By CourtesyDecember 11, 2019
CYBER SNAPSHOT: Capt. David Morin
NAME: Capt. David Morin
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Job title: Network Officer
Duty title: Battle Captain, Brigade Network Operations Center (BNOC) 93rd Signal Brigade, Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)
-- Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering, Masters of Engineering degree in Mechanical
-- Pathfinder, Air Assault and Airborne qualified
-- One of first three Soldiers in the Army (out of about 95 candidates) to earn the Expert Soldier Badge (ESB)
-- Branch detailed to Armor, Base Defense Engineer for New Kabul Compound in Kabul, Afghanistan in support of Resolute Support from 2015 to 2016
-- Earned Certified Information Systems Security Professional and Cisco Certified Network Professional certifications while transitioning to the Signal branch
-- Signal officer for the 704th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division from 2017 to 2018
ON WHAT HE LIKES ABOUT BEING PART OF THE 93rd SIGNAL BRIGADE TEAM:
"I like the additional challenge of working on and maintaining a live network, conducting and supporting real-world operations every day. The unit has a wealth of both military and civilian experience that I have been able to draw on to improve operations within the Brigade Network Operations Center."
ON WHAT UNIQUE OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES HE THINKS A CAREER WITH ARMY NETWORKING AND CYBER OFFER:
"Networking and Cyber are ever evolving and dynamic fields, so as a professional in this environment it is a constant challenge to stay ahead and improve my skills."
ON WHAT HE WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE CONSIDERING JOINING HIS CAREER FIELD AS AN ARMY NETWORK OFFICER OR IN THE SIGNAL CORPS:
"This job can be very rewarding, but be prepared for the steep learning curve. Working in this field showed me how much I don't know and taught me humility. Learn when to ask questions and always be ready to adapt and learn."
ON WHAT A CAREER WITH NETCOM OFFER THAT OTHER CAREER PATHS DON'T?
"It offers the opportunity to work on a huge network with a real, tangible impact on operations. In many ways you have significantly more control over your network than you might have on a civilian network."
In addition to fulfilling the challenges of his Army Signal career, Morin was one of the first Soldiers to earn the Army's new Expert Soldier Badge, which allows Soldiers to demonstrate a high level of competence and their ability to perform Skill Level I Warrior Tasks and brigade commander-selected tasks to standard. Nearly 100 candidates attempted to earn the ESB at Joint Base Langley-Eustis (JBLE), Va., Nov. 17-21, 2019. Only Morin and two other Soldiers succeeded. The ESB course requires Soldier candidates to pass all components of the Army Combat Fitness Test within the previous six months, with a score of at least 80 percent in every event. In addition, candidates must pass day and night land navigation, medical, patrol and weapon testing and complete a 12-mile rucksack march. To read more about the first ESB competition, go to https://www.army.mil/article/230255.
ON WHAT HE DID TO PREPARE FOR THE ESB:
"To prepare for the ESB I read through the book and started making flash cards for some of the more complex events. But in all honestly, I underprepared. I should have read the steps more and developed a better understanding of the tasks before walking onto the (testing) lanes."
ON WHAT HE THINKS WERE SOME OF THE GREATEST CHALLENGES OF THE ESB:
"If you go into the ESB with a good level of fitness, the two main challenges are keeping a positive attitude to keep you and your buddies motivated in order to keep going (and the) larger challenge of processing all of the information being thrown at you -- learning each lane well enough to practice it with or without training aids, so that you can perform every task to standard and to time."
ON HOW HIS UNIT SUPPORTED HIM DURING THE ESB PREPARATION AND TESTING:
"My unit really worked hard to support the event. At various times I am pretty sure we had nearly one-third of our military personnel out doing lane support of one type or another. I am immensely grateful to those NCOs who helped run all of the different lanes; they were out there before and after the candidates every day and spent four weeks preparing, developing and validating before they saw a single candidate. As for supporting me specifically, (our) first sergeant kept me motivated and made sure I was keeping my head in the game. My S3 (Operations) leadership also supported my goal by giving me the time away from the BNOC to train for and go through ESB even though we were already short-handed providing personnel to support the lanes."
ON HOW HE THINKS THE ESB SKILLS CHALLENGE MAKES HIM A BETTER SOLDIER AND LEADER OF SOLDIERS:
"The ESB shows you what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it and dedicate yourself to a goal in a short period of time. It reinforces the importance of basic Soldier skills and demonstrates your ability to perform when the time comes. As a leader I think the ESB makes me better team player, because it allows me to more honestly push my Soldiers to perform to their potential. So I can stand in front of them and not just say, "Go get that badge", but "I got mine; now let's develop a plan to make sure you can earn yours."
ON WHAT HE WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO COMPETE FOR THE ESB:
"Take it seriously. I know that there's a lot of talk that it isn't that tough, but that's not the case. The ESB was a challenge. At JBLE we hosted the first ESB to be validated entirely by ESB holders, and we had three of 95 earn the badge. The badge is a test of your ability to perform basic Soldier tasks, so train and practice to do those to standard and get yourself ready before you compete.