First annual cyber seminar to help recruit and retain talent

By Joe Lacdan, Army News ServiceAugust 4, 2023

Sgt. Ashley Wagner, a signal support specialist with the California National Guard, simulates a cyber attack while acting as part of the Red cell team during Cyber Dawn, an annual training exercise in Sacramento, Calif. on June 13, 2023. Qualified Soldiers and Army civilians can apply to participate in the Secretary of the Army's Cyber Strategic Seminar, which gives the the opportunity to learn about career possibilities in Army cyber security as well as meet Army and government leaders.
Sgt. Ashley Wagner, a signal support specialist with the California National Guard, simulates a cyber attack while acting as part of the Red cell team during Cyber Dawn, an annual training exercise in Sacramento, Calif. on June 13, 2023. Qualified Soldiers and Army civilians can apply to participate in the Secretary of the Army's Cyber Strategic Seminar, which gives the the opportunity to learn about career possibilities in Army cyber security as well as meet Army and government leaders. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Elizabeth Buck) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON — A panel of Army senior leaders will select 12 Soldiers and civilians to learn the intricacies of cyber strategy and policymaking.

As part of the service’s broader effort to retain and recruit its top talent, the first annual Secretary of the Army’s Cyber Strategic Seminar will give participants the rare opportunity to receive exposure to top Army and government leaders.

The proposed activities in the nine-month session include meetings with officials from across the federal government, industry and academia, and practical exercises with Army senior leadership. The dozen finalists will also brief Army senior leaders at the conclusion of the program.

The seminar, jointly administered by Army Principal Cyber Advisor Michael Sulmeyer and Army Cyber Command commander, Lt. Gen. Maria Barrett, will also help identify and train the Army’s top talent in cyber security.

“What we're looking for is to develop leaders who have a particular aptitude for cyber-related issues,” Sulmeyer said. “And hopefully, they will use this program to increase their awareness and creativity around how cyber operations fit into multi-domain operations, [and] how cyber operations can inform operations in other domains.”

As the Army competes for top talent in cyber security, the seminar will showcase career opportunities in the field.

The Soldiers and Army civilians will discuss topics that include weapons systems security, intelligence support to cyber functions, the defense industrial base and acquisition support to cyber operations. Participants will gain an understanding of partnerships with foreign allies to defend and secure critical data, as well as meet with leaders in cyber security across government, the private sector, and academia.

The dozen selectees will include Soldiers in the grades of sergeant to sergeant first class, warrant officer 1 through chief warrant officer 3, and first lieutenant to major, and civilians GS-9 through GS-13. Finalists must have a minimum secret clearance and be available to attend all sessions of the seminar.

The group will meet monthly for a different activity planned by Army Cyber Command. The application period began last month and ends Aug. 11. The participants will be announced at the Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting in October, with the seminar set to begin shortly after.

The search will not be limited to individuals in cyber or tech-related positions. Soldiers and civilians in all military occupational specialties and career fields can apply.

“What we wanted to do is to identify the Army's top talent across enlisted [Soldiers], warrant officers and civilians and provide a way to broaden their exposure to strategic policymaking, to be able to take them to different venues,” said Sulmeyer, who previously served as senior policy advisor for U.S. Cyber Command. “Our hope is that [the seminar] is a tool not just to develop their careers and make them into even stronger Army leaders, but also to retain them in the force.”

Cyber and data centricity have increasingly become important factors in multi-domain operations. Secretary Wormuth has prioritized recruiting Soldiers with expertise in the field.

“[Secretary Wormuth] has placed such a premium on strategic recruitment and retention,” Sulmeyer said. “[The seminar] was a way that she thought the Army could lead in identifying our top talent and giving them exposure to strategic cyber issues.”

Interested Soldiers and civilians can apply at the Secretary of the Army's Cyber Strategic Seminar SharePoint. Candidates must self-nominate to apply but will need a supervisor endorsement if they are selected for an interview. Finalists will be selected based on an interview and written application.

RELATED LINKS:

U.S. Army Cyber Command

Army News Service

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