Army launches direct commissioning program for civilian cybersecurity experts

Devildoc

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Why put them in uniform at all? We have thousands of DA civilians and contractors who work for the Army every day. They can grow their hair out, do their jobs, and not supervise anything. It works just fine as it is.

A GS positions works with the medical community as well (not sure if JAG does it). I would be down with that.
 

Gunz

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Why put them in uniform at all? We have thousands of DA civilians and contractors who work for the Army every day. They can grow their hair out, do their jobs, and not supervise anything. It works just fine as it is.


There it is, sir.

Who needs a bunch of maggoty civilians wearing a uniform they didn't earn? Using military uniform/bling as a hiring incentive cheapens the service it represents. Offer them money, lots of vacation, free food in the mess hall, a company car, hookers, dope, whatever...but they didn't work for the respect that the uniform and the rank deserves.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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I saw enough senior medical officers at Fort Sam Houston, so ate the fuck up to say without a doubt, direct commissioning is way stupid. Walking around on cell phones while saluting the young troops. "No salute areas" whining and bitching about stupid shit like internet and coffee, in front of Joe's who just got blown the fuck up. Or the COL who was bitching to MSG, about how a CPT was on maternity leave, causing her to have to pick up the extra slack, in front of the whole waiting room...

I've seen it with legal officers too. Full birds getting their asses chewed off by juniors at the range for being fucked up, in front of their whole unit, etc, etc.

I agree with @Marauder06 keep them out of uniform, make them some kinda GS position, with a small military command for oversight, etc. They don't need cybernerds in leadership (command) positions, just the geek in his cubical doing his/her 1's and 0's stuff...
 

Neal

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I'm definitely not familiar with how the Navy treats their lieutenants but it would be a shame to see these young officers forced out of ops and into management positions too quickly. I hope their progression matches the few pilots I've known where they're doing "the job" until O-5. The AF has been pushing back against the "Up or Out" policy recently and I hope to see it continue.
 

AWP

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I'm definitely not familiar with how the Navy treats their lieutenants but it would be a shame to see these young officers forced out of ops and into management positions too quickly. I hope their progression matches the few pilots I've known where they're doing "the job" until O-5. The AF has been pushing back against the "Up or Out" policy recently and I hope to see it continue.

I won't apologize for the upcoming long post. :-)

"Up or out" is the traditional model that has worked for the last 100 years or so in the US. Combat arms is a different story, but comparing pilots to other specialties is apples and broccoli. Their job demands they remain on flight status, others do not require that day-to-day, career-long, "hands on" experience.

Even some enlisted jobs do this. I've contracted with AF Comm since '04 and can speak to two career fields: IT folks and RF Trans. Both have bright, young airmen who joined to do technical stuff. The schoolhouse is a joke, but they believe it will be different at their first duty station. Unless you draw a unique assignment, something that isn't base comm, you won't truly do your job. The AF has consolidated the cool IT functiona at regional or command level NOSCs, but a young airmen will work the night shift answering phones; they don't do anything until they're about to pin on Staff. The IT-releated airmen grow disillusioned and punch for the civilian sector.

RF Trans...unless they pick up Combat Comm, an ACS, units like that, they are stuck in base comm working on LMR's and Giant Voice. Yawn.

In both career fields, Tech is about the last time you do any real tech work. By Master they are away from the workbench and in admin mode, doing tech stuff when they can. They start directing traffic instead of driving.

The military is structured to move guys and gals away ffrom hands on. It can only change its culture so much, or not at all, and still function.
 

Teufel

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I'm definitely not familiar with how the Navy treats their lieutenants but it would be a shame to see these young officers forced out of ops and into management positions too quickly. I hope their progression matches the few pilots I've known where they're doing "the job" until O-5. The AF has been pushing back against the "Up or Out" policy recently and I hope to see it continue.
Progression? You mean moving directly from commissioning to management unless they are NSW or EOD?
 

Neal

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Progression? You mean moving directly from commissioning to management unless they are NSW or EOD?
Again, citing my ignorance up front, I'm very unfamiliar with how the Navy does things. If I were to put it in AF terms I would say that I hope they remain in a "functional" role unless they choose to do otherwise. I've known CV-22 pilots who progress from co-pilot, to pilot, to aircraft commander(?) where they take responsibility for 2 or more birds. They can take on more responsibility commensurate with their rank ending up at O-4.
This practice is directly opposite of what I've seen in intel where the officers fill a more "institutional" role as soon as they hit O-2/3. My experience isn't vast by any means and I'm sure there are exceptions. I could see making these guy's leave the keyboard behind if the Navy is hurting for leadership which understands cyber (which I hope isn't true due to my understanding that they were the first service in the game).
 

