WASHINGTON (Army News Service) -- The Army is the only service that didn't create a separate military occupational specialty for offensive and defensive cyber, said Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty.

"We think we made the right call because both inform the other," he said. "Most defenders come from the signal side, most offensive come from the military intelligence side."

As the transition is made to the new Cyber Branch, that integration will become apparent, he added.

Fogarty, commander, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, Georgia, spoke July 14 at the "Network Readiness in a Complex World" panel hosted by the Association of the United States Army.

Besides signal and MI, electronic warfare "will be linked inextricably to cyber," Fogarty said.

"That [newly integrated] force will provide EW and cyber planners at brigade combat team, division and corps levels," he continued. "It will provide the actual operators for offensive electronic attack capabilities. We're the only service that's added EW to the mix."

Cyber training for officers is now underway and the first enlisted cyber course at Fort Gordon will begin in February, he noted.

DEVELOPING CYBER WORKFORCE

Karl Schneider, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Army, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, said the nature of the cyber workforce may soon change in a big way.

Congress, the administration and the Office of the Secretary of Defense have been in discussions to change the authorities of cyber. Currently, the cyber workforce falls under Title 5, he said. The plan is for the cyber workforce to be shifted to Title 10, "excepted service," he said.

"Excepted service means it's easier to hire people, it's easier to pay people, and it's easier to get rid of people who aren't working out. It is a much more flexible system," Schneider said.

On June 24, OSD transmitted its plan to Congress, he said. OSD is waiting to get the green light.

The switch to Title 10 "will be a phased approach, starting with a small number of people at headquarters and then expanded out," he said." It will set up a governance process. There will be a cyber workforce management board that will have decision-making authority on how to run this workforce, with representation from various entities," including OSD and representatives from all of the services.

The policy model that's being studied for this transition is the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System, which already falls under Title 10, he said. "The intelligence community has done a good job at managing their people outside of the normal Title 5 process. They're particularly interested in looking at how NSA manages its technological workforce, with flexibility in pay setting, supplemental pay to attract cyber and STEM people.

"It will take a while to field this new excepted service for the cyber workforce," he continued. In the meantime, "they want us to be more aggressive in using the authorities we already have under Title 5."

Those authorities under Title 5 include direct hire of people, setting entry salaries at higher step levels for civilians and other incentives like student loan repayments, he said.

A PARALLEL APPROACH

Besides the plan to switch cyber to a Title 10 authority, a new joint memorandum, "Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy," was signed July 12, by the directors of Office of Personnel Management, the Office of Management and Budget, and the federal chief information officer, Schneider said.

The memo makes it easier for people in signals intelligence and military intelligence to become cyber professionals "without starting from scratch," since they already come equipped with a lot of the knowledge and skills necessary to integrate into cyber operations, he said.

Another impetus from the memo is to send recruiters to universities and other hot spots, looking for potential cyber civilian recruits, he said. "You can't get quality by just putting up announcements on USAJobs. You've got to go out and find them."

Besides pay and benefits, cyber talent is attracted when they know they'll be doing "cool stuff," he added.

Schneider likened cyber to the Manhattan Project, which was developed during World War II to build the atomic bomb. Cyber too is "truly a national endeavor," and it's just started.

Fogarty added that "cyber is the Army's most important power-projection platform."

The weapon is the network, Fogarty said. Without information dominance, aircraft can't fly, ships don't sail and ground forces don't maneuver on the battlefield.