(Photo/75th Training Command, Army Reserve Maj. Adam Collett)

Army Reserve pilots management tool for cyber talent

While many agencies struggle to find and hire cybersecurity workers, the Army Reserve is working on a way to identify the cyber skills already present in its current cadre.

Working with Carnegie Mellon University, the Army Reserve has developed the Cyber Warrior Database, or CWARD,  a master repository that tracks soldiers’ skills acquired in their civilian jobs and matches them to potential military applications.

Col. James Chatfield Jr., the G-3/5/7 and cyber director for 335th Signal Command, compared the database to a tool for casting agents.

"Maybe you have a bunch of actors that you represent. When the movie agent comes to you and says they need a particular talent set, you can go into your talent management system and say 'I've got 10 candidates I can send you,'" Chatfield told the Army News Service.

One reserve component colonel Chatfield knows has a day job as the cybersecurity chief for the Florida court system, where he’s put together honeypot concepts to help protect the court’s data. "He's probably a pretty good advisor that we might want to leverage … especially when it's dealing with legal and financial systems," Chatfield said.

When that kind of skills information in CWARD, officials can more easily find people who know about Linux vulnerabilities from their civilian work, Chatfield continued. 

Chatfield said there are also individual training vignettes that go along with CWARD, so that the skills and talents of the soldiers it tracks can be validated.

Currently CWARD is a pilot program, tracking the cyber skills of about 400 individuals. The Army Reserve is in discussion with Army Cyber Command about adapting it as a standardized cyber talent management tool. CWARD would complement, not replace, the Army’s Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army, a similar talent management tool.

About the Author

Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.

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