Marines are not only found in the traditional domains of the air, land and sea, but are also engaged on the frontlines of cyberspace. This new battlespace takes a special breed of Marine, they understand new technology and adapt well to the changing cyberspace terrain. Daily, these Marines protect the nation from global threats and support the Marine Air-Ground Task Forces.
From May 13, 2019 to June 21, 2019 a group of nine midshipmen from the United States Naval Academy (USNA) took part in the National Security Agency Service Academy Internship Program at Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command. The purpose of the partnership is to give selected midshipmen with proven academic backgrounds in relevant cyber-related fields, firsthand experience with military operations in cyberspace to help inform future career interest.
“I thought the internship would be a good way to confirm that cyber is something I want to continue doing in my future,” said a midshipman entering her senior year at USNA.
Over the last seven weeks the interns participated in real world operations, mission-related activities, the development of future capabilities and saw firsthand how the Marine Corps is persistently engaged with adversaries in cyberspace.
“MARFORCYBER seems to be very interesting and as I learn more and more, I am only drawn to the command,” said a midshipman majoring in computer science. “I am very interested in learning how the Marine Corps conducts cyber operations in the real world.”
During their time at MARFORCYBER, they not only learned how the Marine Corps conducts cyber operations, but they took part in those operations.
USNA has a rigorous academic program and is ranked the #2 Top Public School by U.S. News and World Report. It is the first undergraduate school with mandatory cybersecurity classes for all students, regardless of major. They are also the first university to offer a dedicated cyber operations major at the undergraduate level.
“Our team has been impressed with the technical knowledge of the midshipmen and they are making an impact. We see this internship program as a tremendous opportunity to leverage the very talent we require in order to be successful in this challenging and ever changing domain,” said Maj. Gen. Matthew Glavy, Commander, MARFORCYBER.
On March 17, 2018 the Marine Corps officially established the new 17XX Cyberspace Operations occupational field, which according to MARADMIN 164/18, provides the Marine Corps with “a deliberate, professionalized, and sustainable cyberspace workforce enabling the Marine Corps to conduct cyberspace operations, as directed by U.S. Cyberspace Command (USCYBERCOM.)”