WASHINGTON -Talent Management and mentorship are essential development platforms for the Army Reserve cyber program.
The U.S. Army Reserve Cyber Protection Brigade, 335th Signal Command (Theater), located near College Park, Maryland, has set a path to refine training and develop an education strategy to the efforts of the Brigade's Army Reserve cyber warriors.
Maj. Brenden Glynn, a recent below the zone promoted officer with the Northeast Cyber Protection Center, part of the USAR-CPB, has taken major steps forward in career development as a reserve cyber Soldier.
Glynn said, there is a lot of talent in the unit and Army Reserve cyber. Having a focused mentorship program during his tenure there has added to a rewarding experience.
"I was a private when I started with Northeast fourteen years ago, and I recognized early on there are a lot of talented individuals present in our unit and throughout the Brigade to learn from," said Glynn.
Glynn said there have been individuals who helped guide his direction for professional growth - both enlisted and as an officer.
"Lt. Col. Adrian Edwards has been my direct supervisor and mentor since becoming an ROTC Cadet and through our deployment at the Regional Cyber Center - Southwest, Asia, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait," Glynn said.
He has been a great example of a flexible leader, detail-oriented, and is very focused on the Soldiers assigned to his team, added Glynn.
Glynn also included Lt. Col. Christopher Rowey, former operations officer for Northeast, as someone who worked tirelessly to support the Soldiers at the unit.
"His meticulous efforts in supporting the Soldiers in our unit have created solid pathways in ensuring Soldier success for the work that required for evolving into an Army Reserve cyber unit."
From the guidance received thus far in the cyber career field, Glynn said that one of the key leadership traits he learned is understanding how to best leverage each Soldier's unique civilian and industry acquired expertise critical to the success of the Army's Cyber mission.
"Understanding the capabilities of Soldiers and the unique skills they bring to a cyber team is a key leadership tool for developing the team-building process," said Glynn.
Developing skillsets and keeping abreast of the ever-changing technologies, tactics, techniques and protocols - to include a comprehensive team study and training plan is essential, he further explained.
Maj. Ambyr P. Leidig, a cyber qualified officer assigned to the USAR-CPB Western Cyber Protection Center, said being part of such a selective unit is a special opportunity for a military career. Like Glynn, her goal is to carve out a solid training plan so the Soldiers on her team can also be successful.
Leidig, who supports peer-to-peer mentoring, said, "training the cyber Soldiers assigned to our team is very critical."
A Bethune-Cookman University graduate with a degree in computer science, Leidig hopes to use her experience assisting individuals by introducing pathways and strategies that will make navigating career roadblocks and learning challenges easier in the technology field.
"I hope to leverage my hands-on experience from the civilian world and accelerate training by providing real-world applications to enhance our team's training strategy," she added.
"Cybersecurity is challenging, but anything worth it is not going to be easy. The requirements are extensive because we are breaking new ground as an Army Reserve cyber force," said Leidig.
Having an early start in preparation for a tech or engineering career path is important. Leidig explained she hopes to pay it forward by starting a program for high school students and introduce them to the field, teach them the basics of cybersecurity so they can practice how to pass technical interviews by working with industry partners on securing internships for the summer.
The past two years have been fast-paced for the USAR-CPB. Collaborative efforts of planning and execution have taken place at all levels to establish the right training and methodologies needed to ensure Soldiers assigned here are prepared to meet the milestones for becoming a cyber mission-ready force.
An integral part of this strategy is recruiting tactically, technically proficient cyber Reserve Soldiers who are focused and willing to meet the demands required. The USAR-CPB will be holding a cyber workshop in early March to address the core parts of the training methodology.