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CHIPS Articles: Navy Offers Enlisted Cyber Master of Science Degree Opportunity at NPS

Navy Offers Enlisted Cyber Master of Science Degree Opportunity at NPS
By CHIPS Magazine - October-December 2019
The Department of the Navy is working to enable a more capable, knowledgeable cyber enlisted workforce with expertise in the various disciplines within cybersecurity and intelligence.

To this end, NAVADMIN 242-19 solicits enlisted Sailor applications for enrollment in the Naval Postgraduate School 12-month Master of Science in the Applied Cyber Operations (MACO) program. This opportunity is one of many efforts to increase cyber capabilities for the Navy, while building a professional cyber-workforce, wrote Vice Adm. Matthew J. Kohler, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare, OPNAV N2N6, in the NAVADMIN.

Selectees will be assigned to Navy-funded education as full-time students under permanent change of station orders to Monterey, California, with either a September 2020 or a March 2021 start. As full-time students, Sailors will be required to carry a full academic load year-round. Degree requirements are to be completed in 12 months, according to the NAVADMIN.

Submission Requirements

The program is only available to active duty and full-time support members in the information systems technician (IT) and cryptologic technician-networks (CTN) ratings. These Sailors must meet the following criteria:

-- Must possess a Bachelor of Science degree in a relevant technical field including, but not limited to, computer science, electrical engineering, and information or engineering technology. The degree must have been awarded by an institution of higher learning accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. To meet NPS academic requirements, performance in technical courses, including mathematics, must be exemplary.

-- Must be an E6 or above eligible for continental United States shore assignment between April and December 2020 for the September 2020 start, or between October 2020 and June 2021 for the March 2021 start.

-- Must be eligible to incur a five-year active duty service obligation by reenlistment or extension of enlistment prior to NPS enrollment. Selectees will be required to reenlist more than one year earlier, if they are unable to satisfy the five-year obligated service requirement. Payment of the Selective Reenlistment Bonus is not authorized for selectees who reenlist for the purpose of meeting the obligated service requirement, per OPNAVINST 1160.8A, Selective Reenlistment Bonus Program.

-- Must be within physical fitness assessment (PFA) standards, with no PFA failures within the last three years.

-- Must have no evaluation marks below 3.0 within the last five years.

-- Must hold, or be eligible for, a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) Clearance. Applicants without a current TS/SCI clearance are still encouraged to apply, but should work with their special security office to initiate the clearance request. Orders to NPS will not be issued until TS/SCI clearance is finalized.

-- Must possess a conditional Letter of Acceptance. To obtain a conditional letter of acceptance, Sailors should apply to NPS at
http://www.nps.edu/academics/admissions/applyonline/applynow.htm
Once registered, Sailors should select Applied Cyber Operations, Curriculum Number 336.

-- Upon application submission, Sailors must arrange for submission of official transcripts to the NPS admissions office from each institution attended for all undergraduate and graduate education, as well as all Sailor/Marine American Council on Education Registry transcripts, or Joint Services transcripts. NPS applications must be submitted to NPS no later than Dec. 31, 2019. Sailors will be notified by NPS via email regarding their conditional acceptance.

Selection Requirements

-- Upon selection, Sailors must request (via Command Career Counselor) an in-rate quota in the Career Waypoints (C-WAY) system. Those not in their C-WAY window should submit a Special Circumstance application indicating reason code of other. The Career Counselor will be prompted to add a note indicating selection to the Master of Science in Applied Cyber Operations program. If selected via special circumstance application, this program does not guarantee award of an in-rate C-WAY quota, and is not considered part of a performance indicator of the individual in the C-WAY process.

-- Prospective applicants should contact their detailer immediately to inform of intent to apply for the program, and potential impact to current assignment. Failure to do so may result in withdrawal of selection.

Career Impact

Graduation from the program will effect follow-on tours and may result in limited detailing opportunities for future assignments.

Graduates of the MACO program will earn the H07A Navy Enlisted Classification (previously 2770-Applied Cyber Operations Master), and should expect to serve in a utilization tour immediately following graduation.

For ITs, utilization tours will include operational (cyber) shore billets and sea billets (when available). Further utilization for program graduates will be balanced with other priorities, such as career progression, sea/shore tour rotation, etc.

Other Requirements

-- Sailors in receipt of a Letter of Conditional Acceptance from NPS should forward a written request for MACO selection via their commanding officer. The nomination template is posted to the Navy Information Warfare outreach page on milsuite at https://www.milsuite.mil/book/docs/doc-526186 (Common Access Card email certificate login required). The template includes additional documents, which must be included for consideration.

-- The commanding officer endorsement should address the preparedness for this significant academic opportunity, ability to work independently, communication skills, potential for increased responsibilities, and any special considerations regarding the Sailor.

-- Applications can be sent via encrypted email to point of contact Lt. Christopher Mikell at christopher.mikell@navy.mil, (757-203-3128), or via DoD SAFE (https://safe.apps.mil/) within two weeks of notification of conditional acceptance by NPS.

-- Note that prior application submissions to this program do not disqualify a Sailor from applying. However, applicants who did not receive conditional acceptance from NPS, and have no additional academic qualifications, should not apply again, as the academic standards have not changed.

Notification of Acceptance

Selection results will be disseminated via NAVADMIN. Due to the highly competitive nature of this program, notification of selection via NAVADMIN is a binding commitment, which selectees must accept or decline within five working days following release of the message.

Instructions to sign up for education program notification are available at
https://www.mnp.navy.mil/group/training-education-qualifications/e-graduate-education-and-fellowship-programs.

NAVADMIN 242-19 is in effect until superseded, or June 30, 2021, whichever occurs first.

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (Sept. 27, 2018) Sailors stand watch in the Fleet Operations Center at the headquarters of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet (FCC/C10F). Since its establishment, FCC/C10F has grown into an operational force composed of more than 14,000 active and reserve Sailors and civilians organized into 28 active commands, 40 cyber mission force units, and 26 reserve commands around the globe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Samuel Souvannason)
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (Sept. 27, 2018) Sailors stand watch in the Fleet Operations Center at the headquarters of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet (FCC/C10F). Since its establishment, FCC/C10F has grown into an operational force composed of more than 14,000 active and reserve Sailors and civilians organized into 28 active commands, 40 cyber mission force units, and 26 reserve commands around the globe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Samuel Souvannason)
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