Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School grad who led Navy’s Cyber Defense dies.

Roy Petty

Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School grad who led Navy’s Cyber Defense dies.

Roy Petty, who took one of the first computer science classes offered at Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School that sparked an interest leading to a lifetime career, has died March 26 in Annapolis, Maryland, after a long illness.

Mr. Petty rose to command the Navy’s Cyber Defense Team. The FWISD Inducted Mr. Petty to the Wall of Fame in 2019.

He graduated as valedictorian of Diamond Hill-Jarvis in 1976 and went on to become captain and commanding officer of the U.S. Navy’s Cyber Defense Operational Command.

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His academic success in high school, he said, taught him a great life lesson: “It’s not the smartest person who wins. It’s the hardest working.”

Mr. Petty earned his bachelor of business administration degree at the University of Texas at Arlington. He earned his master of arts in National Security and Strategic Studies at the U.S. Naval War College.

Under his leadership, the Navy’s cyber defense team received the highest-level certification ever achieved by a Department of Defense organization.

Mr. Petty co-founded the U.S. Naval War College’s Center for Cyber Conflict Studies and was a military professor there from 2009 to 2013. He retired from the Navy in 2015 and went to work at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to help integrate cyber security solutions. Not long afterward, he was diagnosed with a terminal illness.

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Among his personal recognitions, Mr. Petty received the “Fed 100,” a prestigious federal IT award; the Navy’s Chief Information Officer “Information Management and Information Technology” Award; and, the Secretary of Defense “Excellence in Information Assurance” award.

Mr. Petty was on medical leave when he was inducted into the Fort Worth ISD Wall of Fame in a special ceremony December 2019. At the event, he directly addressed JROTC students in attendance, encouraging those interested in a military career to follow their dreams. Here is a video of that holiday event.

Mr. Petty is survived by his wife Donna; a son, Collin; a daughter, Erin; and family members in Fort Worth.

– Fort Worth Independent School District/FWBP Staff