DOD sets up cyber workforce council

Robert O. Work, Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work is tasked with building a cyber workforce of some 6,000 personnel

Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work has set up an intra-department council to manage cyber workforce issues at the Defense Department.

Work’s directive, dated Aug. 11, tasks the council with ensuring the Pentagon takes a holistic, or “total force management,” perspective to filling out the department’s cyber workforce needs with civilian, military and contracting personnel. The idea is to avoid duplication and omissions in responding to all of the cyber-related skillsets demanded by DOD officials.

The new council will include members of the offices of the DOD CIO, the undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness, undersecretary of Defense for policy, the undersecretary of Defense for intelligence, and the director of the National Security Agency.

The broadly worded directive “unifies the overall cyberspace workforce and establishes specific workforce elements (cyberspace effects, cybersecurity, and cyberspace information technology) to align, manage and standardize cyberspace work roles, baseline qualifications and training requirements.”

The updated policy is in keeping with Work’s and other officials’ emphasis on building a technically sound DOD cyber workforce of some 6,000 personnel to try to keep pace in a contested and asymmetric space. The directive comes on the heels of a breach of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s unclassified email network by hackers allegedly linked to Russia.

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.

Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.

Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.


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