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In this article, we provide a brief history of the Cyber Defense Exercise (CDX), describe Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT's) participation in it, and explain how the experience shaped the information-assurance curriculum and course format at AFIT. The CDX is an annual competition designed to give students the opportunity to learn and demonstrate best practices in defensive information assurance. The CDX's fundamental objective is to design and implement a network that provides specified IT services and defend it against an onslaught of cyberattacks and natural events. CDX participants included blue forces (students), red forces (attacker) and a white cell.