maintain a curriculum that is current and grounded in reality.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our faculty and students,” said John Sammons, associate director of the Institute for Cyber Security and chair of the Cyber Forensics and Security program in Marshall’s College of Science. “This is another way that we’re bringing the real world into our programs. This is most definitely a two-way street, with benefits to both the West Virginia National Guard and Marshall University.”

“The demand for cyber-trained professionals is increasing drastically as our world becomes more interconnected and the threat of cyber-attacks increases exponentially. My vision in working to establish this fellowship with Marshall University was to grow our expertise within West Virginia by bridging the gap between academia and the National Guard,” said Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, the adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard. “This innovative approach to cyber will benefit our National Guard and the state of West Virginia as a whole through the expertise of Marshall’s ICS and our WVNG fellow. I look forward to the success of this partnership.”

Mobley graduated from Georgia Military College in 2018 with two associate degrees in computer science and homeland security and emergency management. He served as regimental commander, leading over 10,000 students and cadets throughout six campuses in Georgia, and was awarded the Excellence in Leadership award by Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV. Upon graduating from Georgia Military College and being commissioned as a second lieutenant in the West Virginia Army National Guard, he attended West Virginia University and was selected as a cyber intern at the NASA IV&V Facility, where he competed in a 12-week Capture the Satellite simulation.

In 2020, Mobley graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in management information systems, a minor in cybersecurity, and a certification in Certified Ethical Hacking.  He was accepted into the 37-week Cyber Basic Officer Leadership Course to become the first cyber officer in the West Virginia Army National Guard.

In 2021, he earned a master’s in cybersecurity from West Virginia University and graduated from the Army’s Cyber Basic Officer Leadership Course. He serves as deputy team chief of the Defense Cyber Operations Element at the Joint Forces Headquarters in Charleston.

“As the first cyber officer in the West Virginia National Guard, one of my goals before retiring is to grow and establish cybersecurity in West Virginia,” Mobley said. “I am thankful to be a part of this opportunity and look forward to growing cybersecurity within the state.”

Mobley said he hopes that through this first fellowship, he will help set a strong foundation for cybersecurity and cybersecurity opportunities at Marshall.

“The benefit of having a West Virginia National Guard member partnering with Marshall University in the ICS is the ability to bring together the needs of the National Guard and Marshall University,” Mobley said. “This will only greaten the relationship between the two and will create greater opportunities for talent and future projects.”

From Marshall University