An Army Reserve cyber Soldier is making the most of Army training opportunities to learn to better defend Army networks while developing a strong foundation for a civilian career.

Staff Sgt. Lydia M. Seaborn is assigned to the 335th Signal Command (Theater) Cyber Brigade, Army Reserve Cyber Operations Group, National Capital Region Cyber Protection Center. She provided a cyber Soldier's point of view as she talked about her service as an Army reservist and her civilian occupation as a cybersecurity specialist for the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

"I joined the Army Reserve after serving in the active Army as a 25B, information technology specialist," said Seaborn.

As a 25B, she was responsible for maintaining, processing and troubleshooting military computer systems and operations.

"With a growing family, I needed to make a life change to civilian status, but I wanted to keep my Army affiliation," she said.

"In the Army Reserve, I am able to do both. I became an intrusion detection analyst, essentially doing cybersecurity operations before there was a cyber MOS, or military occupational specialty."

Her choice to serve in the Army Reserve was based in part on the lifestyle she enjoyed in the Army.

"I get to use my skills to make my unit and the Army better," Seaborn said. "The Army has a special esprit de corps, a sense of family and bonding with other Soldiers. I'm part of something bigger, protecting our nation. That makes it priceless."

As an Army reservist, she has traveled to several reserve centers to train on network defense, network management and security. She also completed the cyber network defender course at the Army Cyber School at Fort Gordon, Ga., where she was the first female Army Reserve graduate and the first female Army Reserve Soldier to graduate with honors.

"The course was very demanding," said Seaborn. "My success speaks well for my team. They supported me and I supported them."

She has trained in intrusion detection and analysis, planning and operating cybersecurity exercises, security and compliance policy development and auditing, vulnerability management, penetration testing and digital forensics.

"The training the Army provided led to opportunities for me to grow as a Reserve Soldier and as a civilian cybersecurity specialist," said Seaborn. "The Army also trained me to be a leader, to run cyber missions, manage projects and advise senior leaders and high-level commanders. The leadership skills have helped me excel in my civilian roles, also."

The active Army is on target to establish 41 trained cyber protection teams at initial operating capacity by the end of 2016, and an additional 21 teams will be developed between the Army National Guard and Army Reserve.

In addition to foundational Army cyber schooling, Soldiers are able to access expanded cyber educational programs, including training with industry, fellowships, certification programs, civilian graduate education, and interservice education programs.

With the training, skills and experience comes progression and advancement.

"With every step forward I've taken, as a Soldier and as a civilian, the Army has provided me the background and experience to better defend Army networks and help protect our nation."

Interested in becoming an Army cyber Soldier or civilian employee? Check out the career links on the U.S. Army Cyber Command and Second Army website at www.arcyber.army.mil