In the war for cyberspace, learning to carry a rifle might take a back seat as the US Cyber Command considers letting potential recruits skip basic training in order to make numbers.
In a discussion with the Senate Armed Services Committee, the commander of US CYBERCOM reported on Tuesday that they have an issue fielding enough cyber-warriors to meet the demands that need to be met by the 2018 deadline.
Until this point, US CYBERCOM has been cannibalizing other cyber units within the US military, namely from the US Air Force’s Cyber Mission Force, which causes great strain on every branch that needs cyber troops elsewhere.
US CYBERCOM Commander Admiral Michael Rogers claims that training compromises may have to be made in order to not only get new recruits up to spec, but get civilians to sign up in the first place, given the military’s comparatively slow career progression cycles and demanding culture.
“We need a broad range of skills, and many of the best candidates won’t necessarily have advanced educations but have deep experience in the field,” he said. “We can’t keep relying on five- to ten-year development cycles in terms of manpower.”
With a need for 133 “Cyber Mission Teams,” the order may be taller than one expects.
In order to avoid recruiting and training pitfalls, CYBERCOM is considering laterally bringing IT personnel into the military with ranks and pay grades equivalent to their skill levels, thus bypassing traditional military recruitment and advancement methods.
According to Endgadget, the new move may be hindered from the start, considering the high salaries of civilian IT professionals are unlikely to be seen in the military payroll system.
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