2019 Year End Report

Message from Mr. Phalen

Photo of DCSA Director Charles Phalen

Security awareness is everyone's responsibility, and CDSE is poised to provide the most up-to-date security policy training and information to the community at large.

As the functional manager for Department of Defense (DOD) security education, training, and certification, I am pleased at how the Center for Development of Security Excellence (CDSE) continues to adapt to the many changes in the security community by providing innovative products and services across the globe. As we transitioned from the Defense Security Service (DSS) to Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA), CDSE remained engaged with stakeholders and customers to ensure the same level of security training, education, and certification was delivered.

As the security landscape continues to change, not only with the emergence of DCSA but with the DOD security community as well, so do the responsibilities placed on security personnel. In response, CDSE adapted alongside these changes and leveraged current trends in technology to create security courses, products, and certification assessments, regardless of location. Security awareness is everyone's responsibility, and CDSE is poised to provide the most up-to-date security policy training and information to the community at large.

Using innovative tools and delivery methods, CDSE continues to help DOD civilians, contractors, and more to support their security duties with its security courses, certifications, and resources. I am proud of the results we have achieved in this past year and look forward to the integration and collaboration of all legacy security training organizations within DCSA.


Signature of Charles Phalen, Director, DCSA
Charles Phalen
Acting Director, DCSA

Message from Front Office

CDSE is pleased to present our 10th Year End Report. During FY19, we continued to collaborate with our DOD, industry, and federal government partners to provide the most up-to-date and relevant security products and services. With new issues and threats emerging each day, security responsibilities now rest in the hands of DOD security professionals and personnel with collateral security duties, as well as anyone with access to current technologies.

CDSE is committed to supporting DOD's security personnel, and constant collaboration with the community is integral to this effort. In this year's edition, you will see many examples of accomplishments, including hosting a successful DOD Virtual Security Conference, working with stakeholders to determine training needs, partnering with other federal agencies for the inaugural Insider Threat Awareness Month, winning multiple awards for our products, and much more.

We hope you will find this report informative and see our dedication to providing the security workforce with the most current and relevant products for the constantly changing security environment.


Signature of Kevin J. Jones, Director, CDSE
Kevin J. Jones
Director, CDSE

Signature of Erika Ragonese, Deputy Director, CDSE
Erika Ragonese
Deputy Director, CDSE

Photo of CDSE Director Kevin Jones

Photo of CDSE Deputy Director Erika Ragonese


Provide the DOD with a security center of excellence for the professionalization of the security community and be the premier provider of security education, training, and certification for the DOD and industry under the National Industrial Security Program (NISP). The CDSE provides development, delivery, and exchange of security knowledge to ensure a high-performing workforce capable of addressing our nation's security challenges.


To be the premier provider and center of excellence for security education, training, and certification for the DOD and industry under the NISP.


DOD Virtual Security Conference

On July 24, CDSE hosted its third DOD Virtual Security Conference. The theme for the conference was "Collaboration and Integration for the Changing Face of Security."

More than 1,000 security professionals from over 40 different agencies and services across 18 countries participated. The collaborative online platform enabled attendees and speakers to participate from their offices, homes, and on-the-go using mobile devices. The conference addressed the immediate needs of the DOD security community while bringing civilian and military security professionals together from all over the world.

Speakers from DCSA, USD(I), and the Performance Accountability Council presented on topics such as Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), Trusted Workforce 2.0, DCSA's Role in the Changing Security Environment, and Insider Threat. The conference allowed participants to submit questions and receive answers in real-time. In a post-conference survey, attendees stated the conference helped with "staying up-to-date on the ever changing practices" and "to better prepare for the future."

Photo from DOD Virtual Security Converence

Insider Threat Awareness Month

Insider Threat Program LogoIn early 2019, CDSE Insider Threat commissioned a committee formed by members of CDSE, DCSA, the National Insider Threat Task Force (NITTF), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (OUSD(I)). This committee's purpose was to draft a charter, coordinate communications plans, compile and forward outreach packets, promote messaging, and market to the mass media to designate the month of September as National Insider Threat Awareness Month.

"Messaging Champions," key Insider Threat practitioners, were critical to the success of this new national messaging campaign. The effort was endorsed by Mr. William Evanina, Director of National Counterintelligence and Security Center, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, who invited champions to participate in the messaging campaign letter formally designating the inaugural National Insider Threat Awareness Month.

On September 23rd, CDSE co-hosted an inaugural National Insider Threat Awareness Month forum along with OUSD(I) at the Pentagon to conclude the successful effort. The forum included opening remarks from NITTF co-director Mr. Wayne Belk, a threat awareness briefing by CDSE, a presentation of the United States Army's Insider Threat Program by Col. Michael Birmingham, and a case-study presented by Mr. David Paravecchia, Chief of Army Insider Threat Operations.

