achieved, for example. Some cyber companies already are
releasing threat data that would have been top secret a few
years ago, the general observes, but these companies simply
are using available data aggregated in new ways. “If you take
that aggregated data that has given you actionable pieces that
you can act at speed, then you will have a defense in depth
that can operate at the speed of the adversary,” he suggests.
Each of the U.S. services created its cyber forces differently, Gen. Cardon explains. The U.S. Navy’s cyber
force grew out of its cryptologic cyber service, and U.S.
Air Force cyber grew out of the service’s communications side. The Army did it the hardest way: It spent a
significant amount of time determining how to do it and
ultimately created an entirely new command to serve as
its cyber force, the general states. Over the long term, this
will prove an advantage, he adds.
Each service also tends to approach cyber from the perspective of its main operational domain—air for the Air
Force and sea for the Navy. The Army has an inherent advantage in cyberspace, Gen. Cardon offers, because ultimately
most cyber effects are against a person. That plays into the
Army’s domain of land warfare with its focus on people. “We
approach cyber through a land-doctrine view, which often is
organized against people and often is the way cyber interacts.
That is congruent with the way cyber works,” he says.
This does not mean the Army goes alone in cyber. “Cyber
was born joint,” Gen. Cardon declares. The service will
have 133 teams in the Cyber Mission Force by 2017, and
they are being trained to the same joint standard, which
improves interaction among the services in cyber. Gen.
Cardon points out that he has substantial interaction with
his counterparts in the other services. “The environment
itself drives collaboration. If you don’t collaborate, you’re
not going to be able to be defended,” he says.
While the U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) is the
font of support for the services, each service also has networks that are radically changing as a result of the Joint
Information Environment. The four individual service
networks are becoming a single network, but the current
construct still is service-related, Gen. Cardon says.
CYBERCOM will play an increasingly greater role, but
the issue of centralization versus decentralization will
continue to define its relationship with military cyber
organizations. The general views Army cyber’s role as
generating options for the national command authority. Along the same lines, many exercises have shown
the value of a joint approach to cyber. For example, a
Navy team offers a Navy perspective, and an Air Force
team presents an Air Force perspective. When these different perspectives are put together, the result is a joint
view that accounts for all the physical domains, which
provides a greater competitive advantage for U.S. forces.
“It’s really important to bring the power of the services
into this space under an organizational construct led by
CYBERCOM,” Gen. Cardon declares.
Competence and character really matter in cyberspace,
the general adds. The Army must staff cyber personnel
with top talent, which is in high demand throughout
government, academia and the commercial sector. The
Reserve components provide an option, but the Army
must work to retain its skilled cyber professionals.
Gen. Cardon allows that he has spoken with the direc-
tors of the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve
components on how to identify the right people within
those two organizations to provide effective cyber exper-
tise when needed. This is a good opportunity for the Army,
given the size of the Guard and Reserve together. The goal
would be to have people who work in cyber in the private
sector “have their foot on both sides,” the general says.
One of his top worries is to continue to have “the inno-
vative and adaptive culture that can keep up with the
speed of change,” Gen. Cardon allows. “Staying static in
this space is a losing proposition.” Army cyber training is
adjusted for every course, which is a departure from stan-
dard Army practice. He believes the Army should com-
pletely re-examine the way it conducts cyber training.
Conventional Army forces deploy, return and experi-
ence a reset period before they go back to the field. Cyber
forces have no reset period; they are deployed all the time.
They must adapt while operational in an Army that is fairly
hierarchical, with well-established rules built over a num-
ber of years. “The challenge for us is to take what we learn,
be able to roll it right back into our force and have a much
faster churn than we have today,” the general emphasizes.
He says the Army is not struggling to recruit the right
people for cyber. Many people join the Army to receive
this type of training, he points out. This year’s crop of
cyber recruits had the highest scoring of any career man-
agement field in the Army, and the service required no
waivers to fulfill its targets for the six-year enlistment.
The problem is on the other end. After six years of train-
ing, the Army-minted cyber experts are hard to retain.
Other branches of government as well as the private sector
are attractive alternatives for a variety of reasons. Army
cyber personnel retention is an issue for both uniformed
and civilian experts, the general allows, and the solution
likely will require another type of change. “The traditional
way we manage people is not going to work in this space,”
he states. “We have to be different.”
Budget resources are not an issue. Army cyber receives
what it needs and is inside the Army’s programming mechanisms, the general adds. The problem is that the government shutdown and furloughs have wreaked havoc with
consistent and predictable long-term funding, which in
turn affects programs and training.
contact: Robert K. Ackerman, firstname.lastname@example.org