Teufel

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Again, citing my ignorance up front, I'm very unfamiliar with how the Navy does things. If I were to put it in AF terms I would say that I hope they remain in a "functional" role unless they choose to do otherwise. I've known CV-22 pilots who progress from co-pilot, to pilot, to aircraft commander(?) where they take responsibility for 2 or more birds. They can take on more responsibility commensurate with their rank ending up at O-4.
This practice is directly opposite of what I've seen in intel where the officers fill a more "institutional" role as soon as they hit O-2/3. My experience isn't vast by any means and I'm sure there are exceptions. I could see making these guy's leave the keyboard behind if the Navy is hurting for leadership which understands cyber (which I hope isn't true due to my understanding that they were the first service in the game).
I was making a dig at the leadership in most of the Navy’s career fields. I think they are hurting for leadership in general. There seem to be more managers than anything in the officer ranks.
 

AWP

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I was making a dig at the leadership in most of the Navy’s career fields. I think they are hurting for leadership in general. There seem to be more managers than anything in the officer ranks.

They need to find a few who know how to steer a ship....
 

Gunz

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Leadership failures, a zero defect mentality, and a cannibalistic surface warfare culture all contributed to those incidents.

Yes sir...plus a lack of basic seamanship skills, an over-dependence upon technology and complacency.
 

Teufel

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Yes sir...plus a lack of basic seamanship skills, an over-dependence upon technology and complacency.
Maybe. I think the Surface Warfare culture is more to blame. Commanders watched operational requirements rise while training and readiness numbers dropped. Sailors tried to make up the difference by working themselves to the bone and giving up sleep. It didn’t work.
 

Braz

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Love the push for cyber experts, yet Army is getting rid of one cyber MOS already...
 

AWP

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Love the push for cyber experts, yet Army is getting rid of one cyber MOS already...

Having worked with one Army Cyber Protection Team, it needs to teach its soldiers the difference between TCP and UDP before it starts cutting MOS'...
 

compforce

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Having worked with one Army Cyber Protection Team, it needs to teach its soldiers the difference between TCP and UDP before it starts cutting MOS'...

Actually, I kind of agree with what they are doing. I can't tell you how many O-5 (and above IT "leaders" knew nothing except how to do a budget. On the NCO side the focus was on base Common Task Training skills and PT. In my entire time in Signal I met exactly three soldiers who knew what they were talking about (at the level you'd expect if you were looking in) when it came to IT and two of them were Reserve or Guard with civilian IT jobs. Only one was an officer. The problem the military faces is that the people that know what they are doing NEVER get to a senior leadership position with the skills to actually do the job. It's an unsolvable problem to try to fix it from within. The right answer is to go outside, bring in some superstars to fill the top level positions. That will clear the internal roadblocks allowing the current crop of juniors to learn their trade and make it up the ladder. 10 to 15 years from now the chain will have broken and the normal promote from within will have recovered. If you don't do it, it's a permanent problem.

I cite the case of the CW4 that I worked with in Afghanistan who returned CONUS to a job answering phones on a help desk (but not allowed to do anything except schedule the work for a contractor to perform). He should be a technical expert, instead he's just getting an entry level job, not even trusted to reset a password.
 

Teufel

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Actually, I kind of agree with what they are doing. I can't tell you how many O-5 (and above IT "leaders" knew nothing except how to do a budget. On the NCO side the focus was on base Common Task Training skills and PT. In my entire time in Signal I met exactly three soldiers who knew what they were talking about (at the level you'd expect if you were looking in) when it came to IT and two of them were Reserve or Guard with civilian IT jobs. Only one was an officer. The problem the military faces is that the people that know what they are doing NEVER get to a senior leadership position with the skills to actually do the job. It's an unsolvable problem to try to fix it from within. The right answer is to go outside, bring in some superstars to fill the top level positions. That will clear the internal roadblocks allowing the current crop of juniors to learn their trade and make it up the ladder. 10 to 15 years from now the chain will have broken and the normal promote from within will have recovered. If you don't do it, it's a permanent problem.

I cite the case of the CW4 that I worked with in Afghanistan who returned CONUS to a job answering phones on a help desk (but not allowed to do anything except schedule the work for a contractor to perform). He should be a technical expert, instead he's just getting an entry level job, not even trusted to reset a password.
Cyber Command actually has a lot of technically inclined mid and senior level officers. In my opinion, the Cyberspace Warfare field needs more planners, leaders, and commanders, not technicians. A baby O5 or O6 who doesn’t understand a five paragraph order, never mind JOPP, isn’t going to push the ball forward very far. We already have senior NSA transplants that are more miss than hit.

Cyberspace Warfare isn’t hard. Listen to your enlisted, resource your people, make timely decisions, and do whatever it takes to accomplish your mission. Our most successful field grade officers show up as seasoned and experienced leaders. They pick up the technical knowledge on the job. It’s certainly not ideal but it’s better than a technical expert trying to learn leadership and how to manage large military organizations on the fly. I can tell you it doesn’t work.

I think we need to take a hard look at fast tracking promising young officers who are good leaders and understand the technical side of the job. Right now they trudge along at the same slow pace the rest of the DOD suffers through. Aside from the Air Force anyway, I think their “high performance officers” pick up O5 before their first military ID expires.
 
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Gunz

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... The problem the military faces is that the people that know what they are doing NEVER get to a senior leadership position with the skills to actually do the job...


Common not only in the military but private sector and federal govt, too.
 
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