An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | March 29, 2024

Championing Women, Peace and Security in U.S. Cyber Command

U.S. Cyber Command

The U.S. Cyber Command Women, Peace and Security monthly working group held a special observance for Women’s History Month on Thursday March 28, 2024. This meeting brought together representatives from across the command who represent the WPS as Gender Focal Point volunteers. WPS is focused on achieving gender parity and championing diversity across U.S. government organizations. 

The Women Peace and Security Act was signed into U.S. law in 2017. Its establishment created a policy framework for promoting women’s participation in conflict prevention, management, resolution, and post-conflict relief and recovery efforts. This act seeks to address gender-related issues and aims to promote women’s meaningful participation in peace processes.

WPS is not a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program. DEI encompasses a broader range of identities, such as the demographics and composition of a workforce, while WPS focuses on gender inclusion and gender parity in peace and security efforts.

“Every crisis affects men, women, boys, and girls differently – maintaining a gendered perspective ensures inclusivity,” said Ms. Ayman Aziz, the USCYBERCOM WPS Advisor.

Within USCYBERCOM the implementation of WPS includes a network of over 40 gender focal point representatives across the command. These members have completed training within the WPS program that helps them to identify issues and opportunities within the command to champion gender parity.

Brigadier General Keith Osmond, the USCYBERCOM WPS Lead and Deputy J5 responsible for strategy, plans and policy, was the special guest speaker at this month’s WPS meeting. Osmond has been a strong advocate for gender equality throughout his career and is now the leading officer at USCYBERCOM for the WPS program, working directly with Aziz, the WPS Advisor, to ensure the program is active in the command.

“Success is measured by reaching a point in time where advocacy is no longer needed for a group to reach equality,” Osmond said.

As a Canadian Army officer he told the group about his experience training with women for the first time as a young lieutenant.

“Where the women able to carry as heavy a pack as the men? No, but that doesn’t mean their contributions were not needed or not valued,” Osmond recounted. “They were just as able to contribute to the team as anyone else, but we contribute differently as men and women and that isn’t a bad thing.”

Lt. Col. Darby Bess, USCYBERCOM J1 responsible for manpower and personnel spoke to the group about his experience in the U.S. Marine Corps and in the U.S. Air Force working on teams of all men and all women. Each of these teams had issues and faced unique challenges, but he found that working with teams that were made up of diverse members lead to the most successful teams.

“It’s about finding the right mix of talent,” Bess said. “I have been able to see in my career the effect diversity has on mission accomplishment.”

Read more about WPS here: