Cyber Service

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Cyber Service

Postby yoshi » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:02 pm

The below links to a fantastic article co-written by ADM James Stavridis (ret.). His discussion of the need for a cyber service is (as always) well thought-out, very in-depth, yet clear and easy to follow. It is a great discussion of joint and service specific organizational dynamics and equities, a reasoned and insightful view which best comes from an outsider (non-cyber, non-IDC type). We often look at cyber in terms of what it means for us, but the article provokes thought toward what could be a better meaning mean for all.

http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedin ... yber-force

There is also an interesting response in the comments section which provides a salient difference between sea/air/land domains and the cyber domain: the cyber domain - its importance, and even its existence, is completely a human prerogative.
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Re: Cyber Service

Postby yoshi » Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:08 pm

Stole this from chinfo, originally from a blog which covered a few of VADM Roger's responses. Putting here due to his anwer to question number two, although it could fit anywhere.
http://taosecurity.blogspot.com/2014/03 ... imony.html

The idea of a cyber service has me wondering:
Might we be able to stand up a cyber service without any additional footprint in terms of money, billets, etc? I think we could. We are already co-locating cyber with every other service, so it shouldn't be too hard.

There are a bunch of other questions and postulates i'd love to offer here, but I will hold on for now.
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Re: Cyber Service

Postby Schlag » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:26 pm

I think the talk of a Cyber Service is a distraction to the real conversation that needs to take place (and that I think that VADM Rogers wants to have) is that Cyber Warriors should be viewed through the same lens as URL/Combat Arms Officers. I applaud VADM Rogers for pushing the point that there needs to be equity between the two designations (and I'm sure he's tired of flying a white flag instead of a blue flag) and agree completely with him.

I don't think a Cyber Service would yield any tangible benefit at this point because we're still trying to figure the cyber thing out. It wasn't until a few years after WWII that the Air Force was created. I don't know much about their history, but I would like to believe that this was because there was too much going on at the time (i.e., a World War) to sit down and think through the C2 of what a new service would look like. While the dynamic is not the same, I do think that we are engaged in a global conflict and that we don't have time to iron out the C2 for a new service or pick out new uniforms - instead we need to focus our cyber efforts along service and joint lines where the conflict is taking place.

And for what it's worth, if a Cyber Service was established and I was given the choice to join that or change jobs then I would change jobs in a heartbeat (I'd even go back to being a SWO). I joined the Navy so that I could be a Sailor and an Officer. Whatever I did for my day job was just that - my day job; but I would always be a Sailor and an Officer. Anyone that wants to take being a Sailor away from me can pack sand for all I care. :mad:
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Re: Cyber Service

Postby yoshi » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:50 pm

I'm a fan of the idea of a Cyber Service. Those issues of C2 seem clearer to me than when jammed into the framework of each service's legacy organizational structure, as they are now. For the AF analogy, I would read ADM Stavridis' article on a cyber service, the one mentioned by VADM Rogers. It pointed out that the Air Force should have been established well PRIOR to WWII (at least i think it was in that Stavridis piece). There just isn't anything specific about cyber which causes me to believe it must remain adhered to the Navy, Army, or any other service. Sure, you could argue admin, finacne, and legal are also things which are not Navy specific, but those are support and service support, not operational capabilities which "should be viewed through the same lens as URL/Combat Arms officers". This operational domain is not air, land, or sea - it is its own thing and it is sensible for a service to be established to be able to to cogently and independently address the threats, vulnerabilities, opportunities, etc. Right now, cyber fights the friction of service requirements, BSOs, interfering C2 structures, etc. Common standards/doctrine/money/acquisition alone would be a great benefit. I'm having a hard time seeing the down side. I know we are busy across the world, but we can't let that pardon inefficiency, poor organization, and insufficient autonomy. VADM Roger's comments on this topic were freaking awesome, because they hinted at a path which isn't the status quo or continued fumbling around with what we are or how we should be employed. Rather, it challenged the status quo to make better use of 'cyber' people and their capabilities. All that said, not sure I'd pick it over Navy. I kinda like ships and deployments, and cyber duty stations are sure to be at least as bad as they are now (not a DC/MD fan).
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Re: Cyber Service

Postby Schlag » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:27 am

Certainly won't debate that the AF should have been created before WWII, but the fact remains that it wasn't created until afterwards due to saturation and C2 conflicts. By the same token, I think we're in a similar (but not as severe) situation at this time.

Additionally, I think when we look at it from an OCO perspective it's easy to want to drink the Cyber Service Kool-aid; however, there is far more than that ICO a Cyber Service. I think the biggest argument against a Cyber Service at this time comes from the DCO perspective as each Service knows their own network infrastructure better than anyone else IOT perform DCO as effectively as possible. A Cyber Service would stand to harm the Navy the most because of the complexity of off-ship IP services at-sea. I think that we are positioned best to defend ourselves rather than depend on a different service that will view it agnostically and would likely invest in the low-lying fruit. The result could be the severe degradation of at-sea IP services....

Furthermore, one could make an argument that a "Cyber Service" is already in existence in the the form of the NSA/CYBERCOM. While this isn't a Service in the classic definition, it is a unique organizational dynamic that is more focused on the cyber side of things than the services are which are struggling to incorporate it into a comprehensive warfare doctrine/dimension.

Will a Cyber Service happen? Maybe... even probably.... Should it happen now? I hope not and I hope that it doesn't for at least the next 20 years.

PS - Again, coming back to my own personal view on a Cyber Service..... GO NAVY!!!! BEAT CYBER!!!! :D
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Re: Cyber Service

Postby yoshi » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:44 pm

Thanks for the exchange - love your wit! While i may be a pronponent of the idea, I don't think our military and political leadership (those who would need to make such a decision) are prepared/equipped to be able to shift, understanding it holds sacrifice in store. The only way we are going to have a cyber service is if we find a way to ensure everyone gets a piece of the pie in the new construct - military and civilians alike. Until the overwhelming majority sees a piece of the action, it is idea only.

