The hundreds that are attending are members of the American military cyber community and those interested in it. MCPA members and US military attend for FREE. All others must pay, just like many other conventions. If you're interested in this event, you likely qualify for FREE membership. Join MCPA here. FYSA, membership processing can take a couple of weeks, so apply well in advance.
HammerCon is the First National Convention of the MCPA. Over the course of one day, there are multiple tracks and sessions covering topics including techniques, new solutions, legislation, research, and even a CTF. Find more details here.
Capitol Technology University in Laurel, Maryland. Very close to Fort Meade. Venue details below.
Thursday May 19th, 2022. Registration openings at 0730 and the evening reception ends by 1900. See agenda page for further details.
Assemble the broader American military cyber community for learning, networking, and having a great time together. This effort is an investment in the team that is defending our nation in and through cyberspace.
Things to Know
There's an endless list of interesting and relevant topics, but we are focused on the American military cyber community and mission area. Tactical and strategic. Technical and policy. All services and joint.
America's cyber warriors are the supported, and the event hosts (the MCPA and other participants like sponsors) are the supporting.
Given the seriousness of this mission area, we are not going to waste your time. All speakers at this event need to "bring it" and provide this community with useful and interesting insight. No stale script-reading allowed.
Why is the MCPA convention called "HammerCon"?
It's called HammerCon since the "Order of Thor" medal is how we recognize excellence and special contributions in/to the military cyber community, and Thor wields a hammer. The hammer is like cyberspace in that it can serve as a tool with the power to build and also a weapon with the power to destroy. The hammer, as a tool used to build, is also fitting since the theme of our first convention is essentially about building this broader team for the cyber fight.
Can I earn CEU/CPE/PDU for participating?
Yes, you can earn continuing education units (CEU), continuing professional education (CPE), and/or professional development units (PDU) that may be required for your certification maintenance.
Will the Mission BBQ truck be on site?
Why are MCPA members able to attend for free? Why exclude others?
MCPA members are able to attend for free as a demonstration of our loyalty to this community and to fulfill our mission of developing it. Joining the MCPA is actually free for certain classes of applicants (including USG employees and honorably discharged veterans), but it does take some effort to fill out the application form and verification steps. We welcome other non-member attendees to purchase tickets, just like attendees purchase tickets for any other type of convention. US military members may also attend for free.
Is anyone allowed to attend?
No. In accordance with our mission, this is a convention for American military cyber professionals, the broader American military cyber community, and those interested in supporting the development of those professionals. All attendee ticket purchases are subject to review and revocation.
Why are you holding this convention by Fort Meade?
Fort Meade is home to the bulk of American military cyber professionals and we want to ensure we are catering to the needs of that specific community. It will be much less expensive in money and time for those personnel to attend this event than most other cyber-related events that are further away.
Are there spaces for me to conduct closed-door meetings on-site?
Yes, there are plenty of nooks and crannies around the event location that you can use to conduct small meetings. If you would like a larger space, like for a military unit or element, please contact us ahead of time to coordinate the space. The VIP lounge also has numerous potential meeting locations.
Before the pandemic, why were you going to hold the convention on 23 June?
23 June is the anniversary of the Secretary of Defense directing USCYBERCOM be established (what some people have called USCYBERCOM's unofficial birthday). Read that memo here. We wanted to hold this event on a date of significance for this Command which leads the American military cyber community (whom we are dedicated to support). We also wanted it to be during summer break to allow this to be hosted at an appropriate academic institution like Capitol Technology University to ensure the educational intent of this effort is very clear. We have scheduled the convention for 19 May 2022, about 2 weeks after graduation at that school.
What are the details about the scholarship?
We are going to use some of the funds raised from HammerCon to support a scholarship. Initial criteria for the recipient include being the child of a very active MCPA member and studying a STEM related field at the college level. Additional details are published on the member-only intranet.
Who will be speaking and attending?
We will have speakers and attendees from across the growing military cyber community of interest. That includes those firmly within the military cyber community (like various cyber units and offices across the Department of Defense), their stakeholders (like the wider defense community), and those who have a vested interest in their success (like those in Congress, industry, and academia). More specifically, we plan to have numerous senior leaders (as well as personnel from all echelons) from USCYBERCOM, NSA, the Pentagon, and beyond.
What's the uniform?
The event organizers do not have any uniform guidance. You may come in your service dress uniform, hacker casual, business professional, cosplay, duty uniform, etc. It's up to you. We want you to be comfortable.
Is there a message encoded in the event logo?
Yes. It is the first step in a small adventure that culminates with a reward.
HammerCon will take place at Capitol Technology University in Laurel, Maryland. We selected this location since it is close to Fort Meade, is a great partner of numerous USG entities, and has a long history of higher education very focused on STEM. FYSA, CapTech is a smoke-free campus.