Shaelyn Layton
Army logo Officer


Shaelyn Layton

Cyber Warfare Officer

Capt. Shaelyn Layton first took an interest in cybersecurity and intelligence as a junior in high school. After a short summer program at Georgetown University, she realized she “wanted to do something with intelligence and to support any sort of national security agency or government entity,” she says.

Shaelyn enrolled in Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s global security and intelligence program. It was there she began to consider the Military as a career.

"If the Military had not provided me with this level of training, I would never have been able to make this pivot into the cybersecurity industry."

Shaelyn Layton

Captain | Army Reserve

Looking for ways to further her education prompted Shaelyn to research the Military’s numerous tuition assistance programs. She discovered that her school’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Course (ROTC) program had a specialized military intelligence curriculum. “The financial benefit was huge,” she says. “My entire college education was paid for in full. I received a monthly stipend for housing and food.” After graduating debt free, she commissioned as an officer in the Army Reserve.

Protectors of the Network

Shaelyn describes her team’s duties as “primarily responsible for the defense of the DoD network,” she says. “We’re supposed to come in, baseline their network, try to get a very good understanding of what kind of assets they have on their network, how their network is being utilized and where the threat actors might be. Then, we do a deeper dive to determine if there is a current threat in the network. What did the threat do when they were in that network? What data was lost? And then, what can we do to remediate?”

In such a fast-paced environment, it’s mission critical that cyber operations team members work together, regardless of rank and position. “I can sit down in a group of smart folks, and rank doesn’t matter anymore. We’re all working on this together. It’s a cool and collaborative environment,” Shaelyn explains.

Part-Time Service, Full-Time Passion

As a member of the Army Reserve, Shaelyn serves part time. Reserve duties come in the form of monthly training periods called drills, which typically take place over a weekend. Additionally, Reserve members take part in an annual training program which usually lasts about two weeks.

Because her military duties are part time, Shaelyn is able to have a full-time civilian career. She currently works in cybersecurity at a software development company, a role for which her military training helped her qualify. Shaelyn obtained her Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certifications from the Army’s cyber officer operations course. She describes these as “highly regarded industry certifications."

The Next Generation

Shaelyn is just one of an entirely new generation of Soldiers. Although her military role has not been around long, its importance cannot be overstated. “We are entering an age where the threat is no longer always evident to us. We’re operating across multiple domains, and cyber is becoming more important than ever,” she says. “It’s the biggest threat that we face currently, so having people in the Military who understand the threat and know how to defend against it is absolutely critical to the future.”

In her downtime, Shaelyn enjoys spending time with her husband, who she actually met in her ROTC program. “He’s also an Army officer in military intelligence,” she explains. “Having such steady jobs has made it possible for us to travel the world together. We’ve been all over, and we’ve gotten to do great hobbies. We scuba dive together, we hike all the time. I’m a big skier and he’s learning to ski. Plus, he’s a private pilot and likes to skydive.”

Shaelyn continues to thrive in her role within the Military. “I think I owe my whole life, where I’m at now, my happiness, my financial stability, my career success, to the Army,” she says.