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On February 27, 2023, Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks signed the 2023-2027 DoD Cyber Workforce (CWF) Strategy, which sets the foundation for how the DoD will foster a cyber workforce capable of executing the Department’s complex and varied cyber missions.
The strategy will enable the DoD to close workforce development gaps, resource workforce management and development initiatives, stay at the forefront of technological advances, securely and rapidly deliver resilient systems, and transform into a data-centric enterprise with optimized workforce analytics.
The DoD CIO developed this strategy in coordination with other Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Component heads, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, United States Cyberspace Command, and the military services to provide focus to cyber-related human capital initiatives in alignment with the 2022 National Defense Strategy that states the Department needs to “Cultivate the Workforce We Need.”
“We are looking at every aspect of the cyber employee’s lifecycle to ensure we are not only finding and hiring a diverse group of skilled cyber specialists but also developing the tools, resources, and partnerships required to continue to grow these individuals professionally,” said Patrick Johnson, director, Workforce Innovation Directorate (WID). “I’m proud of the work our team has done so far, and we still have a lot more work to do to overcome talent shortages within the cyber workforce.”
In addition to the CWF Strategy, WID currently implements several initiatives that support the broader talent management lifecycle for the DoD’s cyber workforce, including the recently published DoD Manual 8140.03.
“This strategy, in combination with our current portfolio, will help to unify cyber personnel management efforts across the DoD and ensure that our workforce continually develops through training and skill-building opportunities,” said Mark Gorak, Principal Director for Resources and Analysis.
The DoD is aligning strategic efforts to four human capital pillars: identification, recruitment, development, and retention. These pillars provide the foundation and set unified direction to accomplish the goals outlined in the CWF Strategy. These goals are to execute consistent capability assessment and analysis processes to stay ahead of force needs; establish an enterprise-wide talent management program to better align force capabilities with current and future requirements; facilitate a cultural shift to optimize Department-wide personnel management activities; and foster collaboration and partnerships to enhance capability development, operational effectiveness, and career-broadening experience.
A forthcoming implementation plan will provide a list of implementation activities the DoD will pursue over a multi-year period, along with key performance indicators to monitor and assess the impact of CWF Strategy activities. Together, the strategy and implementation plan will enable the Department to identify, recruit, develop and retain the most capable and dominant cyber workforce in the world.
To read the CWF Strategy, visit https://dodcio.defense.gov/Cyber-Workforce/CWS/, and to view DoD Manual 8140.03, visit https://dodcio.defense.gov/Portals/0/Documents/Library/DoDM-8140-03.pdf.
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