Information about Army Cyber Operations Officer MOS

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by Padre101, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

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    I'm creating this new thread to try to get as much info about being a 17A, like a one-stop-shopping for all things Army Cyber.

    I gathered some info from other threads and the GoArmy Website:

    OVERVIEW
    Cyber branch is a maneuver branch with the mission to conduct defensive and offensive cyberspace operations (DCO and OCO). Cyber is the only branch designed to directly engage threats within the cyberspace domain.

    JOB DUTIES
    • Lead, plan and direct both defensive and offensive cyberspace maneuvers and effects operations in and through the cyberspace domain
    • Conduct OCO by using cyber capabilities in and through cyberspace to target and neutralize threats
    • Conduct DCO by protecting data, networks, net-centric capabilities, and other designated systems through detection, identification, and response actions to attacks against friendly networks
    • Execute mission command of cyber maneuver forces during DCO and OCO missions in support of joint and combined arms operations
    REQUIREMENTS
    Those who wish to serve must first take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), a series of tests that helps you better understand your strengths and identify which Army jobs are best for you.

    Applicants must have a bachelors of science or higher degree in electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering, information systems, information assurance/cyber security or mathematics.

    Other information from different threads:
    -30 ROTC and USMA graduates were selected to be a 17A (15 ROTC v. 15 USMA) in 2016.
    -Of the 15 USMA graduates, all of them were on the USMA cyber team.



    Questions (@tug_boat or @jagger19, your input is appreciated):

    -Which is a better major to have at WP to become a 17A: Computer Science or Information Technology (WP doesn't offer computer engineering)

    -Where are Cyber officers assigned after BOLC? Are they attached to different units at different Army posts or only assigned to just Army Cyber Command at Fort Gordon or Cyber Command at Fort Meade?

    -What opportunities do 17As have to get further training such as Ranger School, Pathfinder, etc?

    -What opportunities do 17A have to deploy?

    -Since this branch is so new and selective, is it better to go into a different branch such as Infantry or Military Intelligence and then branch transfer later in your career?

    Thanks for the info.
     
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  2. DesertCaliMom

    DesertCaliMom Member

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    Excellent info and start here. Going to share with DS.
     
  3. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

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    If one can handle sarcasm about the cable guy, computer help desk, cheetos stained fingers, etc., Signal is not a bad MOS either. Signal does not carry the sexy cache like Cyber, but it's not a bad back up for a technically minded 2LT. It is a place where occupational proficiency is absolutely recognized.
     
  4. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

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    I'm very computer savvy, have a masters in IT, and attended SCCC. I'm not ashamed to say I was VERY unprepared for SCCC. The reason...radios, TACSATs, and PBXs. People think Signal and assume "you're good at computers...you'll be fine". Nope. IT and CS are similar but different (I know it's weird). A CS guy/gal can do ALL IT, but an IT guy can't do ALL CS. As a former CIO, I'm telling you a CS degree is superior to an IT degree. Now if you do the cert chase as an IT guy/gal, then you can make up knowledge deficits.
     
  5. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

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    DS was a Chem/Chem E major. Cyber was brand new, and he knew it would have been a triple bank shot to get it. He branched Signal, got his first pick of Duty Station and is happy as a clam. Those who dropped out of or repeated SBOLC can attest to its technical difficulty.
     
  6. RangerVic

    RangerVic New Member

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    Cyber is not IT, ASVAB is not required for officers, and Computer Science is probably the strongest track for 17A. The Army is taking from all branches to fill their requirements. They are strongest in Signal and MI. Your DS needs to concentrate on learning the craft and volunteering for the extra training (off site) and conferences. Starting his second and third year there will be opportunities to attend- take advantage of these to strengthen his application for Cyber Branch. Don't worry about the selection numbers, they fluctuate all the time. Yea, they are tighter than the other branches but when you mathematically rule out the political science, history, and other basket weaving majors the numbers get easier to swallow. The CS, IT, and EE majors are the front runners.
    Three major assignments, Fort Gordon, Fort Belvoire, Fort Meade. Gordon and Belvoire are more likely for 2LTs. Its good that you are thinking this out now because waiting to your Jr year is too late.

    There are very few Ranger, Airborne, pathfinder cyber officers- I only know of one; and he's an old fart! The branch was started in 2014 so there is no real established profession of the typical cyber officer. Currently they are retreads from other branches.

    Read this link. its old but still looks like the framework for cyber branch. http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/ar...th-in-cyberspace-operations-for-army-officers
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
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  7. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    For the Class of 2017: 15 branched Cyber (CY). 4 BRADSO. 11 Non-BRADSO. The highest class rank was 21. The lowest class rank without BRADSO was 636. The lowest class rank with BRADSO was 702.

    FYI - BRADSO is the program that allows a cadet can get branch of choice by agreeing to three additional years of active duty service. For Cyber there may be a few qualification hoops to jump through in addition to academic major requirements.
     
