19 May 16. The Navy wants to hire chiefs and captains – off the street – to fill cyber roles. Now hiring: Navy captain, cyber warfare expert, no previous military experience necessary. That’s what military branches like the Navy want to hire talented individuals and bring them in at senior ranks to lead specialized teams and operations. No need for them to work their way up the ranks; these direct commissions and enlistments are like the doctors, lawyers and musicians the service brings in at more senior ranks, and the Navy wants expanded authority from Congress for new specialties, like the murky and evolving world of cyber war.
“We’re seeking the authority to bring somebody in at the E-7 level or up to the O-6 level,” said Rear Adm. Robert Burke, head of the chief of naval operations’ personnel plans and policy office.
Burke, speaking at a roundtable at the annual Sea-Air-Space Conference, said other services were interested in the authority and that it would give the Navy greater flexibility to build its cyber community, which employs about 10,000 sailors and about 5,000 civilians. The Navy has historically used similar authorities to bring in senior enlisted and officers in wartime, such as World War II when the service was suddenly faced with rapidly building its fleet.
The move would expand the service’s authority to beyond hiring officers as O-4s and enlisted as E-6s — a push that would allow Navy cyber to compete with industry for the best people.
“I think it would mean a lot operationally and it recognizes that sometimes this is a rank-free zone,” said Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, who leads U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and 10th Fleet. “When we are doing operations, what someone is wearing on their collar may not have implications as to how much expertise or fight that they have in them — how much ability they have to deliver during cyber operations or information warfare operations.
“So how do we resolve that? Either incentives or rewards or promotions or bringing them in at the right level.”
Tighe said the increased authority would be in step with some of the far-reaching reforms championed by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Bill Moran, who has been looking for ways to retain and promote officers with specialized skills and to not disadvantage those who have unorthodox careers.
“It certainly feels within the realm of the types of initiatives that CNP’s team has been looking for,” Tighe said.
Moran, who was also at the event, said the chief community was skeptical of the idea of bringing sailors in at the E-7 level, and that they had some ways to go in convincing senior enlisted leaders.
“We generally get good reception on that … We talk about bringing people in at different ranks, but by golly you better have been a blue shirt before you become a chief,” Moran said. “So we still have a little ways to go with the chief bit.” (Source: Defense News)
18 May 16. Can cyberspace be mapped? NGA’s working on it. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, by its very charter and pedigree, is a mapping agency: providing geographic context that informs intelligence and high-level security decisions. But how can an agency map a domain that doesn’t physically exist like any other?
That’s a major challenge facing the intelligence and defense communities, according to the nation’s chief of intelligence. It’s also an area NGA is targeting with an infusion of investment and focus via new programs aimed at innovation.
“A revolution is afoot — it’s here now,” NGA Director Robert Cardillo said at the GEOINT Symposium in Orlando, Florida, on May 16. “To put our money where our mouth is, we’ve doubled our In-Q-Tel investment to improve our effectiveness in areas like commercial space, visualization and cybersecurity.”
In-Q-Tel essentially is the CIA’s research, development and experimentation arm, and NGA’s No. 2, Sue Gordan, has a long history with both the CIA and In-Q-Tel. So it should come as no su