Tactical Tailor

Marine Officer Leads Joint-Service Team of Hackers in an IT Competition

LANGLEY AFB, Va. —

During the week of July 18-22, 2022, U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Anthony Rosa, an unmanned-aerial surveillance electronic warfare officer with Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 2, and his team competed in the BRAVO Hackathon. The BRAVO Hackathon was an event to help the Department of Defense by combining the information-technology knowledge of civilians and service members. Rosa’s team won first place for “Most Tactically Relevant for Maintenance Data,” and second place for “Most Tactically Relevant for Cyber Operations” with their program.

When attending the BRAVO Hackathon, Rosa and his team of U.S. Airmen and Guardians all had the same mission in mind.

“The premise is we have all this classified data,” said Rosa. “Nobody knows how to properly manipulate the data. In our minds all of that is pretty retroactive. What is more effective is to understand data that’s coming out of present systems.”

“When you build something useful, and then you see somebody’s life improved by it, that’s good and positive feedback from that experience. That makes you want to build more things.”

 1st Lt. Anthony Rosa, an unmanned-aerial surveillance electronic warfare officer

Rosa and his team made a program that safely and efficiently compresses and sends classified documents and data. The program creates and processes electronic messaging in seconds as opposed to upwards of a week.

“This is a way to press down data so that you can send a lot of information at once,” said Rosa. “If you’re trying to send a classified document right now, we have to use couriers. We might use FedEx or [U.S. Postal Service] and they’ll bring the letter by hand. Our program can send all the information in less than a minute using the smart contract we wrote.”

Rosa has been interested in programing since high school.

“I taught myself how to program when I was in high school, then got a job with website development,” said Rosa. “I continued to work in in tech fields, and even after I went into the Marine Corps, I continued to do it.”

Rosa spends his free time working on his programming skills. He plans on continuing his work in the future.

“I understood that this was going to be a high-income skill,” said Rosa. “When you see people using , you understand exactly how it’s helping them. When you build something useful, and then you see somebody’s life improved by it, that’s good and positive feedback from that experience. That makes you want to build more things.”

Rosa plans on continuing to program and finding new ways to help people with it. His program was made from thousands of lines of code and took the hard work of his entire team. Their program is currently being looked at by multiple companies and organizations.

“They are maybe going to move the application over to the National Security Agency,” said Rosa. “They have a program for integrating technology. When it gets operationally used, then I’ll feel that satisfaction. You could build something amazing, but if nobody uses it, then it doesn’t matter.”

LCpl Anakin Smith

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

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