Talking Tech: Sharing Cyber Talent with the Nation

Can the military afford to develop cyber talent, only to have skilled cyber warriors leave after just a few years? 

Frank DiGiovanni, director of force training in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, says yes. In fact, it’s optimal, he argues.

With 85 percent of U.S. critical infrastructure belonging to the private sector – and a nationwide shortage of cyber talent – no institution is better situated to fill this critical skill gap than the military, DiGiovanni says. Clinging to every cyber warrior may help the military, but America’s cyber defenses are larger and further reaching than military systems.

Rather, DiGiovanni argues, the military should follow the Marine Corps’ recruiting model, anticipating that 75 percent of trained cyber troops will depart after four years, while only 25 percent stay. Those who leave will take the military’s cyber ethos out into the civilian world, and help secure civilian infrastructure. And that, he says, will ultimately ease the burden on the military.

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