Joint Interagency Coordination: How Can the Reserve Component Be Better Utilized to Defend Our Nation in the Cyber Arena? 

Introduction In a time of constrained and reduced resources and to fortify the protection against the ever-increasing global cyber threats, the United States (US) must do more with less and better utilize its existing resources. The Reserve Components (RC) of the US military are filled with cyber expertise gained through civilian and military training as well as job experience. If the Department of Defense (DoD) can develop a program to better utilize the experience and skills resident in the Reserves, the US military can improve the nation’s cyber capabilities and better protect its networks. Based on the current DoD CYBER Strategy[i], the Guard and Reserve has a significant role to play in the cyber realm. Specifically, the DoD CYBER Strategy calls on the Guard and Reserve to provide a “resource for expertise and to foster creative solutions to cybersecurity problems” and to provide “critical surge capacity” when needed. To provide the resources required to defend the nation, the Reserve Forces need to be better utilized. This paper proposes the establishment of a full-time support program manned by the RC and augmented by traditional Selected Reservists and Guardsmen on weekend duty. This program will capitalize on existing expertise and further develop the in-depth technical skills required to tackle the enormous cybersecurity challenges that exist today, and in the future. Also, the creation of such a program will result in an available, fully trained surge capacity when needed. USCYBERCOM’S Cyber Mission Force In December 2012, the U.S. Secretary of Defense (SecDef) authorized the creation of the Cyber Mission Force (CMF). According to the DoD CYBER Strategy and the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR),...