Military colleges aim to develop cyber programs

Lock on digital screen

As seen in Infosecurity, by Kacy Zurkus

In an effort to address growing concerns over the looming skills gap, leading military colleges and universities in the US have moved to establish cyber institutes. Among the senior military colleges (SMCs) are The Citadel, the University of North Georgia, Norwich University, Texas A&M, Virginia Military Institute and Virginia Tech, according to Citadel Today.

The Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which has been tabled for the fall, attempts to “authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2019 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.” Congressional leaders are hoping to include within that act an amendment that authorizes the Secretary of Defense to establish cyber institutes at SMCs.

Initiated by the University of North Georgia, the collaborative group of institutions has the support of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina). The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Jody Hice (R-Georgia) was also included in the Senate Armed Services Committee FY19 NDAA, which is currently up for consideration on the senate floor.

“Future cyber leaders must be able to empower their teams to foresee and resolve complex, and often threatening, problems,” Graham told Citadel Today. “Our Senior Military Colleges are already deeply invested in this type of national security education. They provide the discipline, ethics training and academic rigor the next generation of cyber leaders need. They are ready for this step.”

“With cyber threats affecting nearly every sector of our society, we need capable and trained professionals in our Department of Defense and other agencies who are prepared to proactively and effectively counter this dangerous trend,” Scott reportedly said.

“We need our nation’s cyber training facilities, especially our Senior Military Colleges, to train the next generation of leaders to help secure Americans’ information and to further advance our overall national security. I was glad to have worked with my colleague Sen. Graham to advocate for the inclusion of the Senior Military Colleges Cyber Institute Amendment in the Senate version of the FY19 NDAA,” said Scott.