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How Our Military Is Expanding On It's Cyber Skills


Since software has become an increasingly important aspect of life the experts in national security have realized that U.S. military will need to enhance its proficiency in software for it to remain top of the line on battlefields in the near future. In the past, one of the primary goals that the Biden administration is to intensify efforts to draw technology, cyber and STEM expertise into the security forces of the nation to make sure it is well-prepared for the challenges of the future. But simply attracting tech experts from the civilian sector may not suffice.

The past has shown that the military's innovation in peacetime is most effective when senior military officials who have gained the respect of their colleagues are aware of the potential for fundamental change in how combat is conducted. In the past superiors have created new ways to promote younger officers that are more adept at the new technology, allowing them to assume roles crucial to the advancement of innovative weapons systems and doctrines that are based on new developments. Without this, the innovators have had a difficult time getting promoted over officers dependent on the conventional method of conducting business and then quit military service to pursue other jobs where their skills were admired more. Should you want the U.S. military is to be successful in harnessing the full potential of cyberspace and leveraging its full power, it should strive to keep from this destiny.

When deciding on how to introduce cyber-related skills into the officer corps, officers of the Department of Defense (DoD) can learn from the lessons it learned the first time it expanded combat into a completely new area of war. The introduction of aircraft on the battlegrounds during World War I confronted both the Army as well as the Navy with significant changes to their usual tactics of war. In both cases it was clear that none of the top commanding officers in the service had prior experience in aviation. While some junior officers boasted of how aviation would rule battlefields in the near future, the more traditional officers were skeptical of the limitations of aviation and doubted whether the technology could ever be as transformative as their advocates claimed. With budgets strained and an Congress calling for a peace dividend after the conclusion in the Great War, each service had to make difficult choices about the best way to distribute its funds and officer positions. The two services ultimately chose distinct paths, with different outcomes.

In peacetime, military innovation is most effective when senior military officials who have gained the respect of their colleagues acknowledge the possibility of an important change in the manner in which wars are conducted.

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The postwar leadership in the Army believed that the future of the Army depended on many well-trained and motivated soldiers. Many saw initiatives to fund mechanization efforts by upgrading armored vehicles and aircraft as diverting funds from making sure that there was an Army with the size and strength to be able to fight and take on the next major conflict. This led to making some of the top generals be adamantly skeptical of any alleged revolutionary potential of the latest technologies. The head of the Cavalry branch stated: "When better roller skates are developed, Cavalry horses will wear the new ones." Although some officers believed that aviation might have certain advantages in addition to the current combat arms but the vast majority were still firmly rooted in the interests of their specific department within the Army and the style of fighting they were familiar with.

In the same way those who advocated for aviation within the Army were beginning to view the Army's leadership as a hindrance to their goals. Aviators attempted to block officers who they believed had inadequate technical expertise from taking part in the development of aviation-related doctrine. In particular, the army Aviators demanded that field grade officers of their Air Service must be qualified pilots. In spite of the shortage of competent individuals, they demanded that command posts are filled by internal promotions for pilots, as opposed to the introduction of members from various branches of aviation into the. It was thought to be difficult to teach mid-career officers with rank of major or above fly an airplane; they could not comprehend the technical complexities. The chasm led to the aviators becoming increasingly disregarded by the top generals who were in charge of their services. In the 1930s, the most powerful officers in the Air Service fervently believed that they had to be separated from the Army as soon as they could in order to build aviation into the capability to win war.

In the Navy the top leadership of the Navy took an entirely different approach. Aviation advocates like Admiral William Moffett worked to make aviation a career option that was attractive to the most brilliant and talented people working in the field to maximize it's potential in the Navy. In the first place, they made sure pilots had paths to careers which eventually led them to being in charge of a ship at sea, which is the most prestigious test of any navy. Then in the process, the Navy established a course of five weeks that permitted mid-career and senior officers to be certified as naval aviation observer. While a small percentage of them will continue their careers in the air however, the program was designed to introduce them junior officers who were the most proficient in the latest technology, to clearly identify them as belonging to the aviation sector and provide them with a an understanding of the demands for naval aviation. A number of the most influential naval aviation supporters, including Admiral Moffett himself, joined the aviation world by way of this process. Even though junior officers of the Navy were not without their own grievances regarding the stoicism in the ranks of "battleship admirals" they felt that the Navy believed in its potential in aviation, and they could count on a variety of higher-ranking officers as their coaches and mentors.

