The Army on Sept. 5 activated a new Cyber Protection Brigade — the first of its kind in the Army — at Fort Gordon, Georgia.
Col. Donald Bray took command of the brigade from Lt. Col. Philippe Persaud, who had been serving as the brigade's interim commander while it was being stood up.
Persaud will stay on as the brigade's deputy commander.
The brigade's activation represents a deeper Army investment in its cyberspace capabilities, said Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, commanding general of Army Cyber Command, in a statement.
The Cyber Protection Brigade is made up of Cyber Protection Teams, manned by a mix of soldiers and civilians. The brigade will have 20 of these teams, each with about 39 personnel. The teams will conduct defensive cyberspace operations in support of joint and Army missions, according to information from Army Cyber Command.
All Cyber Protection Teams are trained to a common joint standard, according to the command.
The brigade is "aggressively" manning, training and equipping its teams to support the Army and U.S. Cyber Command, Army Cyber Command said. This push is part of an Army-wide effort to fill the ranks of a selective new military occupational specialty, "cyber network defender," or 25D. There are more than 700 25D positions across the Army, and the MOS is open to experienced soldiers in the grades of staff sergeant to sergeant major.
The Office of the Chief of Signal accepts application packets from soldiers with backgrounds in information assurance and information technology — regardless of their MOS — mostly at the staff sergeant level. There are limited opportunities for sergeants first class and master sergeants.
Upon successful completion of training, members of the cyber protection teams will receive a cyber additional skill identifier of E4.