VetSecCon 2021

A non-profit organization founded in 2018 by Heath Adams which focuses on the mentoring of veterans in IT and cyber security.

VetSec offers a community for those currently serving active duty and veterans for both the U.S. and our allied nations. They provide a blog with heaps of digestible information, Slack channel for networking and mentoring, and an annual VetSec Conference which is arguably the best thing since sliced bread.

The conference was hosted virtually from October 28, 2021 to October 30, 2021. VetSecCon consisted of a CTF sponsored by Immersive Labs, 32 speakers following 3 different tracks (Humanity,  Infosec skills, & Transitioning) and a career fair for those seeking employment.

Why is VetSec important?

The vision statement of the non-profit says it all. “A world where no veteran pursuing information security goes unemployed.” A non-profit helping our nations finest pursue a career field that is ever expanding and transition with ease is a mission to pursue relentlessly.

The Founder of VetSec

Heath “m4v3r1ck” Adams founded VetSec as well as The Cyber Mentor Academy.

Who are They?

Board of Directors

Board Chair

Tom Marsland

Active Duty U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Nuclear Electronics Technician

Board Secretary

Jacob Knowlton

Served on the inaugural board and after a short break returned as Board Secretary.

Former USAF Airborne Systems Engineer (1A3)


Dallas Moore

Board-Vice Chair

Internet Overlord by Night and cyber security professional by day.

M.S. in Information Technology/Information Security

Former USAF Contracting Officer    (AFSC 6C0X1)

Jose “Harlequin” Mejia

Board Treasurer

Mike Bishop

Board At Large

VetSecCon CTF

This was the second CTF I have ever participated in and I was thoroughly enjoying it. The CTF tested skills in all domains of cyber security but what I found myself doing was successfully implementing the skills that the TryHackMe platform has been teaching. The use of John The Ripper was exceptionally fun and practicing basic OSINT was especially exciting. I have a long way to go but the friendly folks in the discord channel continually encourage each other and remind each other that the only way to get better is to get started. 


There were 32 speakers who followed 3 tracks, Humanity, Infosec Skills, and transitioning.

The Conference Talks I got to hear live & Interact with

Robert M. Lee

Founder & CEO of Dragos Inc.

Stephen Semmelroth

VP Cyber at Stratacore

Brad Rhodes

Head of Cyber Security at Zvelo

Meredyth Grant

Founder and Communication Lead ~ Charlie Charlie One

David Kennedy

Founder of Binary Defense & TrustedSec

Conference Talks can be watched through youtube

VetSec Youtube Channel


VetSecCon '21 Impressions

It is a long established fact that humans like many other species rely on one another to accomplish great feats. VetSecCon ’21 was by far the epitome of what cybersecurity leaders throughout the industry continuously preach about. Networking is by far the #1 piece of advice that most people receive and is nothing shy of the cold hard truth. Everyone needs other people to help foster growth and encouragement in an industry that has an extremely acute learning curve as well as a significant number of career paths to choose from. (A great resource for beginners finding it difficult to know where to start is Gerald Augers book). Perseverance, is another piece of advice heard often and VetSec delivered with a wonderful CTF put on for people at all skill levels. I scored a mere 1% of the total points and only completed 28% of the first lab track but that provides me with a baseline and there is insurmountable room for measurable improvement. Resources, are something that VetSec undoubtedly provides. They tout that they are a non-profit and all resources are free which is only reinforcing the fact that they are the premier organization for military folks to be apart of, from the very beginning of their journey and one day to hopefully give back to the same community that helped them get started.

VetSec Sponsors

I personally list these sponsors on my blog to highlight the organizations who made this conference possible. They are appreciated from the consumer level as well.
“The isolated man does not develop any intellectual power. It is necessary for him to be immersed in an environment of other men, whose techniques he absorbs during the first twenty years of his life. He may then perhaps do a little research of his own and make a very few discoveries which are passed on to other men. From this point of view the search for new techniques must be regarded as carried out by the human community as a whole, rather than by individuals.”
~ Alan Turing