Coast Guard is Commissioning Cyber Talent


The United States Coast Guard has launched a new program that gives cyber professionals the chance to become Coast Guard Cyber Officers. 

With the launch of the Direct Commission Cyber Officer (DCCO) program, the maritime security branch of the United States military is hoping to attract top cyber talent to work in cyberspace operations, information assurance, cyber threat intelligence, and cybersecurity.

The program is open to “high-performing cyber professionals” with “robust work experience” and “military members with cyber experience” who are aged between 21 and 40.

“We’re bringing them in under our direct commission engineer program, our IT paths and even into FY ’22, we’re creating direct commission for cyber opportunities,” said Rear Admiral Michael Ryan, commander of Coast Guard Cyber Command.

Speaking at a briefing that took place after the Joint Service Academy Cybersecurity Summit on September 23, Ryan said: “We’re grabbing our best and brightest and enlisted members and giving them the opportunity to join the officer ranks.” 

Applicants must be citizens of the United States and hold a valid security clearance. Candidates must be in good shape physically and mentally with a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale and the ability to complete “a structured physical fitness program.”

The Coast Guard said: “New Coast Guard Cyber Officers will immediately put their skills to use in vital operational cyber missions providing a secure and functional network upon which all other Coast Guard missions rely, and ensure the protection of the Marine Transportation System from malicious Cyber Actors.

“Selectees will have a chance to become key resources in what has become the Coast Guard’s top emerging field, and will receive an initial assignment within the Coast Guard’s Operational Cyberspace Workforce.”

The DCCOs will complete a Direct Commission Officer (DCO) course in New London, Connecticut, that will last four to five weeks. There, they will receive “initial indoctrination to the traditions and programs of the service” and training on service-specific administration essentials.

“Following their initial assignment, DCCOs can anticipate broadening their experience within the cyber community, with increasing levels of leadership and management exposure with progression in rank,” said the Coast Guard.

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