Leland native Zachary Martishius fights off cyber threats as part of US Fleet Cyber Comman

FORT MEADE, MD (WWAY) — Petty Officer 1st Class Zachary Martishius, a native of Leland, North Carolina, protects America from cyber threats as a member of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command.

Information technology advances at a staggering pace. Practically all major systems on ships, aircraft, submarines, and unmanned vehicles are networked to some degree. This includes most combat, communications, engineering, and navigation systems. 

While connectivity provides the military with speed, agility, and precision, it also opens numerous attack opportunities for adept cyber adversaries.

Martishius attended North Brunswick High School and graduated in 2011. Today, Martishius uses skills and values similar to those learned in Leland.

“I learned how to be resilient,” Martishius said. “I had to learn how to figure things out for myself.”

Today, Martishius plays a crucial role in defending against cyber threats in support of the command’s mission to collect, analyze and report on communication signals using computers, specialized computer-assisted equipment, and video display terminals.

According to Navy officials, networks are under continuous threats of attack by a broad array of state actors, terrorist organizations, ‘hacktivist’ groups, organized crime, and individual hackers. Motivations include personal gain, information theft, discrediting the United States, sabotage, political gain, denial or degradation of the Navy’s access to cyberspace.

“As leaders and experts in Information Warfare, our sailors and civilians are at the forefront of disrupting the ability of bad actors to execute their plans, which often degrade U.S. interests,” Vice Admiral Ross Myers said. “Because of our workforce and their world class skills and dedication to service, today’s Navy has the agility, tactical skills, advanced technologies and innovative mindset to succeed. Alongside our sister services, Fleet Cyber Command is on the frontlines to thwart malicious efforts in cyberspace – we are engaged against adversaries, around the globe and around the clock – 24/7/365.”

That’s why the work being done by Martishius is so important.

Serving in the Navy means Martishius is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy provides global coverage,” Martishius said. “We’re able to reach anywhere on earth, even those places that no one else can get to. If someone needs military power somewhere, we can put a ship there.”

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

Martishius and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“Earning petty officer first class is something I’m proud of,” Martishius continued. “I enjoy the daily interaction as a leader. It’s a goal I’ve had since I first joined the Navy.”

As Martishius and other sailors continue to train and perform the missions they are tasked with, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means that I’ll be remembered for doing something good,” Martishius said. “When I first joined, I wanted to make positive changes for the world, and I’ve gotten to do that.”

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