US Air Force Seeks Reserve Personnel for Cyber Operations

The US Air Force Reserve Command has launched a program to enlist “cutting-edge talents” to enhance the US Department of Defense’s cyber competitiveness.

Participants qualifying through the program will serve as new cybersecurity and cyber warfare officers under the Air Force Warfighter Communications Operators (17D) and Cyberspace Effects Operators (17S).

Cyberspace engineers and agile software developers will be assigned as Cyberspace Engineering “Z” personnel according to the Air Force Officer Classification Directory.

After induction, candidates will join under an initial four-year Selectic Reserve obligation and an additional four-year Inactive Ready Reserve obligation. The monthly reserve service will depend on the needs of their respective teams, missions, and training.

Each participant is also required to attend the US Air Force Officer Training School.

Members of the Oklahoma National Guard cybersecurity team work together to defend networks during Cyber Shield 2023
Members of the Oklahoma National Guard cybersecurity team work together to defend networks during Cyber Shield 2023. Photo: 1st Sgt. Mireille Merilice/Oklahoma National Guard

Meanwhile, a review board will evaluate candidates passing constructive service credit for prior commission service, special training, advanced education, and related experiences.

Constructive service credit will determine initial grade, rank, and service for promotion. This is usually granted in yearly increments.

“As our nation faces tough challenges in the cyberspace warfighting domain, the Air Force Reserve needs the best talent America has to offer,” US Defense Deputy Principal Cyber Advisor Brig. Gen. Terrence Adams stated.

“The Cyber Direct Commission program is designed to attract highly skilled cyber professionals from industry and enlisted career fields who want to serve their nation in a part time capacity.”

Future of Air Reserve Direct Commissioning

The US Air Force said the initiative marks the first time its reserve segment has opened a direct commission to career fields in addition to chaplains, medical specialists, and law experts.

In the future, the service plans to adopt the direct commissioning program to other reserve and guard career fields.

Roles may include security forces, intelligence, operations analyst, acquisition manager, nuclear scientist, and developmental engineer.

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