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NEWS | Sept. 10, 2020

The cutting edge of defense

By U.S. Cyber Command Public Affairs

The cyberspace domain is one of the most critical areas of national defense. It is a field that requires the most highly trained, professional, and knowledgeable individuals available.

USCYBERCOM has three main focus areas: Defending the Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN), providing support to combatant commanders for execution of their missions around the world, and strengthening our nation's ability to withstand and respond to significant cyber attacks.

These tasks are critical to the safety of our nation and the Cyber Mission Force is looking for dedicated and professional individuals to rise to the challenge.

“It begins with the mission,” said U.S. Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, commander of U.S. Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency, and chief of the Central Security Service, at an Association of the Army event in Mid-July. “If you like to work hard problems, if you like to be in the middle of ensuring the defense of our nation, if you like to work with incredible people and superb technology, being in a place like Cyber Command and NSA is critical.”

Cyber security specialist, cyber operations specialist, and network and database administrators are the three most in-demand jobs in the cyber field and have positions available in every branch of the military as well as the Coast Guard.

Cyber security specialists are responsible for protecting military networks and the nation against cyber attacks from enemy forces. They perform deliberate actions to strengthen information systems and networks, perform vulnerability assessments, and respond to incidents.

Cyber operations specialists conduct offensive and defensive cyberspace operations in support of the full range of military options. Offensive operations involve applying force to target enemy and hostile adversary activities and capabilities. Defensive operations are conducted to protect data, networks, net-centric capabilities, and other designated systems by detecting, identifying, and responding to attacks against friendly networks.

Network and database administrators develop, install, operate, and maintain the military's computer networks and databases. They monitor system performance and ensure the appropriate personnel have access to data. They perform administrative duties including providing user support to military personnel.

Each of these career fields will have skill requirements - specific to each military branch. The criteria for joining the Air Force may be different that the criteria for joining the Marines. Military branches may also have service specific equipment that will not be available to the other branches.

You can see about careers in cyber security and cyber operations by contacting your local armed forces recruiter. If you’re already a member of the armed forces, reach out to your retention management office or career field manager.

“Our greatest challenge—also our greatest opportunity—is recruiting, training, and retaining a world-class force. The Services continue to recruit high-caliber military and civilian personnel to man our force,” said Nakasone during an interview with the Defense Media Agency late last year.

There are also job opportunities in cyber for civilians and contractors.

If you are looking for a career with U.S. Cyber Command as a civilian or military retiree, start by searching for openings on USA Jobs ( Cyber career jobs are in high demand right now and the Cyber Excepted Service, or CES, initiative gives U.S. Cyber Command great leeway for hiring quickly.

Here are a few of the CES positions hiring managers are looking to fill: Capability Analyst, Lab Manager, Test & Evaluation Specialist, OPSEC Manager, Information Technology Specialist, Cyber Trainer & Instructional Analyst, Cyber Exercise Planner, Cyber Scenario Developer, Cyber Program Analyst, Budget analyst, and Operations Research Analyst.

Experience is highly valued in the CES, which transcends the typical timed-based approach in the competitive service. Promotions in the CES are qualification-based with no time-in-grade requirements for advancement. The Cyber Excepted Service has flexible recruitment authorities to attract the experience and attributes needed to achieve success in this domain.

“I’m getting 17 and 18 year-olds that apply for jobs that have six years of practical, operational experience in security research because they’ve been online white-hat hackers since they could turn on a computer,” said Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency during an August 5th interview. “What we’ve got to do is reconfigure the way that we think about hiring, and maximize those approaches.”

If you are a recent graduate, U.S. Cyber Command also has a Recent Graduate/Cyber Palace Acquire internship program through the Air Force that brings on approximately 4-6 interns annually. To learn more about this program, go to

These are just a few of the ways that you can become a member of the U.S. Cyber Command team. As more hiring options become available, they will be posted on the U.S. Cyber Command webpage ( Check back frequently to see the latest career news.