Insider Threat Awareness Month was promoted by hundreds of organizations within the U.S. Government, DOD, and cleared industry as well as the private sector. Follow-on surveys to messaging champions indicate that 100% found value in the campaign and 31% have already identified increased reporting of potential risk indicators. September is now the month to emphasize the importance of safeguarding our nation from risks posed by insider threats and to share best practices for mitigating those risks.

Photo from National Insider Threat Awareness Month Forum

Curriculum Review Meetings

On July 30-31, CDSE conducted its Curriculum Review Meeting (CRM) at the Pentagon Library and Conference Center.

In adhering to DODM 3115.11, DOD Intelligence and Security Training Standards, and DODI 3305.13, DOD Security Education, Training, and Certification, the CRM provided stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback on curriculum learning goals, objectives, and contents with their stakeholders. Each Curriculum Manager discussed with their respective training program stakeholders the importance of their input in identifying what works, where gaps exist, and the importance of communicating available training to the workforce.

This year's review meeting saw a record attendance of more than 100 attendees representing over 45 organizations, to include the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (OUSD(I)), DOD Chief Information Officer (CIO), Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Exit survey results showed 100% of those responding selected either "Strongly Agree" or "Agree" to the meeting's value to the security professional's development.

  • NGA
  • NSA
  • NASA
  • DLA
  • DCAA
  • DOE
  • DCSA
  • FBI
  • MDA
  • DCMA
  • OSC
  • WHMO
  • NARA
  • NBIB
  • DISA
  • OUSD A&S
  • DUSN
  • HQDA
  • PFPA
  • USA Ft. Leonardwood
  • DTRA
  • JBAB
  • OUSD Intel
  • USA Ord School
  • CIO J6
  • DHS
  • CDSE

Commercial Forum

On June 14, CDSE's Insider Threat Team facilitated the Insider Threat United States Government Commercial Forum. The forum, co-hosted by the DOD, Undersecretary of Defense (Intelligence) Insider Threat Program Office and Walmart, served as a platform for DOD and federal insider threat practitioners and private organizations to discuss the challenge of facing the "Insider Threat."

CDSE emceed the day-long event, including leading collaborative discussions on a range of topics, such as, leadership approaches to countering the insider threat, operational parts of an insider threat program, current challenges of countering the insider threat, future capabilities projected to counter the insider threat, and DOD resources available to the commercial sector.

Subject matter experts with varied backgrounds were present to add to the discussion and provide unique perspectives for all in attendance. The forum was inclusive, reaching the commercial sector and international partners. Many of the commercial sector participants represent second and third level suppliers to the DOD enterprise and also employ reservists, guardsmen, and veterans.


During FY19, CDSE's Insider Threat Team maintained a close partnership with the National Insider Threat Task Force (NITTF). NITTF regularly hosts forums, working groups, and tech talks for practitioners and policymakers within the Insider Threat community. CDSE's Insider Threat Team maintained a presence in support of their initiatives and networking platform throughout the year, fulfilling an essential part in promoting Insider Threat Awareness Month.

CDSE continued a tradition of collaboration by sending its Insider Threat Team instructor cadre to brief at every scheduled NITTF Insider Threat Hub Operations course offered in FY19. It is one of the central ways in which CDSE has gained recognition as the premier provider for online Insider Threat training for government agencies and cleared industry partners.


CDSE in collaboration with Defense Acquisition University (DAU) launched an Acquisition Toolkit on the CDSE.edu website. In addition, the CDSE Learning Management System, the Security, Training, Education, and Professionalization Portal (STEPP), now offers a DAU-developed course entitled "DOD Supply Chain Fundamentals." This toolkit and course will benefit the DCSA workforce, as well as industry partners, as CDSE continues implementation of the Risk-based Industrial Security Oversight (RISO) methodology.

CDSE also worked closely with DAU to produce a 35-minute audio interview, as well as a 10-minute video. During the audio interview, the Defense Acquisition University's Mr. Anthony Rotolo talks to Ms. Carrie Wibben, former DCSA Deputy Director, about the DCSA, its expanded mission set, and the importance of critical technology protection. In the video, Ms. Wibben provides a "Powerful Example" about the importance of considering security early in the acquisition process.

image of laptop displaying the DAU/DCSA Powerful Example Video

CDSE Product Catalog

Training Courses

In FY19, CDSE offered 105 training courses. Access our course catalog to view our latest offerings.

