Best Defense

Army cyberchief: I want to move fast, cultivate talent, and get corporate info

By Katie Richardson Best Defense office of autonomous weaponry Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, the new commander of the U.S. Army’s Cyber Command, said in a talk last week that two things he is focusing on are increasing transparency between the military and private companies and finding the right soldiers for his command. The cyber general, ...

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By Katie Richardson
Best Defense office of autonomous weaponry

Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, the new commander of the U.S. Army’s Cyber Command, said in a talk last week that two things he is focusing on are increasing transparency between the military and private companies and finding the right soldiers for his command.

The cyber general, speaking at Georgetown University, said that he himself is new to the cyber world and is learning something every day about the branch. With the increasing number and complexity of threats, coupled with the ease and ingenuity of today’s cyber aggressors, he said: “You can’t move fast enough.”

He argued that transparency between the U.S. military and private industry is better than keeping cyber vulnerabilities a secret. Openness in the private sector, he argued, will help promote better protection against threats by giving a more accurate picture of the types of attacks that are occurring. He added that this cooperation could also give the military a better idea of what it needs to protect against.

In order to fill the branch with “technical talent,” Gen. Cardon said he supports an aggressive recruiting program in the private sector. He said he believes that the allure of elite training, cutting-edge technology, and working in a branch that values cyber skills should help keep people in for a six-year commitment. He noted that it would be a great resume builder for when those soldiers are looking for jobs after leaving the Army. To curtail the tendency to shunt cyber warriors into more supportive roles in other units, Cardon said he must approve personnel movements in and out of the branch. In addition to private industry recruitment, thirty cadets from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and ROTC programs will be placed in the branch upon this spring’s commissioning.

U.S. Army

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. @tomricks1

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