USNA's new Cyber Security program

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Vista123, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    If you major in Cyber Security what job are you most likely to head to after graduation?

    If your major is mech engineering you would still go naval aviation for example.

    However if your major is cyber security (and the field evolves daily and the technical skills are needed in warfare) you wouldn't take a few years off to fly a plane. where would you head to?
     
  2. Iowa 73

    Iowa 73 Miner

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    Pretty sure your major at the Academy does not dictate your service selection. They mentioned that several times on the CVW that I attended.
     
  3. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    When you graduate from USNA, and after training, you will go to an operational unit in one of the big 5: Ships, subs, aviation, SEALS, or Marines. You will be a division officer or platoon leader of about 15-30 sailors or Marines and be responsible for their training, performance, and welfare.

    After a couple of sea tours, you can apply for a specialized field (like AEDO-Aeronautical Engineering Duty Officer) and at that point you leave the operational Navy and you stay in whatever support branch you have transferred to. While the promotion opportunities in the specialized fields are good, you will never command ships/subs/aircraft/Marines in combat nor will you ever be CNO. The Navy is not interested in matching diplomas to a junior officer job. Your academic knowledge is a "value added" aspect of your career as a Naval Officer and would be used, if at all, as you get more senior.
    By the way, just because you have a engineering degree does NOT mean you go to aviation. A pilot can have an Economics degree, a sub officer can have an English degree, and a Marine officer a Electrical Engineering degree. USNA's mission is to train Navy/Marine officers to lead men (now women) in combat operations. It is not a government jobs program although the advertising would somehow make you think so. Your assumption, while off, is not unusual and I fault the Academy PR for it. Think of it this way, the Navy is really interested in training it's Academy grads to be warriors in combat units, not support officers and even then the support officers need to get operational experience before they transfer.

    Having said all that, the Air Force and Army DO have opportunities where a CERTAIN LIMITED NUMBER of graduates go to fields reflecting their degree. Such as AF can send an Economic major to their purchasing offices for a career (ugh!).

    Cyber security is such a new field there is no 20 year career path laid out to my knowledge, but if someone knows new information I am sure they will post.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  4. Vista123

    Vista123 Member

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    Hi Spud. Thanks. Im a usna (mech e major) mom so I did know all that you wrote above. I also totally agree to its accuracy.

    This yr though army had a new cyber branch (for lack of a totally more appropriate name for it on my part). I was wondering now that usna has this new major if they will also have a new option. Cyber warfare is so needed and so quickly changing (by the minute) I am curious as to how the navy and usna will navigate this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  5. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    You are quite right about the field changing so quickly that an officer really should be in the field constantly to stay on top of things. I would bet the first graduates of the Navy's degree are going to be the ones to develop the career path as opposed to having it laid out for them. It will take some aggressive young JOs to seek out where they can be best utilized and stake their claim, so to speak. I would bet there may well be some bureaucratic resistance to them as the career Detailers in Washington are spring-loaded to keep an academy grad on the CNO route. I hope we will both be pleasantly surprised with a post from someone who knows the current situation.
     
  6. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    Navy cyber is split into Information Warfare (IW) and Information Professional (IP). They are part of the Information Dominance Corps, along with Intelligence, and Meteorology/Oceanography.

    A handful of physically qualified midshipmen in 2015 were selected to join the IW and IP communities. This is the first time this has happened without some kind of special exception. The CNO has been pushing to expand quotas for IW and IP out of the Academy; perhaps he was successful.

    The career path is still there. ADM Rogers has 28 years in the community. The Navy has had cryptology officers and cryptologic technicians for ages; rebranding the community to Information Warfare doesn't change the people.

    Alan Turing built the first computer to crack a code. Cyber is crypto, and crypto isn't all that new.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  7. Bailey8756

    Bailey8756 Member

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    From what I have heard major does not influence service selection much. You could be an english Major and be a pilot.


    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  8. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    USCYBERCOM and service cyber components are building cyber teams and will need officers with a "cyber" understanding to lead them. As neunsis said, IP and IW officers will be leading this charge. IP and IW officers have traditionally came from URL communities (IW has had some direct accessions from MIDN medical DQ). There is a big push to allow MIDN to go directly to IP/IW right out of USNA/ROTC, and sounds like that has become reality without going SWO-IDC option.

    So while career paths are still being finalized, I would disagree with Spud and continue to see a big push for CS, IT, EE, and cyber majors to go into the IP/IW community.

    ADM Mike Rogers first RL officer to command a sub-unified combatant command (USCYBERCOM/DIRNSA).
    VADM Jan Tighe first female to command a numbered fleet (C10F) and is a USNA grad.
     
  9. CSGuy

    CSGuy Class of 2016

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    I will say with confidence that choice of major has essentially no impact on service selection. Directly commissioning IW/IP/Intel depends mainly upon who you know and what you have done to demonstrate aptitude in the field. For example, don't expect to be picked up for IW if you can't name a single IW officer at USNA, or if you've never participated in any cyber-related competitions or clubs. I am friends with a 1/C who was selected for IW (despite being a group 3 major) because he frequently met with IW officers to discuss career and command opportunities.

    In all honesty, grades are much more important than anything else in determining service selection for IW/IP/Intel. Regardless of major, a mid ranked in the top 50 OOM will get whatever he/she wants (within reason...SEALs, etc). Likewise, a cyber operations major ranked 900th will not get what he/she wants despite being "trained" in the field. To guarantee a cyber job in the Navy, 1) be top-50 OOM and 2) be a CyberOps/CS major.

    Last year, most of the Computer Science majors I knew service selected submarines, and many of my CyberOps classmates are looking at entering the Marine Corps. Lateral transfers still exist, too, so you're not "locked" in a community for your entire career.
     

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