The Army would like to fill the ranks of its Cyber Command with the best minds America has to offer – but it’s proving more challenging than expected to wrest that talent from high-paying technology firms in Silicon Valley.
Brig. Gen. Joseph P. McGee, director of the Army’s Talent Management Task Force, spoke Aug. 1 during an Association of the U.S. Army-sponsored forum on cyber warfare about efforts to bring the best talent to the relatively new eight-year-old U.S. Army Cyber Command.
A lot of the talent ARCYBER needs resides in places like Silicon Valley, but getting that talent can be difficult, he said, after having personally spoken to some of those people.
One reason for that difficulty is the pay gap between Army and the private sector, McGee noted. Another reason is the lengthy onboarding process that’s associated with jobs requiring security clearances.
One Stanford University student studying computer science told McGee that he wasn’t even aware of the opportunities available at ARCYBER, for Soldiers, civilians or contractors. The big buzz was about employment at companies like Apple, Google, or Facebook, the student said.
Many of those same people have a desire to serve, and might opt to do so if the chance presented itself, McGee said. Serving on a team for a greater purpose and actually making a difference resonates with them.