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DOD Releases Plan for Implementing Cyber Workforce Strategy

In February, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks signed the DOD Cyber Workforce Strategy, which sets the foundation for how DOD will foster a cyber workforce capable of executing the department's complex and varied cyber missions.

Patches on the sleeve of a military uniform say “cyber” and “Air Combat Command.”
Air Combat Command
Airmen with 175th Cyber Operations, Maryland Air National Guard, train at Exercise Southern Strike at Camp Shelby, Miss., April 21, 2023.
Photo By: Army Staff Sgt. Renee Seruntine, Army National Guard
VIRIN: 230421-Z-GQ603-1560Y

"The strategy provides a roadmap for the advancement and unified management of the cyber workforce, comprised of about 225,000 highly trained civilians, military and contractor personnel," said Mark Gorak, the principal director for resources and analysis for DOD's chief information officer. 

Today, the department released a plan for how it will go about implementing that strategy — the "DOD Cyber Workforce Strategy Implementation Plan.

"[This] is a comprehensive and proactive approach that will further assist the department in advancing talent management initiatives aimed at cultivating an agile, flexible and responsive cyber workforce," Gorak said. "The implementation plan sets the foundation for how the department will successively execute the 22 objectives and 38 initiatives tied to the four goals in the Cyber Workforce Strategy." 

Four Goals in the Cyber Workforce Strategy
Executing consistent capability assessment and analysis processes to stay ahead of force needs
Establishing an enterprise-wide talent management program to better align force capabilities with current and future requirements
Facilitating a cultural shift to optimize department-wide personnel management activities
Fostering collaboration and partnerships to enhance capability development, operational effectiveness and career broadening experiences
"To realize the success of these goals and objectives, we will measure and monitor progress on a set battle rhythm, holding ourselves and our executing organizations accountable," Gorak said of the implementation plan. "To recruit and retain the most talented workforce we must advance our institutional culture and reform the way we do business. We are breaking the mold of the past and changing the way we identify, recruit, develop and retain our cyber talent."

The DOD's cyber workforce plays a prominent role in safeguarding the nation against current and future cyber threats. The DOD Cyber Workforce Strategy will ensure the continued strength of that agile, capable and ready cyber workforce, while the DOD Cyber Workforce Strategy Implementation Plan that was released today will ensure that strategy is successfully implemented. 

"The threats to our nation don't sleep," Gorak said. "They are watching our every move. Imminent cyberattacks are just around the corner. And the calling to defend and protect our nation, today's digital battlefield, is more important now than ever before."

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