Alexander nominated to lead Cyber Command
President picks intelligence veteran to oversee DOD cyber programs
- By William Welsh
- Oct 19, 2009
Army Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander has been nominated for promotion to the rank of four-star general and also to the post of commander of the Defense Department’s new U.S. Cyber Command, DOD officials said Oct. 16.
The official announcement, which comes from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, states that President Barack Obama submitted Alexander’s nomination both for the grade of four-star general and to serve as commander of the Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Md. Alexander also will continue serving as chief of the National Security Agency and Central Security Service, according to the announcement.
The nomination comes as no surprise to those following first steps in the formation of a unified cyber command within the Defense Department. At the time Gates issued instructions for the creation of the organization, he indicated a preference for Alexander to lead it.
The new cyber command, which Defense Secretary Robert Gates outlined in a June 23 memo, is expected to reach initial operating capabilities this month, and become fully operational by October 2010, according to media reports. The new command will be responsible for protecting military networks and conducting offensive operations against hostile forces.
Alexander has extensive experience with intelligence operations. In addition to his NSA experience, he also has served as commander of the Army Intelligence and Security Command at Fort Belvoir, Va., and director of intelligence for the Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. On the battlefront, he served as G-2 (intelligence officer) for the 1st Armored Division in Germany and in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
He holds multiple master's degrees in the areas of business administration, systems technology (electronic warfare), physics and national security strategy.
William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.