The Marines are looking for a few good cyber warriors from the private sector to help the Corps bolster its network defenses against growing threats from Russia, China and others.
Outgoing Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller ordered the creation of the “Volunteer Cyber Auxiliary” in late April as one of his last acts as the Corps’ top officer. President Trump nominated Lt. Gen. David Berger earlier this year to replace Gen. Neller as the Marine Corps service chief.
The new cyber auxiliary force will include “a small cadre of highly-talented cyber experts who train, educate, advise and mentor Marines to keep pace with constantly-evolving cyber challenges,” the Marine Corps said in a statement Monday.
Members of the new auxiliary force, under the command of Deputy Marine Corps Commandant for Information Maj Gen. Lori Reynolds, will be recruited from all relevant fields in the civilian world.
Members must be U.S. citizens “with advanced cyber experience” and must be able to obtain the proper security clearances before being assigned to Marine-led cyber operations, service officials say.
The outreach to the private sector on cyberwarfare comes amid debate over whether the Corps is too focused on “next-generation” capabilities, while ignoring the service’s classic combat responsibilities.
Marine Corps units are beginning to buckle under the strain, delving deeper into the realms of cyber, information and so-called influence operations, while managing unconventional deployments to places like eastern Europe and the North Atlantic.
“There is sort of an identity crisis going on in the Marine Corps,” said Bryan Clark, a former Navy submarine officer and senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. “The [combat] model the Marine Corps have been focusing on is changing.”
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