The U.S. military established Cyber Command almost a decade ago, but it fails to maximize its contributions to national mission. Struggles on all levels — from the political to operational — contribute to Cyber Command’s ineffectiveness. But simmering beneath the surface is a crippling human capital problem: The military is an impossible place for hackers thanks to antiquated career management, forced time away from technical positions, lack of mission, non-technical mid- and senior-level leadership, and staggering pay gaps, among other issues.
It is possible the military needs a cyber corps in the future, but by accelerating promotions, offering graduate school to newly commissioned officers, easing limited lateral entry for exceptional private-sector talent, and shortening the private/public pay gap, the military can better accommodate its most technical members now.
Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter remarked that he was “largely disappointed” by Cyber Command’s contributions to the fight against ISIL: