PUT YOUR CIVILIAN EXPERIENCE TO WORK -- BECOME A CYBER OFFICER

Are you a hardware or software engineer or data scientist? Do you enjoy solving a challenge with an innovative tool, script or program? Are you skilled at reverse engineering products or devices? Have you ever considered joining the Army to become an officer?

Qualified civilians can now directly apply for a commission as an officer in U.S. Army Cyber. That means you could join the Army at the rank of First Lieutenant or higher to help build the future of Army Cyber Warfare.

WHAT IS THE CYBER DIRECT COMMISSIONING PROGRAM?

Direct commissioning is an Army program that allows a civilian with specific high-demand technical skills to join the Army as an officer.

Historically, direct commissioning applied to civilians in the medical, legal, and religious fields. For the first time, the Army is offering direct commissions to civilians who wish to join Army Cyber and develop programs and capabilities to help Soldiers operate in cyberspace.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO AS A CYBER OFFICER?

As an Army Cyber Officer, you will build tools and devices needed to accomplish actual national defense missions by writing algorithms, ciphers, programs and scripts, and conducting research based on your current industry expertise. Your products will then be distributed to Cyber Mission Force teams to help them accomplish their missions.

You will attend two Army schools: a six-week Direct Commissioning Course and a 12-week Cyber Basic Officer Leader Course.

Afterwards, you could be eligible to attend additional follow-on training not available in the civilian sector.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

The main benefit to the Cyber Direct Commissioning Program is that you can join the Army as an officer. Officers get the opportunity to lead and train teams of professionals to meet the demands of the Army and the nation.

Learn more about the benefits to joining the Army.

HOW LONG WILL I SERVE IN THE ARMY?

Your tour of duty length may depend on your Army component. The Army is comprised of three components: active duty, Army National Guard (ARNG), and the Reserve (USAR). The Cyber Direct Commissioning Program is now available for all three components.

If you join the active duty component, your first tour of duty is three years with the option to continue or deactivate into the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR). Active duty commissions are for civilians who wish to become full-time Army Cyber officers.

Both civilians and currently-serving Army Reserve or National Guard Soldiers can seek to become an Army National Guard or Army Reserve Cyber Officer under this program.

WHAT ARE THE BASIC REQUIREMENTS TO COMMISSION INTO CYBER?

In order to be considered to receive a direct appointment as an Army Cyber officer, you must fulfill these basic requirements:

  • You must be a United States citizen
  • You must not already be a member of the armed services (for active duty)
  • You must be able to obtain and maintain a top secret security clearance
  • You must have at least a four-year college degree
  • You must complete an Army physical, meeting basic fitness standards for Army service
  • You must complete an application to become an officer
  • You must complete the application packet process and submit to the Office Chief of Cyber. You will compete against other qualified applicants and you must be selected to fill a specific operational requirement.


An Army Cyber Representative will inform you of receipt of your application packet and provide you additional instructions, if applicable.

WHAT KIND OF TECH BACKGROUND DO I NEED TO JOIN?

Army Cyber Command is interested in applicants with a bachelor’s, or higher, academic STEM degree and/or sufficient experience in a related field. Individuals with advanced research and work experience in the following roles are encouraged to apply:

  • Data Scientists/Machine Learning Engineers
  • DevOps Engineer
  • Security Engineer
  • Senior Platform Persistence Developer
  • Senior Vulnerability Researcher

Your Army Cyber Recruiter Officer will be able to fill you in on the exact application requirements. Contact the Cyber Recruiting Officer by texting “cyberspace” to 22828 and you will be contacted via SMS by a representative from the U.S. Army Cyber Branch.

ARE THERE OTHER WAYS I CAN JOIN THE ARMY CYBER TEAM?

There are other ways to become an Army Cyber officer. You can attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) and select Cyber as your branch of choice. You can also participate in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) at a college or university. There are even ROTC scholarships that can help pay for graduate school for candidates interested in serving in the Army on active duty or in a reserve component.

There are dozens of positions available for Department of the Army civilians, too. Visit USAJOBS.gov to find civilian jobs with the Army’s Cyber team.

WHAT IS THE APPLICATION PROCESS?

To be considered for a commission, you must submit a PDF application and take part in a phone interview and an in-person interview, then be selected by a board of officers.

SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION

Follow these steps to apply for the Army Cyber Direct Commissioning Program:

1. Download the application (pdf)

2. Fill out the application electronically

3. Once you have completed the application, email the form to the following mailbox: usarmy.gordon.cyber-coe.mbx.occ-officers@mail.mil

4. Attach your completed pdf application, along with the following:

A recent photograph of you wearing professional attire. The photograph may be a headshot or a full body photo.

Proof of undergraduate and graduate degrees. A full official transcript must be issued by your academic institution’s registrar and must include your name, the institution name, the degree conferred, and the date or expected date to be conferred.

Professional Certifications. All professional certifications must be submitted for consideration.

Your current resume or CV

Prior military service documents (if applicable). Prior service applicants must submit all enlisted and officer evaluation reports. Applicants who have been discharged must submit a copy of their DD Form 214 and/or discharge order(s).

Letters of recommendation (optional). Submit up to three letters of recommendation.

Writing sample or cover letter
. This is your opportunity to tell the panel that reviews your packet who you are. Ensure you include any relevant information that is not addressed in your resume.

5. Ensure that all personally identifiable information (i.e., social security numbers, home phone numbers, addresses) are redacted throughout.

6. After your application is sent, check your email for confirmation instructions. You should receive a receipt confirmation within seven working days.

CONDUCT AN INTERVIEW

Select highly-qualified applicants will be interviewed by Army Cyber representatives.

All students who are currently enrolled in a college or university academic degree-producing program and desire to apply for the Cyber Direct Commissioning Program should apply for the program within six months of when they would like to proceed to officer training, if selected.

For any additional questions, contact your Cyber Recruiting officer by texting “cyberspace” to 22828.