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US Army Pushes to Grow Its Cyber Command

© AP Photo / Department of Defense, Cherie CullenEstablished in June 2009, US Cyber Command organizes cyberattacks against adversaries and network defense operations
Established in June 2009, US Cyber Command organizes cyberattacks against adversaries and network defense operations - Sputnik International
The US Army has been moving swiftly to build up its burgeoning Cyber Command (CYBERCOM), so much so that the new unit cannot accommodate all of the troop interest.

Four-star general and vice chief of staff Daniel Allyn told an audience at the Association of the US Army’s conference last week, "From an initial start of six officers in 2014… today we have 397 officers, 141 warrant officers, and 560 non-commissioned officers and soldiers" employed in the new command. 

Staff members sit at their work stations at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Virginia, January 13, 2015 - Sputnik International
US Should Elevate CYBERCOM to Combatant Command Amid Growing Cyberthreats

This year, 30 new cyber lieutenants have graduated from the ROTC and West Point, with many more seeking to join, though the command is not yet equipped to handle all the interest.

Army Cyber School commandant Col. Kenneth Rector told Breaking Defense, "It is not your typical (Army) classroom environment," explaining that the diverse career backgrounds of students and the complicated curriculum of the Cyber School defies conventional educational norms.

Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia, graduated 21 officers in its first Basic Officer’s Leadership Course (BOLC), and an Advanced Individual Training (AIT) course, along with other BOLC classes, will be made available to enlisted people next year. Rector said that Fort Gordon graduated 131 cyber operators in 2016, with plans on increasing the number to 561 in 2017.

CYBERCOM came about as a result of a 2014 directive from then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, that by 2016 the ranks of cyber specialists be increased by 6,000.

The command’s chief mandate is to protect the Army’s own systems, namely the Department of Defense Information Network. CYBERCOM will also assist in overseas attacks beyond law enforcement reach.

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