How the Army is driving the cyber-EW merger

Shutterstock imag (by Benjamin Haas): cyber coded team. 

The Army is beginning to implement recommendations from a cyber and electronic warfare doctrine released in April.

Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., commander of the Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon said that the doctrine is the first of its kind to include standards and guidelines for electronic warfare and is now being integrated into the center's training for officers as well as enlisted soldiers.  

One of the key contributions of the doctrine  was to push for a uniform set of guidelines and end the decentralized and stove-piped nature of the Army's cyber and electronic warfare trainings, Morrison said at a press briefing Thursday at TechNet in Augusta, Ga.

"Previously we've had [separate] doctrines for our communicators -- doctrines for electronic warfare professionals … doctrines for our cyber professionals," Morrison said.  "There was no means to bring mutual disciplines together."

The doctrine is meant to provide "overarching guidance to commanders and staffs on Army cyberspace and electronic warfare operations at all echelons." It acknowledges the need for specialization in both areas but calls for "synchronizing efforts to avoid unintended interference." It was an outgrowth of the Army's efforts to restructure and converge its cyber and electronic warfare operations after military officials acknowledged last year that they are still struggling to make them tangible to warfighters.

"We have a force strategy today that I believe is just not efficient because it is not organized correctly," Brig. Gen. Patricia Frost said at a West Point conference last year.

At last year's TechNet, Army officials expressed concern that if they did not modernize soon, their enemies will.

"We need to be aware that we are very likely going to fight an adversary that is converging using [both cyber and electromagnetic] integration, said Col. Timothy Presby. "So unless we actually work together and converge our capabilities, we will be left short."

Morrison added that Brig. Gen. Neil S. Hersey, incoming commandant for the center's Cyber School, is currently working on a standardized course that teaches the doctrine for the infantry, armored, military intelligence and engineering school houses, among others.

"[The doctrine] brings together signals, cyber, information operations and other aspects with the right intelligence underpinnings and then builds them into the existing processes at the division and corps levels."

About the Author

Derek B. Johnson is a staff writer at FCW, covering governmentwide IT policy, cybersecurity and a range of other federal technology issues.

Prior to joining FCW, Johnson was a freelance technology journalist. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, GoodCall News, Foreign Policy Journal, Washington Technology, Elevation DC, Connection Newspapers and The Maryland Gazette.

Johnson has a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Hofstra University and a Master's degree in public policy from George Mason University. He can be contacted at, or follow him on Twitter @derekdoestech.

Click here for previous articles by Johnson.


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