Cyber professionals are often capable of doing much, much more
than what the law allows. In their private-sector jobs, they've got
to be on the right side of the law if they don't want to end up in a
But those same skilled cyber professionals may
be able to cut loose if they were in the Army. In fact, that
potential for greater freedom in cyberspace might entice some of
those professionals to don a uniform and practice their craft safely
inside the Army tent.
As the U.S. Army grows and develops its own cyber branch, it's looking for ways to both attract the best talent, and to keep that talent on board with the Army, in the face of stiff competition with the private sector job market. (U.S. Army photo/image by Ms. Peggy Frierson
- November 2016)
It may also serve as an enticement for cyber
professionals who are already serving in the Army to stay in
the Army, the Army's vice chief of staff said.
good news is, for our cyber professionals, they can do
things in defense of our nation that they would get arrested
for in the outside world," said Vice Chief of Staff of the
Army Gen. Daniel B. Allyn Thursday, while speaking at a
cyber forum at the Association of the U.S. Army
"That's very attractive to those who
are very, very skilled and committed to the security of our
country. And for that, we are thankful for both their skill
and, just as importantly, for their desire to continue to
serve and protect our country."
The Army is currently
in the midst of growing its cyber force of commissioned
officers, noncommissioned officers, and warrant officers to
defend the Army network and apply effects against adversary
networks, if need be.
The Army has its own cyber
branch now, career field 17, for cyber professionals, and a
schoolhouse as well at Fort Gordon, Georgia. Right now the
branch has 397 officers, 141 warrant officers and 560
enlisted Soldiers in its ranks, Allyn said.
on track fielding our cyber mission force, from 41 teams
today, to eventually a full fill of 62 total force teams,"
The Army's Cyber School stood up in 2014.
This year, 21 officers graduated. The Army is on track to
beat that number next year, Allyn said.
2017, enlisted Soldiers will for the first time attend Army
Advanced Individual Training for cyber. Also in March,
Army-developed AIT to defend the network will begin at Fort
Gordon, Georgia. Allyn said he expects an initial 300
Soldiers to graduate from that course.
retaining cyber talent remains a concern for the Army, Allyn
said. It's not just Army networks that need to be protected
-- commercial networks require protection as well -- and the
Army must compete with the private sector to attract the
best cyber talent.
One way to make Army cyber more
attractive, Allyn said, is through lateral accessions, a
strategy used in other career fields in the Army to compete
with the private sector, like medical -- where officers can
be brought in at a higher rank and higher pay.
ability to laterally access skilled professionals is
something we do already in the Army in some of our skills,"
Allyn said. "But we have recognized that this has
applicability in specialty fields like cyber. And that is
being matured and developed as an option for the chief and
Allyn said the possibility of lateral
accessions for cyber was considered as part of the Army's
"Force of the Future" analysis conducted last year.
"Not only will we have to apply new accessions tools, but we
are going to have to consider, 'How do you retain this
incredible talent?'" he said.
By U.S. Army C. Todd Lopez
Army News Service
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