Letter to the editor

I have been noticing that several articles keep bringing up Defense Department and information security personnel. The stories always seem to say that there is a shortage of information security personnel.

I have worked as an information management officer and as an information systems security officer in South Korea for three years now. I know of several other people in DOD that have requested to change their primary military occupations specialty (MOS) in order to help fill the so called "gap," but they continue to get turned down. Instead they have started to hire contractors to fill the so-called gap.

I myself have gotten training from several agencies and private companies (the National Security Agency, DISA, Cisco Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp.) and have requested to change my MOS to 74B, along with several other people.

I am surprised that DOD has not recruited from within. It seems that DOD is choosing to recruit from outside the military in the private sector instead. I think that the senior leadership is out of touch and does not fully understand the problems in this area. I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to kill a telnet session from a command prompt.

DOD has most of the personnel to deal with this problem but has chosen not to train the personnel or to allow personnel with the skills to transfer in to the positions. Instead they contract with companies and complain about the cost and the problems of getting people (i.e. contractors who go to the field).

DOD has created this problem by hiring people at $150,000 and $80,000 a year.

At the end of my service requirement, if DOD does not allow me to change my MOS, I have decided that I will go to the private sector as well. I like what I do, but every time I hear contractors bragging about how much they make or how much they can pay me, it makes me feel like a fool for wanting to stay in past my first enlistment.

Name withheld upon request

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