With respect to dangers, I don't think each service knows its own network infrastructure. There is zero IT/IP training; program offices feed the navy systems replete with vulnerabilities, then make money fixing it (SPAWAR is a business); there is not an accurate database for tracking systems/networks; most of the time, we simply pull data from a database and declare it ready/not ready (not in compliance) with no understanding of how or whether that data is accurate. A new service wouldn't view cyber/networks agnostically, cyber would be its entire reason for existing. Intelligent acquisition of network systems, commonality in DoD networks/programs/systems - big plusses, I think.
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Re: Cyber Service

Postby arvizo » Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:50 pm

I thought this was interesting from VADM Rogers' testimony:

What are your views about whether cyber officer career development should be distinct from both intelligence and communications officer development?


Specialized expertise in our officer ranks is critical to mission accomplishment. At the same time, a shared understanding across the team is essential. The way we have deliberately approached this in the Navy has been the establishment of Cyber Warrant Officers and Cyber Warfare Engineers.

We must find a way to simultaneously ensure combat arms and line officers are better prepared to contribute, and cyberspace officers are able to enjoy a long, meaningful career with upward mobility. A meaningful career should allow them to fully develop as specialized experts, mentor those around them, and truly influence how we ought to train and fight in this mission space.


How exactly does a CWE have a "long, meaningful career with upward mobility?" Aren't they required to redesignate or separate after 5 or 6 years?
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Re: Cyber Service

Postby Schlag » Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:48 am

arvizo wrote:How exactly does a CWE have a "long, meaningful career with upward mobility?" Aren't they required to redesignate or separate after 5 or 6 years?


Not just CWE; an argument could be made that is what we're doing to LDO as well... And not just in IW; IDC-wide....
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Re: Cyber Service

Postby yoshi » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:31 pm

interesting stuff. but, the question didn't get answered. should cyber officer development be distinct from intelligence officer (1830) and communications officer (1820) development? i think specialized expertise in the enlisted rates is FAR more critical to mission accomplishment than having it in the officer ranks. We don't rely on 1810s for linuistic expertise anymore, nor do we rely on them for signals expertise. interesting to note we rely on our officers for cyber expertise, i think. i would rather have officers who understand requriements, existing organizational structures throughout the Navy and Joint world, resource flow, sponsorship, manning, and how the Navy-wide processes work than i would have officers who have "specialized experitse". indeed, that is what our enlisted folks do, and later, our warrants. at some point, the Navy, the IDC, and the IDC communities have to decide if they are going to detail and develop and track officers according to specialization (designation) or shared understanding (IDC). we are splitting the baby down the middle with respect to this and many other topics (training and cross detail, for example). Our approach, as currently configured, does NOT allow development as a specialized expert or provide a meaningful career for either the cyberspace officer or the more traditional 1810. i guess we'll keep bouncing back and forth between shore/cyber and sea/"operational" billets until we realize the better approach is to address mission areas with sufficient unity from all of those inside of a community. i agree with VADM rogers- cyber should be its own service for a number of reasons. but, in the interim, our approach is to essentially compete cyber against the other capabilities our community advertises (robbing from one to pay the other) and hide the gaps from the Navy inside our NIOCs. i'd rather just overtly drop the SIGINT and EW mission, be a cyber guy, and give everyone the news. i just think the career development model, locations, national missions vs navy missions, and purpose for existing are too different/divergent for cyber and SIGINT/EW to practically exist in a meaningful way inside the same community for the Sailors and the Navy. there has to be a better plan going forward; here is what the Army did (along with ARCYBER to Ft Gordon):

http://defensesystems.com/articles/2014 ... ranch.aspx
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Re: Cyber Service

Postby yoshi » Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:38 pm

This topic looks to be as dead as the original notion for creating the Air Force was in advance of WWII. I have a feeling the reporting of comments from FCC and others were sloppily relayed in this piece or taken from a different conversation, as they don't really address the idea of creating a separte service. ("Vice Adm. Jan E. Tighe, USN, commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, noted that the integration of cyber effects, offensive and defensive components, is inherent in the Title 10 responsibilities in the individual services."--- Seems to be something she said in response to a question about the status quo. Advent of a cyber service probably alters this, making the logic of the quote confusing). I wish reporting described defense leaders' discussion of what things might look like, advantages and disadavantages, and postulated changes incorporating a cyber service (assuming those conversations).

I'm not convinced the services are capable of solving our cyber problems with the current models, particualrly given the speed of maneuver in this domain, which is well faster than any staff or operational planning effort. Across all services, ownership (and uniquity) of cyber problems and solutions are entirely fragmented, from the program level to the operator level. For resolution, an absolutely perfect world is requried (with staffs, programs, operators, COCOMs, CYBERCOM, etc) in which everyone has the latest information concenring their own, and everyone else's (both inside their service and in the other services) past, ongoing, and future cyber efforts. And, I'm not sure that would even resolve the long range stability questions. How many more people do we need to have a chance to cope with the breadth of the issues across all services/government? Our world and our definition of cyber has created an expanse of responsibility so great, we will always be chasing the game. Not sure our approach and actions display a comprehensive understanding of the scope of cyber (I know I don't sufficiently understand). Our cyber issues are larger than the command to which we are assigned, and so must our initiatives be, incorporating a different way of thinking and extending beyond our own, or one other, organization. We aren't very good at this. Sometimes the world real world is larger than the one we make for ourselves, forest for the trees and all that...


http://www.afcea.org/content/?q=node%2F13072
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