WEST POINT, N.Y. (October 8, 2014) -- Cyber attacks are one of the most serious threats facing our national security and the Army's new Cyber Institute at West Point is just the organization to help squash them.

That's the message Army Secretary John McHugh delivered during the Army Cyber Institute ribbon cutting ceremony at the U.S. Military Academy, Oct. 3.

"In the past few years cyber has escalated from a DoD issue of moderate concern, to one of the most serious threats facing our national security…," McHugh said. "That's why at this institution, the Army Cyber Institute is so welcome and vital to our Army and our nation."

The ACI is a national resource organized to create knowledge in the cyber domain, and to build critical public and private partnership between academia and industrial cyber institutes.
Col. Greg Conti, director of the Army Cyber Institute, explained at the ceremony the importance of an institute of this nature opening.

"The ACI helps the army look over the horizon to address what is next, by building intellectual capital," said Conti. "That is, the knowledge necessary to defend our nation in cyberspace."

"We're building a great team, despite critical national shortages… The team we are building is multi-disciplinary, to best solve the complex problems we encounter in cyberspace." Conti added.

The Institute will work with diverse communities toward the professionalization of cyber workforce, to provide a safe and secure cyberspace and Nation.

"This project was born from recognizing the critical threats our nation faces in cyberspace," said Lt. Gen Robert L. Caslen Jr, Superintendent, United States Military Academy at West Point.

Caslen added that standing up the Army Cyber Institute is just one of many efforts developed by the Army and Army Cyber Command to ensure we remain at the forefront of cyber operations.

McHugh said the ACI's "broad and strategic charter" means Soldiers won't just be watching history. They'll be making it.

"It will be your job to help be ready to operate and to ultimately fight and win in cyberspace… I see this organization, your organization, as attacking the gaps and establishing and leveraging relationships of trust from all corners of this great country," he said. "Your ability to make friends and colleagues in academia, in industry and the international arena and across the United States government, to name just a few, will better inform and better position our nation's cyber policies and actions."

The Institute is expected to be the Army's premier resource for strategic insight, advice, and subject matter expertise on cyberspace related issues.

The ACI opens as the Army prepares to assess officers into the recently established cyber branch. The cyber branch has the mission to conduct defensive and offensive cyberspace operations.

Soldiers trained in this branch will work to degrade, disrupt, destroy and manipulate the enemy while allowing commanders the freedom of maneuver in and through the cyberspace domain.

Caslen shared his excitement about the new cyber branch "for the six Class of 2014 cadets who will become a part of the historic first group of officers in this critical new branch." Caslen added, "We are also honored to be given fifteen authorizations to commission officers into the new cyber branch for the Class of 2015."

For more information on the Army Cyber Institute, visit their website at http://cyber.army.mil.