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MOS 17C - cyber operations specialist - launches in February

Thursday, September 01, 2016

The Army is on track for a February launch of the first advanced individual training cyber course for enlisted soldiers as discussions continue about working with private-sector companies on long-term training.

Cyber operations specialists, with the MOS 17C, will receive advanced individual training in two phases. The first is 25 weeks, with 20 additional weeks in a second phase, according to the Army’s explanation to potential recruits.

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The Army is on track to begin training cyber operations specialists, with the MOS 17C, in February of 2017.
U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Zachary S. Burke

The idea of looking to the private sector for help is based on the many niches of required learning and the higher level of cyber expertise in the private sector, officials said.

“Our biggest challenge right now is culture,” Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, commander of the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Ga., said in a panel discussion during a recent Hot Topic forum, “Network Readiness in a Complex World,” sponsored by the Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare.

“Effective collaboration is the key to success, not only between intel, signal, electronic warfare, but between our commercial partners, academia and very importantly, our multinational partners,” Fogarty said.

Adding, “If we can get over that cultural leap with security clearances, ways of doing business, we can accelerate to where we want to be much, much faster.”

In the forum’s keynote speech earlier in the day, Maj. Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber National Mission Force, said the cyber training issue is complicated by the need for “tailored, vice foundational, training … that responds to new threats or perhaps builds expertise in niche technologies – think wireless security, think cloud, think information control systems.”

“We’ll need this type of tailored training, and will grow expertise more rapidly, by partnering with commercial industry, the intelligence community, and other elements of our government, rather than attempting to do it in-house,” Nakasone said.

The Army intends to build an initial cadre of 700 enlisted soldiers in the new 17C MOS of cyber operations specialist, along with 355 officers and 205 warrant officers. Subsequent plans call for incorporating electronic warfare soldiers in the 29-series MOS into the cyber branch as well.