Education Courses

CDSE continued to offer advanced and graduate level courses designed to broaden DOD security specialists' knowledge and understanding of the security profession and prepare them for leadership positions and responsibilities.

Education Program Certificates

CDSE also continued to offer Education Program Certificates in five concentrations which recognize students for successfully completing advanced programs of study.


FY19 Top 3 Performance Support Tools

toolkits icon
TOOLKITS based on # of user sessions
  1. Facility Security Officer
  2. Industrial System Security Manager
  3. Insider Threat
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CASE STUDIES based on # of downloads
  1. Charles Eccleston
  2. Ivan Lopez
  3. Bryan Underwood
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SECURITY SHORTS based on # of user sessions
  1. DD Form 254
  2. Classified Storage Requirements
  3. CI Foreign Travel Briefing
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SECURITY AWARENESS GAMES based on # of user sessions & downloads
  1. Cybersecurity Trivia Twirl
  2. Insider Threat Trivia Twirl
  3. Insider Threat Concentration Game
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JOB AIDS based on # of downloads
  1. Self Inspection Book for NISP Contractors
  2. Marking Classified Information
  3. Facility Security Officer Program
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SECURITY POSTERS based on # of downloads
  1. CDSE Support to the Defense Security Enterprise Mission
  2. Insider Threat Vigilance
  3. Insider Threat Awareness Month: Most insider threats display


Education Achievements

CDSE had a total of 143 completions for the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters. Thirteen advanced and graduate level security courses were offered during each semester, and some students took multiple courses. In addition, 25 certificates were earned, which means a student completed four specific courses within a certificate concentration.

These courses offer an intense and enhanced experience for security specialists to engage with real-world and relevant security issues. Because the student population is diverse, students have the ability to interact with other students who are already at a leadership level and can collaborate to solve problems that could prepare them for career advancement.


CDSE continued to maintain its affiliation with the American Council on Education's (ACE) College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT). ACE CREDIT™ helps CDSE students gain access to academic credit for completed, tuition-free CDSE Education Division and Training Division courses or curricula. CDSE offers 17 education courses and 16 training courses with ACE CREDIT™ recommendations.

ACE logoThe ACE CREDIT™ logo is a federally registered trademark of the American Council on Education and cannot be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the American Council on Education.

Certification Five Year Achievement

The DOD SPēD Certification Program reached a five year milestone of successful execution and management to attain reaccreditation of the three core certification programs (i.e., Security Fundamentals Professional Certification (SFPC), Security Asset Protection Professional Certification (SAPPC), and Security Program Integration Professional Certification (SPIPC) from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)). The NCCA reaccreditation marks the first time a DOD government entity has accomplished the challenging application process, not only for one reaccreditation, but for all three core DOD SPēD Certification Programs, resulting in a strategic position that best supports the security workforce, increases protection to our warfighters, and strengthens our nation's assets, present, and future.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is an important indicator to the success of CDSE products and services. In FY19, our customer satisfaction score was at an all-time high of 84%. This score, derived from survey data, represents the average benchmark of student feedback based on their overall satisfaction with eLearning courses and exams. Important to note, when compared to public sector, non-profit, and federal government customer satisfaction benchmarks, CDSE exceeds their rankings.

FY19 Customer satisfaction bar chart


During the fiscal year, CDSE spoke and exhibited at a number of events. This allowed the audience to learn more about CDSE and its offerings, as well as ask questions about training, education, and certification programs.

Date Event Location Type of Participation # Attendees Audience
11/1/18 NITTF Fall Forum FBI HQ, DC Speaker 300 Insider Threat Program Managers DOD and USG
12/13/18 Department of Veteran Affairs Briefing - CDSE Overall Mission Department of Veteran Affairs Speaker 20 Government Stakeholders
2/15/19 Army Antiterrorism Seminar Orlando, FL Speaker 220 DOD and US Army Executive Leaders, Security Manager, Security Leaders, and Special Security Officers
2/19/19 DOD Insider Threat Symposium Pentagon Exhibitor 200 Insider Threat Program Personnel DOD
4/15/19 NSI Impact Chantilly, VA Exhibitor 500 FSO and Security Personnel
4/19/19 FY19 OPSEC Symposium Maritime Conference Center, Linthicum, MD Exhibitor 150-200 DOD, IC, State/Local/ Federal Government, Academia
5/1/19 Contractor SAP Security Working Group Vienna, VA Speaker 200 DOD SAP Executive Leaders, Contractor SAP Security Officers
6/9/19 55th Annual NCMSTraining Seminar St Louis, MO Exhibitor and Presenter 3,000 Industry Stakeholders
8/5/19 US ARMY MEDCO Security Manager Seminar Doral, FL Speaker 50 DOD and US Army Executive Leaders, Security Manager, Security Leaders, and Special Security Officers
8/19/19 G2/USAEUR Security Training Event Garmisch Germany Speaker 80 Security Professionals throughout the European theater
9/12/19 ISAC of Central MD Annual Conference Fulton, MD Exhibitor 125 Industry Stakeholders
9/18/19 I-270 ISAC Annual Conference Gaithersburg, MD Exhibitor 50 Industry Stakeholders
9/23/19 2019 Insider Threat Awareness Month Forum Pentagon Auditorium Facilitator/Presenter 50-100 in person. 500-700 online General Public DODWorkforce USGWorkforce
9/25/19 U.S. Marine Corp Security Managers Training Quantico, VA Speaker 40 U.S. Marine Active Duty and Civilian Security Manager, Security Leaders, and Special Security Officers

