Cyber Network Defender MOS now open to NCOs

By David VergunApril 14, 2014

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 14, 2014) -- A new military occupational specialty, 25D Cyber Network Defender, is now open to staff sergeants, sergeants first class and master sergeants in the Active Component, per Military Personnel Message 14-085.

Soldiers in the military occupational specialty, or MOS, "will protect against unauthorized activity in the cyberspace domain and perform assessments of threats and vulnerabilities within the network environment," according to the MILPER.

Soldiers from any MOS with a background in information assurance and information technology are encouraged to apply, said Jim Bragg, chief, Retention and Reclassification Branch, Enlisted Personnel Management Directorate at Human Resources Command, Fort Knox, Ky.

The rules for getting into 25D "have been relaxed," Bragg said, explaining that normally, only Soldiers in "over-strength" MOSs are allowed into MOSs with shortages like this one.

As the Army downsizes, Soldiers in all MOSs, especially those that are over-strength, should consider applying for 25D, if this type of assignment is to their liking, he said, adding that getting into this MOS might also be beneficial for promotion opportunities.

"They're building this MOS from the ground up," Bragg said, meaning no one has actually been designated a cyber network defender yet. Once Soldiers get approval to become a 25D and then get the requisite training, they will have the MOS 25D, beginning Oct. 1 this year.

No decision has been made as to how large the MOS will be, so he said sooner would be a good time to apply rather than later. The training has already been validated, he added, and formal training will begin this summer.

The need to defend the networks is now critical due to the "increased pace of technology and the increase of the threat we see in the cyber world," said Col. Robert E. Duke, chief of Operations Support Division, Officer Personnel Management Directorate, HRC, where the new Cyber Branch is being established.

Soldiers who are in the information technology field were doing related cyber work in the past as part of their secondary duties, said Duke. "This will be a growth field."

Therefore, the importance of these duties demanded a need to establish a branch to manage cyber MOSs, he said.

"The Cyber Branch will ensure all Soldiers -- officer, warrant officer and enlisted performing cyber duties -- receive the same quality professional development they have come to expect from HRC. We will be the Cyber Soldier's contact for assignment, training and promotions."

Further details on 25D reclassification can be found in the MILPER, along with links for putting together a package for submission. The package goes to the chief of the Signal Corps for approval and will also include a follow-on exam and screening test.

Soldiers are encouraged to contact their career counselor to determine reclassification eligibility, Bragg said.

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Related Links:

Human Resources Command stands up Cyber Branch

STAND-TO!: Army's Cyber Electromagnetic Branch Inside the Army News

Military Personnel Message 14-085 (AKO login required)