2019 Government Innovation Awards

Rising Star: Lt. Jason A. Pawlak

Cyber Battle Captain, U.S. Transportation Command

Lt. Jason A. Pawlak  

Navy Lt. Jason Pawlak has been in his current role for less than a year but is already effecting change at the U.S. Transportation Command’s Global Operations Center.

As a cyber battle captain, he is responsible for ensuring situational awareness, advising the commander of complex threats and preparing two 42-member cyber protection teams to protect mission-critical assets and resources from network viruses, ransomware and distributed denial-of-service attacks.

So far, he has modernized the master station log, which allows the command to synchronize cyber efforts and track and analyze situational awareness data, by migrating it to a more resilient and accessible platform and codifying the related operating procedures.

Pawlak, who is nine years into his federal IT career, has been influential in cyber operations, including critical infrastructure assessments, at two strategic seaports and has helped migrate 15 logistics information systems to the cloud.

He also created a resilient database that tracks and archives response actions and event characteristics to improve coordination and reduce duplicative efforts. With that database, he helped lead his team in providing continuous logistics support to forces during the Turbo Challenge training exercise in 2019.

Air Force Maj. Benjamin Rich, branch chief for the Cyber Operations Center, called Pawlak a studious, likable and humble team player who subtly commands respect. “When he opens his mouth, everybody listens because you know he’s going to say something smart,” Rich said.

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