Technology Capabilities


CDSE worked to convert Adobe Flash Courses to HTML5, in accordance with the sunsetting of the Adobe Flash Player. This plan required major coordination across DCSA as the conversion effort impacted the Registrar's Office, developers, software engineers, DOD Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), and technical and functional testers. Currently, CDSE has converted almost all of the initially identified products, placing CDSE ahead of schedule by a year and a half.

According to the DOD OCIO, through the Advanced Distributed Learning Research Center study of eLearning products across all components and agencies, CDSE was among the few agencies that had instituted a plan to be completed with all conversions by the end of the calendar year 2019. This conversion effort is critical to the security community to ensure the accessibility of security training for all of DOD and Industry.

STEPP Increases Users with New Platform

On October 1, 2018, CDSE migrated STEPP from an agency hosted site to a new platform. To facilitate this, CDSE partnered with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) USA Learning Program Office to migrate over 200,000 student accounts to the OPM USA Learning environment in a FedRAMP certified cloud environment.

By the end of FY19, the new STEPP environment had doubled the amount of students to 403,000 student accounts. Additionally, with the increase in mission, STEPP was able to support the migration of the OPM National Background Investigation Bureau and the DOD Central Adjudication civilians to DCSA. This mission success was a great end to the fiscal year and a strong start to the next one.

International Impact

Training Down Under

CDSE delivered training for the seventh time to members of the Australian military. From April 30 to May 3, the CDSE Special Access Programs (SAP) team delivered the Introduction to SAPs Course to 34 newly assigned SAP Australian Defence Force personnel in support of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program Office on DOD SAP policy and procedures in Canberra, Australia.

In addition, three members of the Special Program Coordination Office (SPCO) met with CDSE personnel to discuss the current status and way forward for the future of SAP training. The new director of the SPCO, attended the course and addressed questions that arose concerning the Australian policy and their specific way of conducting security business. The course was successful and received the praises of the SPCO and the Australian students. This course is recognized as "a good model" for the future of other international governments that have joint relationships with the U.S. Government.

Photo of Sydney Opera House in Austrialia

DCSA Audience Reach

DCSA Audience Reach


CDSE Receives the Chief Learning Officer LearningElite Award!

Photo of CDSE instructor Patrick Ganley receiving the Chief Learning Officer Learninglite Award for CDSECDSE was selected as a Finalist for the 2019 Chief Learning Officer (CLO) magazine's LearningElite award program that honors the best organizations for learning and development. CDSE ranked among finalists out of an application pool of several hundred. The CLO's magazine peer-developed benchmarking program recognizes organizations that employ exemplary workforce development strategies to deliver significant business results that benefit their organization, industry, and the learning and development field.

CDSE instructor Patrick Ganley attended the LearningElite Gala on April 1, 2019, in Las Vegas to receive the award for CDSE.

CDSE Recognized for a Fourth Year in a Row for Learning Excellence!

Elearning! Media Group's (EMG) Learning! 100 Awards logoCDSE was recognized On August 8, 2019, for its excellence in learning by the Elearning! Media Group's (EMG) Learning! 100 Awards program. CDSE was ranked 25th within the applicant group of major corporations and non-profit and government organizations. Learning! 100 Awards recognizes the top 100 organizations for their best-in-class learning and development programs, enabling a learning culture that creates outstanding organizational performance.

CDSE was ranked ahead of large corporation's such as Walmart and Siemens for our Insider Threat Vigilance Campaign. CDSE was one of the smallest organizations to be ranked in the top 25.

The Learning! 100 is a research-based program that provides organizations a benchmark for future development, is quantitative and qualitative, and is unbiased by size of the organization. Learning! 100 applicants are evaluated on three sets of criteria: EMG's Learning Culture Index, Collaborative Strategies' Innovation & Collaboration Ratings, and overall organizational performance.

