New Commander for Virginia SDF Cyber Unit

The Virginia Defense Force (State Defense Force) recently welcomed a new commander for its elite Cyber Defense Unit Detechment. This unit works with the National Guard to protect the State’s critical computer systems.  The outgoing commander, Capt. David Rothrock, was responsible for expanding the unit from a single troop to an entire detachment.

VDF Cyber Detachment welcomes new commander


FAIRFAX, Va. – Warrant Officer 1 (Va.) Daniel Coleman took command of the Virginia Defense Force Cyber Detachment, Support Operations Group from Capt. David Rothrock during a change of command ceremony April 10, 2021, in Fairfax, Virginia. Due to restrictions of the current pandemic, participants attended a hybrid event including representatives from the Virginia Army National Guard’s 91st Cyber Brigade.

“The change of command ceremony is an important event that is rich with history, tradition, symbolism and military heritage,” explained Lt. Col. (Va.) Nicholas Christoff, commander of the Support Operations Group. “Key to the ceremony is the passing of the unit guidon, symbolizing the transfer of authority from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander. This demonstrates to everyone that the outgoing commander has passed the mantle of leadership to the incoming commander and with this, must also pass everyone’s loyalty to their new commander.”

Rothrock was instrumental in expanding the VDF’s cyber capability from a single member to a detachment within the Support Operations Group, Christoff said. He was the cyber detachment’s inaugural executive officer and played a critical role in the detachment’s development and integration with Army and Air Guard partners as a force multiplier, and he ensured training to validate and certify all Cyber Detachment members to perform missions within the commonwealth.

During the ceremony, Christoff presented the VDF Achievement Medal to Rothrock recognizing his contributions to the Cyber Detachment. His new assignment will be with the Support Operations Group as the senior cyber strategist.

Coleman entered the Virginia Defense Force on in January 2020 as one of the Cyber Detachment’s inaugural class of warrant officers. He has since served as the Northern Virginia team leader and as acting officer in charge since January 2021.  He has participated in all detachment State Active Duty activations as an analyst, team leader and OIC. He has 25 years of information technology industry executive experience and is a Basic Master Emergency Management Specialist.

About the Virginia Defense Force:

The VDF is authorized by Title 44 of the Code of Virginia as the all-volunteer reserve of the Virginia National Guard (VNG), they are a force multiplier and integrated into all VNG domestic response operations. Members of the VDF volunteer their time for training and are only paid when called to state active duty by an authorization of the Governor of Virginia. The VDF reports to the Adjutant General of Virginia as part of the Virginia Department of Military Affairs alongside the Virginia Army National Guard and Virginia Air National Guard.

Source: Virginia Defense Force

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