The forefront of safety and security.

With an ever increasing need for expertise in cybersecurity, national security, domestic security, and emergency management, Valley Forge students work to keep our communities and nation safe.

Center for the Advancement of Security Studies

The Center for the Advancement of Security Studies at Valley Forge Military College

Valley Forge Military College’s Center for the Advancement of Security Studies (CASS) is a virtual coordinating center that houses faculty expertise to develop programs, manage outreach, create internship opportunities, and share information to serve students, academics, military professionals, industry leaders, and policy makers. The Center directly supports students enrolled in the Justice & Security Studies major with resources provided by the faculty who are both practitioners and scholars. Additionally, Center activities, resources, and faculty are available to all students who have an interest in these subjects. We have assembled a network of professionals, external to the College, that can advise and provide commentary on historical or current security issues. The Center is comprised of three divisions headed by VFMC faculty: National Security; Cybersecurity; and Domestic Security. Additionally, a reference section concentrating on military history and business affairs will provide support to scholars and students.

CASS leadership is focused on enhancing the student experience at VFMC by preparing them for success at four-year, bachelor’s degree-granting institutions, and eventual entry into their chosen professions. Ongoing research projects are designed to increase the prestige of the associate’s degree by establishing VFMC as a leading two-year college within the field of Security Studies. Key CASS strategic objectives include providing opportunities for students to interact with experts, to network and develop professional relationships that enhance career development and to strengthen employable skills critical to professional success.

A Message from the Director of CASS

Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster’s appointment as National Security Advisor demonstrates a Valley Forge Military Academy & College legacy of producing national security professionals of the highest quality. Lieutenant General McMaster represents the ideal of that distinguished group, and one that Valley Forge Military College’s Security Studies Concentration strives to develop. VFMC’s program creates the intellectual professional, one who is comfortable in any operating environment whether it be in the halls of some government intelligence or law enforcement agency, the boardrooms of industry, or physical as well as cyber battlefields.

We, at Valley Forge Military College’s Center for the Advancement of Security Studies, are extremely proud of Lieutenant General McMaster. We have, and will continue to use him as our model for success, always innovating and evolving the program as the complexity of the 21st century national security environment changes.  Congratulations, Lieutenant General McMaster!


Earl J. Catagnus, Jr., Ph.D.
Founding Director, Center for the Advancement of Security Studies
Assistant Professor of History and Security Studies
Valley Forge Military College




CASS Objectives:

  • To provide a Think-Tank-Type entity for students, academics, and professionals who are seeking information and positional arguments for security issues
  • To create a professional organization to engage other professional organizations and form alliances that are mutually beneficial
  • To begin a public outreach program
  • To support and promote the development of programs and curricula within security affairs

Cybersecurity Division

The Valley Forge Military College (VFMC) Center for the Advancement of Security Studies (CASS) Cybersecurity Division provides a critical nexus merging the theory of information assurance with practical application. The Cybersecurity Division of CASS supports innovative, comprehensive and multidisciplinary education in the Information Assurance (IA) / Computer Network Defense (CND) fields at VFMC. CASS Cybersecurity Division provides outreach with educational and professional resources for students, educators, and the community.

Learn more about our Cybersecurity program

CASS Cybersecurity division provides information for:

For more information contact: Dr. John Andrew Landmesser at or (610) 989-1452


Education Resources – Information for Students and Educators:

Professional Resources – Career development for Cybersecurity Professionals:

Research: Whitepapers, studies and other research promoting Cybersecurity education and the Profession

Domestic Security Division

Valley Forge Military College’s Center for the Advancement of Security Studies (CASS) Domestic Security Division provides and manages informational requirements in the fields of criminal justice, domestic terrorism, emergency management, and related areas.

Learn more about our Domestic Security program

For more information contact:
Duane Minshall, Deputy Director for Domestic Security
(610) 989-1459

National and Global Security Division

Valley Forge Military College’s Center for the Advancement of Security Studies (CASS) National and Global Security Division coordinates the efforts of associated security professionals that are concerned with national and global security issues. We seek to enhance the awareness of the public, provide commentary for media, and information to the military, government, and industry.