OMNI Awards

Omni Awards logoIn the spring 2019 Omni Awards, CDSE won four Gold and three Silver awards for video and eLearning entries. The Omni Awards recognizes outstanding achievements in film/video, web, and mobile media. View all winners, including CDSE entries.

CDSE's four Insider Threat Vigilance Campaign videos won the four Gold awards.

Name of Video or eLearning Product Type/Category Award
Turning People Around, Not Turning Them In. S1/E1: "An Odd Encounter with Tim" Micro-Learning Video Lesson/Government Category Omni Gold Award
Turning People Around, Not Turning Them In. S1/E2: "Check Out My New Ride" Micro-Learning Video Lesson/Government Category Omni Gold Award
Turning People Around, Not Turning Them In. S1/E3: "What's Pre-Publication?" Micro-Learning Video Lesson/Government Category Omni Gold Award
Turning People Around, Not Turning Them In. S1/E4: "Meeting of the Minds" Micro-Learning Video Lesson/Government Category Omni Gold Award
"DOD Security Principles" Micro-Learning Video Lesson/Government Category Omni Silver Award
Risk Management for DOD Security Programs Course" eLearning/Government Category Omni Silver Award
"Risk Management for DOD Security Programs Course" eLearning/Education Category Omni Silver Award

Horizon Interactive Awards logoThe Horizon Interactive Awards is a prestigious, international competition recognizing outstanding achievements among interactive media producers. The competition recognizes and awards the best websites, videos, online advertising, print media, and mobile applications.

CDSE Wins a Third Federal Government Distance Learning Association (FGDLA) Award

Photo of Director Kevin Jones, Deputy Director Erika Ragonese, and Instructional System Designer Stephen Fowler, accepting the FGDLA Award from FGDLA President Alex Autry and FGDLA Executive Director Jolly Holden.CDSE received the Federal Government Distance Learning Association (FGDLA) Award for Innovation in early FY19 after previously being recognized as a Five-Star Award winner in 2013 and 2015. The FGDLA Innovation Award is in recognition of an organization demonstrating excellence in the innovative use of technology and/or video-based content in the development and delivery of distance learning in the Federal Government.

Photo of Director Kevin Jones, Deputy Director Erika Ragonese, and Instructional System Designer Stephen Fowler, accepting the FGDLA Award from FGDLA President Alex Autry and FGDLA Executive Director Jolly Holden.

Videographer Award

Vidographer Awards logoCDSE won the Videographer Award of Excellence for its "Insider Threat Vigilance Video Series – Season 1" in the video production category. The Videographer Awards is one of the oldest and most respected awards programs in the industry. Winners are listed on the Videographer website and in next year's Call for Entries, a brochure that is seen by tens of thousands of decision making communication professionals. The Videographer Award of Excellence is awarded to those entries whose ability to capture the event or communicate the message is exceptional.

dotCOMM Award

dotCOMM Awards logo CDSE also won the dotCOMM Platinum Award for the "Insider Threat Vigilance Video Series" in the video category. dotCOMM is an international competition honoring excellence in web creativity and digital communication. The competition is unique in that it reflects the role of creative professionals in the dynamic web that is transforming how we market and communicate products and services. dotCOMM Awards' categories are the elements of the web's evolving tools. Interactivity, content, design, social media, video, apps, blogs, and influencers are all important components of digital public relations, marketing, and advertising campaigns. Together, they generate branding, customer engagement, and sales. dotCOMM entries come from corporate communication departments, public relations firms, digital shops, advertising agencies, and freelancers.

Hermes Creative Awards

Hermes Creative Awards logoPlatinum Creative Award for the video, "An Odd Encounter with Tim," in season one of the series, "Turning People Around, Not Turning Them In." The video won in the Electronic Media/Social Media/Interactive category. Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional materials, marketing and communication programs, and emerging technologies. Entries come from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, PR firms, graphic design shops, production companies, web and digital creators, and freelancers. The competition is set up with two hundred categories distributed under the headings: Print Media, Public Relations/Communications and Electronic/Social/Interactive Media.

CDSE by the Numbers

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Overall Website Views

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Course Completions

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Education Course Completions

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PDUs Earned

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Awards Achieved

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Toolkits Accessed

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Security Shorts Accessed

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Job Aid Views

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Case Study Views

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Training Needs Analyses Conducted

Foreign Delegates
Foreign Delegations Hosted

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Courses with ACE™ Credit Recommendations

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Certifications with National-level Accreditation