Friday, July 11, 2008

Proposed Air Force Cyber Badge

The Air Force published New cyberspace career fields, training paths, badge proposed earlier this month. I found the proposed cyber badge to be interesting. From the story:

The badge features: lightning bolts to signify the cyberspace domain; center bolts taken from the navigator badge and the Air Force Seal to signify cyberspace's worldwide power and reach and its common lineage and history of electronic warfare officers; and orbits to signify cyberspace's space-related mission elements. And, like other specialty badges, it will identify skill (certification) levels. Final approval and specifics of the wear criteria is under review at the air staff.

For comparison I've posted the intelligence badge I used to wear. Wikipedia's Badges of the US Air Force is a nice reference.

The Air Force also published a proposed Cyberspace Training Path for Operators and Specialists.

Since we're talking military cyber operations, a blog reader asked for my opinion of the new story U.S. Army challenges USAF on network warfare. I saw this first hand at a cyber conference recently. The Air Force colonel who will be vice commander of Cyber Command, Tony Buntyn, spoke, followed by an Army colonel, John Blaine, from NetCom. Col Blaine said the Army had been doing cyber operations for years, seemingly in contrast to the "new" Air Force Cyber Command. Of course, my previous history post noted that the Air Force Information Warfare Center was established in 1993, and the AFCERT was created the year earlier. Air Force cyber history is very extensive, especially if you expand to electronic warfare in Vietnam.

4 comments:

oneguynick said...

That badge is going to get caught on uniforms abound. Sharp points never help when you are tying up your dress for the day

Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone else noticed this...On the "Cyberspace Training Paths" pdf chart, in the lower right, it says that "developers" will be "primarily officers" who will "design and modify hardware/software packages." In a classic Orwellian policy reversal, the USAF will once again allow officers who have CS degrees to use what they learned in school! For years, it has been death to an officer's career to have been a programmer; most of the former programmers were passed over and mustered out of the service. Programming and other technical work have been seen in recent years as an enlisted Airman's job. Yet now officers will be allowed to become "developers" and "operators". If you apply the pilot paradigm, then we've had it wrong all these years with the prohibition on officers performing technical computer work. Pilots become highly technically proficient, yet they somehow develop enough leadership skills along the way to become senior Air Force leaders. I'm glad to see the USAF come around to the common sense understanding that officers want (and are quite capable) to actually do work, not just push paper. This will result in better networks that are more secure and cost less money. This can only be good for the Air Force; this is long overdue. So the big question remaining is, since cyber warriors will get wings, will Nomex flight suits and leather jackets be a part of the deal like the Space guys got?

Anonymous said...

NO, space geeks did not get wings and neither are cyber/info ops people. Notice they are both BADGES not rated wings. So, a flightsuit should be worn by those who actually fly and need a fire resistant suit. Space and cyber operators no more need a flightsuit than the guys working behind other computers at Microsoft. Cyber operations have been conducted by other agencies within the government not just the USAF and they do not get special badges or certainly not flightsuits. Space operators should wear ABU or Blues, and Missileers can return to their blue version otherwise every career field will soon be scrambling for a badge that looks more wing-like in order become operators.

Anonymous said...

But space operators DO wear flight suits and leather jackets. Cyber geeks will be next, then everyone else will want theirs too.