The Pentagon is looking to hire 3,000 infosec pros

The US Department of Defense has gotten permission and is aiming to hire 3,000 infosec professionals to work at the US Cyber Command by the end of this year, and is set to make the majority of the members of its Cyber Mission Force (CMF) achieve at least initial operational capability by the end of the 2016 Fiscal Year.

According to Aliya Sternstein, salaries start at $42,399 and can eventually rise to over triple that amount ($132,122).

The good news for potential employees is that the DoD doesn’t have to evaluate the applicants by traditional competitive criteria – to gain employment with the CMF, the applicants will have to demonstrate unique cybersecurity skills and knowledge.

The US Cyber Command was instituted in 2010, and was tasked with protecting the Department of Defense’s information networks and critical infrastructure, as well as to carry out cyber attacks against adversaries.

“USCYBERCOM confronted serious challenges from the outset. DoD networks had been planned and initially constructed decades earlier in an environment in which redundancy, resiliency, and defensibility were not always primary design characteristics,” Admiral Mike Rogers, the Head of the Cyber Command, shared with the members of the US House committee on Armed Service’s Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities.

“Operators in USCYBERCOM, not surprisingly, could not even see all of our networks, let alone monitor all the traffic coming into and out of them from the Internet. Our people were and are professionals, so that issue was rapidly engaged, but nonetheless the sheer volume of work involved in starting a new, subunified command was substantial.”

“The bad news was that USCYBERCOM was built from the ground up by cutting manning to the bone, initially sacrificing vital support functions and institutional infrastructure to build mission capabilities as fast as possible,” he noted, and announced that things are slowly changing.

The Cyber Mission Force is currently half-staffed, but are working on filling out their rosters and qualifying their personnel.

Admiral Rogers is aware that this won’t be easy. “We are already hard pressed to find qualified personnel to man our CMF rosters, to get them cleared, and to get them trained and supported across all 133 teams,” he noted, and mentioned that the final number of personnel should be around 6,200.

He is also aware that luring cybersecurity pros from the civil sector will be hard, and that certain monetary and other incentives will have to be put on the table in order to do it. Also, that this situation is only going to get worse as the US economy continues to get better.

“Where we need help from you is with resources required to hire personnel to fill the team seats as well as necessary operational and strategic headquarters operations, intelligence, and planning staffs, facilities where we can train and employ them, and resources to properly equip them,” he told the committee.