The DoD has acknowledged that it is imperative to improve the cyber-skills of its employees and its leadership. The DoD Cyber Strategy for 2018 DoD Cyber Strategy believed that "leaders and their staffs must to be "cyber-savvy" to be able to comprehend the cyber implications of their decisions and are better positioned to discover opportunities to use the cyberspace domain for strategic tactical, operational, and strategic advantages." Additionally, innovative solutions such as that of Air Force have sought to enhance their digital skills by encouraging airmen to study computer languages in the same way they have previously encouraged them to study foreign languages. However, focusing on these abilities is not the ideal method to train officers and other leaders of the DoD how to interact with cyber experts. Cybersecurity and software engineering are both intricate and complex fields; a basic class that lasts a couple of weeks won't even scratch the surface of the skills necessary to become competent in both. Even more importantly, this introduction will not help enable a person to comprehend more advanced programming concepts and methods. Similar to foreign languages, the beginner cannot grasp grammar or vocabulary from the lessons they haven't yet learned.

The DoD could help the next generation of leaders acquire the techniques of managing products.

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Instead instead, the DoD might inspire the next generation of leaders acquire the techniques of a different field of study that is product management. In the world of technology product managers concentrate on figuring out how they can delight customers. They are tasked with identifying not just the issues their clients think they face but to dig deeper into the actual needs customers want to meet and the most effective ways to cater to customers. They help team members of programmers to develop, test and refine solutions. When time and resources make teams have to choose between different priorities, it's the product manager that decides what capabilities are vital and can be put off until the future. In addition they are the intermediary with their team members and their team. They must be able how to communicate effectively with technical and nontechnical stakeholders on a variety of levels. In one instance they might have convince a partner engineering team to implement the feature they work on. In the following one, they could be required convince the compliance team that their work is in line with all current policies and procedures and, after they'll need present the importance that their efforts bring to management of the organization and present the case for continuing commitment to their work. The ability to develop these capabilities will help most officers far more than taking an introduction to programming.

To motivate military personnel to learn about management of products and product management, the DoD could look at a range of incentives. The first is to create a certification in product management into a board precept to advance up to O4 and O5 rank for certain combat-related specific areas. For instance officers who are in the field of surface warfare within the Navy are responsible to protect carrier groups from missiles and submarines of the enemy. Destroying and identifying these adversaries is largely dependent on technology and automation. So, mid-career surface war officers may be in a good position to benefit from these new abilities and ideas. In the same way, the artillery division within the Army is heavily dependent on computer programs to provide precise firepower to targets that are identified by sensors that are far away. Fire direction officers as well as brigade firefighters could especially benefit from viewing the world from a consumer-centric perspective. Although other specializations within the military like logistics or intelligence could also benefit from developing these capabilities, excluding combat branches from this requirement in all likelihood would restrict the information to those likely to leave the service before achieving the positions with influence.

In addition it is possible that the DoD may assist officers in developing the ability to manage products during their non-related assignments. The military has people who work for technology companies like Microsoft or Amazon to find out more about their operations. It is possible to increase the amount of available billets for these jobs to expand the variety of partners that it is able to work with. It may also increase the quality of positions to inspire the most aspiring officers to look for them.

Additionally, the military might offer officers with certificates in product management to put their skills into action. A lot of companies have internal technology accelerators that employ product managers to study areas that are identified by senior management. The accelerators' members concentrate on identifying the primary requirement or business issue within the field. They then quickly test a variety of prototype solutions in order to gather information about the best way to offer a quality product to end-users. They then transfer their knowledge into a fully-staffed development team that can transform the prototype into a complete software application. Lab environments offer those with a product background plenty of opportunities to practice their expertise within a limited period of time. In the world of business people rarely are employed in a lab for more than one year or two. This can easily be incorporated into the standard routine of military personnel.

ensuring that the future leaders of the military acquire cyber-savvy capabilities and are able to interact with technical experts could become increasingly crucial to the entire work it is that the DoD does.

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Whatever the method selected, making sure that the next leaders of the military acquire capabilities in cyber and are able to interact with technical experts could become increasingly crucial in everything the DoD is doing. Future weapon systems will require software in order to function, and enhancing the human-machine interface that powers these weapons may be vital for success in the field. Equally important is the fact that every major business activity within the Pentagon relies on the software. The process of modernizing and improving them will require uniform leadership who can effectively guide the transformation process that will mostly be communicated by means of software. The most important skills needed by the future Chairperson of the Joint Chiefs might well be the ability to comprehend how cyber-related technology can help the entire company and the best way to ensure the cyber capabilities that are envisioned be realized.