Coast Guard considers direct commissioning of cyber personnel – FCW



Coast Guard plans to lead the commissioning of cyber personnel

The Coast Guard now uses a direct commissioning program to integrate cyber specialists into its cyber command as officers.

The Maritime Military Branch has opened its direct commissioning program to cyber roles in operations in cyberspace, cybersecurity, information assurance and cyber threat intelligence.

“We are integrating them as part of our direct commission engineer program, our computer paths and even in exercise ’22 we are creating a direct commission for cyber opportunities,” said Rear Admiral Michael Ryan. , Commander of Coast Guard Cyber ​​Command, at a briefing following the Joint Service Academy Cyber ​​Security Summit on September 23.

The cyber direct commission program, which went live on September 24, will start in “small numbers to begin with,” Ryan said, and will focus on sourcing talent within the service.

“We recruit our best and brightest enlisted members and give them the opportunity to join the ranks of officers,” Ryan said.

Applicants for the Direct Commissioning program “must be proven cyber professionals with a solid track record of work,” according to the program description. The program is open to applicants between the ages of 21 and 41 who hold a current security clearance and can, among other things, complete “a structured fitness program” and meet education and work experience requirements if they come from outside. Education and work experience requirements differ slightly for applicants from the ranks of Coast Guard enlisted personnel.

The computer track is hosted as part of the direct commissioning engineer program and has a greater focus on infrastructure development, Lt. Adam Hoburg, military assistant to the Guard Cyber ​​Command commander, said via email. coastal.

The Coast Guard has long struggled with an aging IT infrastructure and the proliferation of cybersecurity threats. The service, which recently updated its cyber strategy, has sought to expand its cyber forces, asking for $ 12 million to fund a third cyber protection team in its budget request for fiscal year 2022 “to work with cyber specialists at points of entry reviews “.

Other military services, including the military, have used direct commissioning to bolster their technical strength. For Ryan, the direct commissioning program means developing new avenues to attract people.

“People can relate to the whole Coast Guard mission, they want to be part of our crews,” Ryan said. “We will try to find ways to allow them to contribute.”

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is a senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was a tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In previous positions, Williams has covered healthcare, politics and crime for various publications, including the Seattle Times.

Williams holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

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