Learn more about our National and Global Security program

U.S. Government and Military Resources
The United States Government and Military produce an enormous amount of original, scholarly research for all aspects of American national security. All of this information is public and free when distributed in a digital format. The links below provide access to scholarly journals, virtual information portals, and digital libraries.

Research Institutes and Think-Tanks
There are hundreds of non-profit research institutes and think-tanks that focus on global, regional, and national security. Most, freely share their intellectual products with the public via the Internet. The hyperlinks below provide just a very small, but extremely worthwhile sampling.

Student Engagement Opportunities

Internship Program

Internships through CASS

Valley Forge Military College’s Center for the Advancement of Security Studies (CASS) is developing and coordinating the Justice and Security Studies undergraduate student internship program. The mission of this CASS initiative is to establish internship opportunities for VFMC students as well as prepare students for their work as interns. Preparing resumes/curriculum vitae, polishing interview skills, teaching professionalism, and individual mentoring are some of CASS’s offerings.

Internship Program Objectives and Guidelines

  1. As part of VFMC’s holistic education experience, students, at an early stage in their academic journey, will use the internship/mentorship program to broaden their understanding of prospective professions, determine the best college/university to transfer into for those professions, and develop relationships with professionals that will last beyond their tenure as an undergraduate student.
  2. The internship/mentorship program will demonstrate to students and potential employers the applicability of academics within the business, industrial, and political realm. Additionally, CASS will be able to monitor changes in the increasingly globalized marketplace, and assist in adapting VFMC’s holistic education experience to meet the demands of an ever-changing 21st century.
  3. CASS will use the internship/mentorship program as a critical component of its public outreach campaign that engages business, industry, government, law enforcement, and the military in order to establish VFMC as an academic center of excellence.
  4. Upon interacting with VFMC students, key market leaders will see VFMC as a long-term investment into the development of their future workforce. Ultimately, investing in the advancement of VFMC students will lead to decreased company costs in training, an increased applicant pool, and greater efficiency of employees who are VFMC alumni.
  5. The internship/mentorship program will energize VFMC alumni, and connect current students with their predecessors. Traditions and the legacy of excellence will be transmitted through personal relationships, and across time and space boundaries that are otherwise difficult to breach.

Internship Opportunities

Cybersecurity Internships

USAJobs Internship Listings within National Security

Intelligence Agencies

Law Enforcement Agencies

Internships within Politics and Government:

For more information contact:
Earl J. Catagnus, Jr., Founding Director of CASS
(610) 989-1468

Undergraduate Research Study Group

One of the unique aspects of VFMC’s Justice and Security Studies Program, specifically the Security Studies Concentration, is that students from their first semester to their last are taught writing skills and research methodologies normally neglected at other institutions. The Center for the Advancement of Security Studies (CASS) Undergraduate Research Study Group promotes and develops the undergraduate student research begun during the classes of the Justice and Security Studies curriculum. The objective of the Group is to create scholarly experiences that students can carry with them to their transfer colleges/universities, internships, and future professions.

Students are required to work on research projects from the moment they step into the classroom. They are encouraged to continue their research when the class ends, and develop it into something that is presentable and publishable. The Undergraduate Research Study Group members are mentored throughout the scholarly investigative process by VFMC faculty. Students work individually or in teams, and have topics ranging from intelligence assessments of terrorist groups to policy position papers to assessments of VFMC’s network security to writing plans for training drills for emergency managers. Outside scholars are consulted and act as reviewers of students’ work. The ultimate goal of the Group is for students to submit an article to a scholarly journal before the they graduate. The long-term initiatives of CASS’s Undergraduate Research Study Group include undergraduate research symposia, student lectures at public venues (on campus, public libraries, etc.), creating research assistantships, funding research scholarships, web-publishing students’ papers, and making an undergraduate research e-journal.

No college credit(s) are earned for participation in CASS’s Undergraduate Research Study Group.

