How the Army’s cyber school is changing

How the Army’s cyber school is changing

In an outfitted trailer at Fort Gordon in February, an Army instructor kicked off the first day of cyber class for enlisted students with an innocuous question: What do you hope to learn?

Some students said they hoped to learn about virtual private networks. Others didn’t have a clear answer. But one student, who previously served on a defensive cyber team and was now enrolled for formal training, answered that he wanted to learn how cyber teams used to operate.

It was a joke, poking fun at how the fast-moving cyber domain can make classroom education quickly feel dated. And this reply provoked a chuckle from the instructor, but also offered a valuable opportunity to reflect.

Ten years ago, the U.S. military had few examples of cyber operations to teach the next generation. U.S. Cyber Command was just a year into its existence. The number of cyberwarriors was significantly smaller.

But today students can learn from over a decade’s worth of cyber operations. Cyber Command is a unified combatant command, with the highest profile in its existence, and the cyber mission force is at its largest. With operational lessons in hand and an evolving cyber domain at play, how the Department of Defense trains — and teaches — cyber operations is changing quickly.

For the Army, nowhere are these changes more evident than at the service’s cyber school.

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