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  8. DrMom

    DrMom 5-Year Member

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    Not all the cadets who go Cyber are EE or CS. From USMA, about half of the cadets go straight to graduate school programs. You do an interview and have to have or be eligibile to have a higher level clearance. There are also assignments to a few other places. From USMA, there are ample opportunities to do summer internships (AIADs) in the federal and private sectors.
     
  9. RangerVic

    RangerVic New Member

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    @DrMom, hey, i know you! :) Yea, they are starting to branch detail Cyber warfare officers. That is, they serve for 3 to 4 years in a basic branch (Infantry, Armor, Field Artillery, etc...) then move over to Cyber at their Captain's Career Course. If I was surveyed I would recommend a very, very small number, if any, be placed in cyber warfare straight out of school/commissioning. Allowing maybe only a few with prior service to commission direct to cyber. When conducting any one of the five cyber warfare effects an officer should have an understanding of the implications on the other domains. This is best learned through experience not just theory. My opinion, don't know if this is an intention of the Army. These are all things to consider when planning your path to cyber warfare.

    There are so many opportunities opening up and if you don't start looking out for pathways early during your 1st or 2nd year you may miss out. They even have internships (AIADs) at NASA.

    -Which is a better major to have at WP to become a 17A: Computer Science or Information Technology (WP doesn't offer computer engineering) A lot will depend on the interview and cyber branch questionnaire.

    -Where are Cyber officers assigned after BOLC? Are they attached to different units at different Army posts or only assigned to just Army Cyber Command at Fort Gordon or Cyber Command at Fort Meade? There are cyber elements assigned to every major command. There are more places to be assigned than just Gordon and Meade.

    -What opportunities do 17As have to get further training such as Ranger School, Pathfinder, etc? The branch detail should allow for officers to go to those hooah schools.

    -What opportunities do 17A have to deploy? Being assigned to those major commands there are always rotations to deploy as cyber warfare.

    -Since this branch is so new and selective, is it better to go into a different branch such as Infantry or Military Intelligence and then branch transfer later in your career? Not better- branch detail will facilitate this.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  10. RangerVic

    RangerVic New Member

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    Correction- update. There are no branch detail Cyber Warfare at this time. :( :bang:
     
  11. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

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    Why is that?
     
  12. DrMom

    DrMom 5-Year Member

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    While there is no branch detail program to Cyber, there are ample opportunities to branch transfer to Cyber.
    Those opportunities will probably close as the requirement for Cyber officers is met through accessions.
     
  13. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

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    This is interesting information. Do cadets who go straight to grad school not go to BOLC first? Also what distinguishes cadets who go to grad school from those who become cyber officers? Grades? Class rank?
     
  14. DrMom

    DrMom 5-Year Member

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    Correct. The cadets who go to grad school first do BOLC after grad school. The cadets apply with encouragement for the grade school scholarship and then go to grad school if selected. They promote on time to 1LT. HOPE THAT HELPS.
     
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  15. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

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    Excellent. Thank you.
     
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  16. DrMom

    DrMom 5-Year Member

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    For clarity sake. The kids apply for grad school and for the Army scholarship during their senior year. Unsolicited advice is to take the GREs during the summer before senior or firstie year. The kids have to do all of this during Fall of the senior year. It is busy if you let it catch you by surprise. First they get the scholarship then they are guided toward the program. There is a ONE YEAR great program at NPS.

    More time is added to the service obligation for using the scholarship.
     
  17. katgar

    katgar Member

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    Hi,
    My DS's job will be in cyber after they graduate in May 2018. I found this thread while looking for more information on cyber. Thank you for sharing your knowledge! (Especially RangerVic)

    Some background facts on my DS...
    (If you have any other questions you would like answered, let me know, I can ask DS.)
    • My DS is a computer science engineering major at a large state university.
    • GPA/PT scores very good.
    • Tried to be involved in anything Army related (Ranger Challenge, Color Guard, all volunteer opportunities)
    • DS said the interview at Fort Knox between junior/senior was big. DS was asked about computer courses/ languages they knew. DS said that interview was VERY important. If you didn't get your name on that list, you wouldn't get cyber.
    • DS's Master Sergeant said there is a certification course they could take to increase their odds of getting cyber. DS did not to take it because of other obligations.
    • DS is currently Battalion Commander
    • Military Distinguished Graduate
    • DS said they will be going to school at Fort Gordon after graduation.
    • I don't know how many were assigned cyber for 2018
     
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  18. DrMom

    DrMom 5-Year Member

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    He should ask about applying for the grad school scholarship. There is still time my son and his friend from West Point shared a house in Monterey w someone out of ROTC.

    #1’s year there’s were 15 from USMA and 15 from ROTC.

    CONGRATS to your boy
     
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  19. katgar

    katgar Member

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    Thank you! I will share this with him! Congrats to your son also!
     
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  20. katgar

    katgar Member

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