DISA spokesman Army Major General Yee speaks on the importance of cybersecurity


Army Major General Garrett S. Yee, Assistant to the Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, delivers a presentation on cybersecurity to American River College students on Feb.13, in the Student Center Board Room. (Photo by Colin Bartley)

Marquala Brown

On Feb.13, in the Student Center Board Room, the Business and Computer Science department hosted the College to Career series with speaker Army Major General Garrett S. Yee.

Yee serves as Assistant to the Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency and spoke about the future of cybersecurity.

Upon Yee’s arrival, he was greeted by the Stem Center staff, including director LaQuisha Beckum and American River College President Thomas Greene, who thanked Yee as they exchanged stories before he was led to the Student Center Board Room.

“Having these types of speaking events I think is necessary, but also to give them the opportunity to do the hands on. Maybe he has information on how they can do the hands on work,” Beckum said about why these types of events are important to ARC students. 

Yee entered the room to a full crowd with every seat filled and some students standing in the back of the room. He began speaking about his personal life, expressing his support for community colleges that comes from his father, because he used it as a way to better his life.

Yee says, his father told him going back to community college saved his life. 

Yee continued his introduction by telling the audience he is a California native and thanking military veterans in the audience for their service before talking about cybersecurity.

The three main topics of the event were the importance of the freedoms we have, cybersecurity and public service. 

“Why is it important that we protect what we have?” Yee said.

He talked about the freedom of religion and freedom of speech, and how he believes these things are important to citizens, and therefore they need to be protected. He then informed the audience that he works for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). 

DISA is a federal agency that is part of the Department of Defense, that connects and protects the warfighters, or members of the military who fight wars in cyberspace. DISA also provides services to the military and network services to about two million customers, according to Yee. 

“We are the service provider to the department of defense much like Comcast that provides your internet service to your homes,” Yee said.

Yee explained how cybersecurity and how DISA helps and prevents hacks and how much technology has changed due to Apple influences the way we view and use phones. He believes that because of the increasing use of technology with everyday items including smart TVs, fridges, and cars like Tesla, cybersecurity is a necessity.

DISA offers internship opportunities. To get more information, visit the Stem Center which is  open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Portable Village.

Army Major General Garrett S. Yee, speaks with American River College President Thomas Greene before the Future of Cybersecurity event on Feb. 13, 2020. (Photo by Colin Bartley)

Correction: This article was updated on March 4 at 12:26 p.m. to clarify and correct information about DISA, and their purpose.