Cyber workforce plan sets five-year goals for meeting warfighting demands

By Linda Hersey / August 7, 2023 at 12:08 PM

The Defense Department has released a five-year blueprint for stepping up recruitment, development and retention of the military's cyber workforce.

The goal of the fiscal 2023-2027 Cyber Workforce Strategy Implementation Plan is to grow and strengthen the cyber workforce to meet the demands of the current and future warfighting environment, DOD said in the plan’s introduction.

“Successful execution” of the plan is expected to have a “profound impact” on major initiatives currently underway that span zero-trust architecture, joint warfighter cloud capability and joint all-domain command and control, said John Sherman, DOD chief information officer, in the foreword to the plan.

The plan also calls for working with partner nations to enhance U.S. cyber warfare capabilities and interoperability.

The five-year roadmap brings focus to attaining consistency in capabilities across services, developing an enterprise-wide talent management program and facilitating collaboration to strengthen outcomes.

Initiatives involve creating workforce requirements that support identified needs for cyber warfighters and aligning training pipelines with in-demand roles.

A talent development funding program would be established. The “cyber workforce professional development fund” will be fully integrated into planning and execution activities by fiscal year 2027, the plan states.

DOD also seeks to develop an apprenticeship program that will involve “dedicated employment exchanges with the private sector.”