The Information Systems and Computer Applications examination covers material that is usually taught in an introductory college-level business information systems course.

Conti and Easterly on Cyber Warriors

Conti and Easterly on Cyber Warriors: “Thanks to Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Conti and Lieutenant Colonel Jen Easterly for pointing me to their article Recruiting, Development, and Retention of Cyber Warriors Despite an Inhospitable Culture. They are doing a real service by examining cultural issues challenging the success of a Cyber Command.

I’d like to provide a few excerpts:

Until the end of the 20th Century combat arms expertise ruled the day, but in the 21st Century kinetic combat arms soldiers must learn to co-exist, cooperate, and coordinate with non-kinetic cyber warriors…

[E]xperience gained to date in building the Army Network Warfare Battalion (ANWB) overwhelmingly points to the critical need for a career path to effectively recruit, manage and retain cyber talent…

In the world of cyber warfare, experts such as Mr. Kaminksy are the “Chesty Pullers” of the 21st Century…

The problem often lies not in the talent or desire of these individuals, but in inflexible military human resource systems

A big question is when to allow personnel to join a cyber warfare force. Should this occur immediately upon joining the service, or at a later point, after the individual has had operational, possibly even combat, experience. We believe the cyber force would be best enriched by allowing both options…

Regardless of entry point, though, care should be taken to select only those with a true passion and capacity for cyber warfare, not those with careerist or other ambitions. Under no circumstances should an individual be forced into a cyber warfare assignment. To fall into any of these traps will certainly create an unhealthy work environment that encourages talent to leave and undermines mission accomplishment…

Cyber Command must take advantage of the prior experience of incoming personnel, and link it closely with cyber-related career fields rather than the current haphazard approach that wastes years of academic preparation. In addition, we should identify talent as early as possible and track their careers, reaching out to them at an appropriate time…

We cannot build a professional cyber warfare force without viable cyber warfare career fields within each service. Recreating the current model that rotates personnel into and out of cyber assignments is insufficient. It drains training resources, induces skillset atrophy and encourages the departure of our best and brightest. For many specialists, an assignment away from their skill area is reason enough to leave the force…

We will know we have succeeded when we have General Officers, Sergeants Major, Senior Warrant Officers, Master Chiefs, and Chief Master Sergeants that are products of a pure cyber warfare career.

All of the above speaks to my experience, directly. What do you think?

Copyright 2003-2010 Richard Bejtlich and TaoSecurity (taosecurity.blogspot.com and http://www.taosecurity.com)

Comments are closed.