Cybersecurity Club

The Valley Forge Military College (VFMC) Cybersecurity Club is focused on community building among students sharing an interest in Cybersecurity at the College. Club members must demonstrate desire for enhanced learning in Cybersecurity beyond current Cybersecurity course information. The Club is focused on promoting increased knowledge of, and greater interest in, Cybersecurity throughout the College and the local community including other schools, and extending Cybersecurity awareness programs to people, places, and institutions in need of help and support. This outreach by the Cybersecurity Club is an important aspect of the Character Development cornerstone of the College.

The Club also plans and prepares to represent VFMC in select Cybersecurity competitions.

Search for Cybersecurity competitions:

Cybersecurity games and labs to help prepare for competition:



Valley Forge Military Academy and College

Dr. Martin Clemis
Assistant Director of Research

Martin G. Clemis – earned his PhD in 2015 from Temple University, where he studied under the tutelage of Gregory J.W. Urwin. He is Assistant Professor of History and Government at Valley Forge Military College and a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University, Camden. Martin’s first book, titled The Control War: The Struggle for South Vietnam, 1968-1975, will be published by the University of Oklahoma Press in spring 2018. He is also a contributing author in Beyond the Quagmire: New Interpretations of the Vietnam Conflict (University of North Texas Press, 2018), Drawdowns: The American Way of Postwar (NYU Press, 2017), and War and Geography: The Spatiality of Organized Mass Violence (Ferdinand Schoningh, 2017). He has also had articles published in Army History and Small Wars and Insurgencies. Martin was awarded a U.S. Army Center for Military History dissertation grant in 2012 and is an alumnus of the U.S. Military Academy’s West Point Summer Seminar in Military History. Martin lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.

Click here to view CV

Earl Catagnus, Jr., Ph.D.
Founding Director of CASS

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Assistant Professor

Department: History

Courses: American Experience I & II, Contemporary Issues in National Security, Terrorism and Counter Terrorism

Military Title: SSGT (USMC)

Dr. Earl J. Catagnus, Jr. (Captain/VFMAC) is the Founding Director of the Center for the Advancement of Security Studies, and an Assistant Professor of History and Security Studies at Valley Forge Military College.

Dr. Catagnus’s research has focused on questions concerning military history as well as current national security and intelligence dilemmas.  He served as a national security analyst for several documentaries and news programs, and his scholarship has been featured in both academic publications such as The Journal of Military History and service journals like Marine Corps Gazette and Naval Institute Proceedings.  In 2013, he was awarded a U.S. Army Center of Military History Dissertation Fellowship, and in 2012 he was a recipient of both a Marine Corps Heritage Foundation Dissertation Fellowship and the Robert L. Ruth and Robert C. Ruth Fellowship for the Army Heritage Center Foundation.  Currently, he is completing revisions for his book manuscript titled, Blood Brothers:  Tracing the U.S. Army Infantry and Marine Corps to a Crossroads, 1918-1945.

As for military service, Dr. Catagnus enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in September 1998.  During recruit training, he was the Platoon and Company Honor Graduate, and, upon graduation, was meritoriously promoted to the rank of lance corporal.  Immediately after entering the Fleet Marine Force as an infantryman, he was assigned to 3rd Battalion/2nd Marines Scout/Sniper Platoon where he eventually graduated from the U.S. Marine Corps’ Scout/Sniper School.  In 2004, he deployed as a section leader in 3rd Battalion/5th Marines’ Scout/Sniper Platoon during the Second Battle for Fallujah, popularly known as Operation Phantom Fury.  His military decorations include the Purple Heart, two Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medals one with Combat V for valor, four Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Combat Action Ribbon, Humanitarian Service Medal, and two Certificates of Commendation.

He holds a B.S. in Life Science (with distinction) and a B.A. in History (with distinction) from The Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. in History from Temple University.

Click here to view CV

Contact Information


Phone: 610-989-1468

John Andrew Landmesser

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Associate Professor

Department: Computer Science, Security Studies

Courses: Computer Information Systems, Computer Programming, Data Management & Security, Network Communications & Security, and Information Systems Security

Contact Information


Phone: 610-989-1452



Started at VFMA&C: 2014
Other Experience:

Other Information

Military Education:



Click here to view CV