US Cyber Command considering letting recruits skip basic training

A group of U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard cyber Soldiers work together to defend their network during Cyber Shield 17 at Camp Williams, Utah, May 2, 2017. Cyber Shield is a National Guard exercise, in cooperation with U.S. Army Reserve, that provides Soldiers, Airmen and civilians from over 44 states and territories the opportunity to test their skills in response to cyber-incidents in a multi-service environment. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. Stephanie Ramirez)

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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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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