JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) —
The U.S. Air Force is revolutionizing how it recruits and commissions the next generation of cyber professionals. The Air Force is utilizing the Cyber Direct Commissioning Program to address current manning requirements in the cyber workforce. Leveraging this authority allows the Air Force to fulfill critical technical skills desired by various missions throughout the service. This program reduces the training cycle for officers and accelerates the onboarding process to meet urgent and future mission needs.
“We want to use the Cyber Direct Commissioning Program to tap into talent pools that we have not been able to access effectively. The goal is to create an enticing opportunity for folks that would otherwise want to serve their nation, remove unnecessary barriers that might turn them away from service, and accelerate those that get selected into the officer ranks with rank and pay commensurate to their actual experience levels,” said Lt. Gen. Leah Lauderback is the deputy chief of staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Cyber Effects Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
The CDCP is designed to tap talented individuals outside the traditional military pipeline. This initiative selects highly qualified subject matter experts to fill the ranks of Lieutenant to Colonel to meet current mission needs utilizing constructive service credit. Individuals must meet a few basic requirements to be eligible to join the direct commissioning track. The CDCP aims to attract people with cyber-related civilian work experience and graduate degrees. Applicants must meet basic officer eligibility requirements and possess demonstrated cybersecurity or cyber operations expertise through advanced academic degrees, relevant industry experience, or professional certifications.
The CDCP aims to add more cyber professionals to the U.S. Air Force and provide them with a direct pathway to success. By allowing individuals to start their military careers without completing a lengthy commissioning process, the program hopes to recruit the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
Leveraging Cyber Direct Commissioning authority, the Air Force has acquired highly talented cyber professionals to address emerging cyber operational requirements. In January 2023, the service selected eight CDCP candidates as Cyberspace Warfare Operation Officers. Additionally, the board considered and recommended all eight candidates for constructive service credit.
“We’re seeking the best talent across America to join our Air Force to serve as cyberspace officers,” said Brig. Gen. Terrence Adams, director, Cyberspace Operations and Warfighter Communications, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Cyber Effects Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
The career field will accept applications to commission FY24 Cyberspace Warfare Operation Officers beginning April 26 for civilians, enlisted, and private industry professionals interested in working in the cyber domain. Click here and select Apply Now at the top of the screen and complete contact information.
This article, Revolutionizing Recruitment of Cyber Pros, was originally published by The Air Force.