THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER HAS PUBLISHED THE DON CYBER/IT WORKFORCE STRATEGIC PLAN FOR FY 2010-2013. THIS PLAN ESTABLISHES THE DON’S PRIORITIES FOR ENSURING WORKFORCE EXCELLENCE. IT IDENTIFIES THE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES THAT WILL ALLOW THE DON TO RECRUIT, MANAGE, DEVELOP, SUSTAIN AND RETAIN A TALENTED WORKFORCE.
Under the Clinger-Cohen Act and Federal Information Security Management Act, command information officers are responsible for Cyber/IT Workforce planning. The DON Cyber/IT Workforce Strategic Plan details the strategy to develop a highly competent Cyber/IT total force (see Tables 1 and 2) that is capable of implementing, integrating, securing and executing sustained operations across the full cyberspace domain. The DON Cyber/IT Workforce Strategic Plan is the way forward to ensure the department’s efforts to provide the best support to commands and to help members of the Cyber/IT Workforce achieve individual career goals.
The strategic plan goals are:
• Provide workforce capabilities that fully support cyberspace operations.
• Develop competency-based planning and management processes.
• Support required capabilities by recruiting a qualified and experienced workforce.
• Develop and manage the DON Cybersecurity/Information Assurance Workforce.
CHIPS asked the DON CIO Director of the Cyber/IT Workforce Chris Kelsall to discuss the strategy in August.
CHIPS: Could you explain your role in supporting the Department of the Navy CIO Cyber/IT Workforce team? Can you tell us specifically what you do in your role?
KELSALL: As the director of the DON CIO Cyber/IT Workforce Team, I serve as an expert on workforce policy, planning, systems, credentialing and development requirements for the workforce. Additionally, I’m responsible for recommending and integrating new workforce programs and requirements, and developing theories, concepts, principles, standards and methods for workforce development. I also represent the DON in both Defense Department and federal efforts surrounding cybersecurity workforce development, the associated competency development, and in reporting to Congress.
I also serve as the DON lead for the Information Assurance Workforce Improvement Program which includes training and certification efforts. I represent the DON CIO on the Federal CIO Council IT Workforce Committee. All of these activities are accomplished working directly with Navy and Marine Corps Cyber/IT Workforce personnel organizations and folks from our DON Civilian Human Resources Office. Finally, I’m a member of the Executive Board of the Federal Information Systems Security Educators’ Association. Their objective is to facilitate information exchange in the area of information systems security awareness, training and education.
CHIPS: What are some of the main takeaways from the DON Cyber/IT Workforce Strategic Plan?
KELSALL: We’re doing the work today — and pretty well. We must concentrate identifying the places we need to focus people and tools to improve, and then we must determine how to train and qualify folks to handle those roles. We have the people; rather than looking to hire ‘new skills’ we must identify who has those skills today and how to balance the roles and work within the workforce. We must also continue to bring in new talent to build them into the replacements for those who leave the department.
We must work with academia and research and development organizations to know what’s changing and what new employees will bring with them so we can integrate them rapidly into our workforce. Knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) don’t fit the bill in this area; what’s being done and what people are actually being equipped with does. We must be able to speak with a common language across DoD, federal agencies, private industry and