Release: Announcing Our Inaugural National President

By Christine Billingsley

December 4, 2023

By appointment of the National Board of Directors (BoD) of the Military Cyber Professionals Association (MCPA), Christopher P. Cleary is hereby announced as inaugural National President of the MCPA on this day of 4 December 2023. BZ, shipmate! 

Image: Cleary as opening speaker of the inaugural HammerCon (2022)

Cleary began his affiliation with the MCPA more than a decade ago, while it was still just a concept being developed at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California. As an Intelligence Officer in the Navy Reserves that had recently helped establish US Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and present on Offensive Cyber Operations (OCO) at DEF CON, Cleary immediately understood the operational need for such an organization. Over the years, he would take an active role in the development and leadership of the MCPA. He has served in MCPA roles including inaugural Chapter President for the National Capital Region (NCR) and on the BoD alongside its Chairman, Joe Billingsley (MCPA Founder). 

Image: Cleary (right) hosting MCPA event at Fort McNair (2014)

Putting his money where his mouth is and leading from the front, Chris ignighted MCPA activity on the east coast by hosting and paying for the first MCPA NCR Chapter event, which took place in 2014 at the Fort McNair Officer's Club (see above photo). At the event, Chris introduced Lieutenant General (Ret) Rhett Hernandez (inaugural Commander of Army Cyber Command) and Rear Admiral (Ret) Bill Leigher (former Deputy Commander of US Fleet Cyber Command / US 10th Fleet) of the MCPA Board of Advisors, who spoke and recognized Chief Warrant Officer Michael Danberry and Dr. Hy Rothstein with the Order of Thor medal for their respective contributions to the military cyber community.

Chris began his career as an Enlisted Avionics Technician and recently concluded his tour as the inaugural Principal Cyber Advisor (PCA) of the Department of the Navy, a Senior Executive Service (SES) role equivalent in rank to a three-star general/flag officer. His extensive experience in joint environments (such as in Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), CYBERCOM, and Iraq) enabled him to seamlessly apply the benefits of the regimental-style association model (most popular in the Army) with the broader joint force. 

As a Reservist, he also spent lots of time in the private sector with businesses including Verizon, Leidos, Tenable, Vir-Sec, and L-3. Given his breadth and depth of experience, as well as his thought-leadership (as demonstrated in his talks at HammerCon and far beyond), Chris is poised to connect with Soldiers, Scholars, Senators, and Salesmen, alike, in pursuit of the exceedingly relevant mission and vision of the MCPA. 

About the Author

Christine Billingsley serves as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Military Cyber Professionals Association (MCPA). She has extensive experience in the nonprofit and technology sectors, leading efforts both large and small, at home and abroad. She is Co-Lead/Co-Creator of HammerCon, Creator/Host of the Lockdown Lunch and Learn (3L), Creator/Author of Cyber Snackz™, Creator of the DEF CON Arcade Party, and much more.