Service Chiefs Reject Proposal to Develop New Military Cyber Force

Staff Sgt. Michael Bigee and Airman Steven Hilton, 265th Combat Communications Squadron cyber operations specialists, work on systems at Fort McCoy, Wis., June 12, 2015, as part of the joint exercise Patriot Warrior 2015. (Photo by Andrea Salazar/U.S. Air Force)Staff Sgt. Michael Bigee and Airman Steven Hilton, 265th Combat Communications Squadron cyber operations specialists, work on systems at Fort McCoy, Wis., June 12, 2015, as part of the joint exercise Patriot Warrior 2015. (Photo by Andrea Salazar/U.S. Air Force)

Former NATO commander and retired Navy admiral James Stavridis speaks often of his proposal to develop a fifth U.S. military service branch — a cyber force that would own operations in the virtual domain.

But comments last week from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller indicate the time has not come for that idea just yet.

Speaking at a San Diego panel moderated by Stavridis on Feb. 19, Richardson and Neller both declined to offer support for such a cyber force when pressed on the topic.

“I think that this must be integrated. I think if we have a completely standalone type of thing, it’s just going to be much more difficult to integrate it into operations, into planning and execution, debriefing, all of that,” Richardson said. “So while there are potentially some unique skill sets and capabilities, it’s through that deep integration into the fundamentals, the basic ingredients of warfare going forward that I think is going to make cyber achieve its full potential.”

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About the Author

Hope Hodge Seck
Hope Hodge Seck is a reporter at Military.com. She can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.
  • Big-D

    wait a second, the chair force proclaims that they are the masters of cyperspace

    “The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace.”

    apparenty, since cyperspace has the work “space” in it, they assumed that it was a job for them :-P