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CHIPS Articles: Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers

Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers
Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet
By CHIPS Magazine - January-March 2014
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced January 30, 2014, Navy Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers as President Obama's nominee to become commander of U.S. Cyber Command. In addition, the Secretary announced that he has designated Vice Adm. Rogers to serve as director of the National Security Agency, and chief of the Central Security Service.

Vice Adm. Rogers currently serves as the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command commander. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he will replace Gen. Keith Alexander, who has served as the NSA director since 2005, and the U.S. Cyber Command commander since 2010.

To highlight Vice Adm. Rogers' nomination, CHIPS is re-publishing his 2012 interview with CHIPS in the January-March 2014 edition.

Vice Adm. Michael Rogers assumed his present duties as Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, Commander, U.S. 10th Fleet in September 2011. Since becoming a flag officer in 2007, Rogers has also been the director for intelligence for both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. Pacific Command. Duties afloat have included service at the unit level as a surface warfare officer (SWO) aboard USS Caron (DD 970), at the strike group level as the senior cryptologist on the staff of Commander, Carrier Group Two/John F. Kennedy Carrier Strike Group, and at the numbered fleet level on the staff of Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet embarked on USS LaSalle (AGF 3) as the fleet information operations (IO) officer and fleet cryptologist. He has also led cryptologic direct support missions aboard U.S. submarines and surface units in the Arabian Gulf and Mediterranean.

Rogers' joint service both afloat and ashore is extensive and prior to becoming a flag officer, he served at U.S. Atlantic Command, CJTF 120 Operation Support Democracy (Haiti), Joint Force Maritime Component Commander, Europe, and the Joint Staff.

Rogers responded to CHIPS questions in late September.

Q: What is the roadmap for continued success for U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and the Navy?

A: The roadmap for continued success requires U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet (FCC/C10F) to address cyber threats, key trends, and challenges across four main areas, which are: (1) integrated operations; (2) an optimized cyber workforce; (3) technology innovation; and (4) reforming development and execution of our requirements, acquisition and budgeting.

Specifically, we will continue to employ Navy and joint cyberspace forces with an effectively recruited, trained and positioned workforce who have clear authorities and are armed with proven tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs). We will also continue to leverage industry, academia, interagency, service, joint and allied partners to ensure our team has the most innovative technologies available while concurrently optimizing defense resources.

In summary, the Navy's success across the maritime domain is guaranteed by our ability to efend, project power, and prevail in cyberspace with an exceptionally trained cyber force, continued vigilance, proven tactics, and an unshakable warrior ethos.

Q: How do you see the cyber workforce now, and what is the way ahead to develop it to meet the growing needs of Navy and joint forces?

A: First and foremost, our FCC/C10F team around the world are warriors who remain motivated and mission focused. The Navy’s cyber warriors are doing an incredible job every day defending the network and achieving information dominance. I could not be prouder.

To preserve the Navy's cyber warfighting advantage, we must continue to develop an elite workforce that is recruited, trained and educated to better understand the maritime environment, employ the latest technological advances, and deliver cyber warfighting capability anywhere around the world.

To do this, in 2009 the Navy acknowledged the centrality of information to maritime warfighting and established the Information Dominance Corps (IDC). This corps consists of information experts, intelligence analysts, meteorologists and oceanographers, space cadre and cryptologists. To optimize employment of our cyber force, a personnel review of the Navy’s cyber manpower requirements has been completed and the Navy continues to develop concepts that better inculcate the IDC organization across the fleet to include career path adjustments, cross-field competencies, diversified command opportunities and improved education.

There are challenges that lie ahead, but the strategy is in place and the vision forward is being executed.

Q: Could you elaborate on the importance of information and cyberspace to the Navy?

A:The U.S. military’s critical war winning advantage is the ability to network widely dispersed forces to gain battlespace awareness, extend operational reach, and deliver massed and precision firepower at critical points. For 40 years this has given the Navy an asymmetric advantage. This advantage must be defended, preserved and exploited.

These networked capabilities will be a primary target in future conflicts. The Navy will need to fight through an adversary’s attempt to deny access to information and our ability to network this information across the battlespace. The Navy cannot take unencumbered access for granted and the fight to maintain a networked force will be continuous.

While cyberspace has been traditionally thought of as an enabler (supporting combat) in the traditional sea, air and land environs, today, it is a primary warfare domain of equal importance. Because the Navy’s combat power is drawn from a highly networked and electromagnetic spectrum dependent force, the Navy will need to lead, engage and win the fight across these critical enironments.

FCC/C10F will continue to operationalize cyberspace in order to guarantee resilient command and control of Navy and joint forces to maintain our warfighting advantages.

Q: Do the Department of the Navy policies for data center consolidation, application rationalization, and Navy Information Technology Expenditure Approval Authorities for software and hardware acquisition assist in or have impact on FCC/C10F operations?

A: Consistent with Public Law, Executive Orders, and higher level DoD directives, DON policies are aimed at promoting efficient spending in information technology. We are committed to being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. Therefore, we rigorously review all IT expenditures, and prioritize investments to best meet dynamic mission assignments — across all Lines of Operation.

I need to emphasize that this kind of review is not new, and to ensure these new policies do not inhibit our ability to maneuver, we have worked very hard to overlay them with our existing practices and to maintain a good balance between focus on the mission and resource management oversight. Efficiency initiatives force us to make hard decisions based on sound risk management criteria. Done right across the Navy, they also help to reduce vulnerability.


Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers' Biography -

FLTCYBERCOM/10th Fleet -

Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers
Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers

MONTEREY, Calif. (Jan. 30, 2012) Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers, commander of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and U.S.10th Fleet, speaks to students and staff at the Center for Information Dominance, Unit Monterey, during an all-hands call. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan L. Guimont.
MONTEREY, Calif. (Jan. 30, 2012) Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers, commander of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and U.S.10th Fleet, speaks to students and staff at the Center for Information Dominance, Unit Monterey, during an all-hands call. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan L. Guimont.
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