FACTSHEET | Feb. 13, 2018

ARMY CYBER FACT SHEET: Army Cyber Direct Commissioning Program

What is direct commissioning? 

Direct commissioning is an Army program that allows civilians with specific high-demand technical skills to join the Army as commissioned officers.

The Army has had direct commissioning programs for the medical fields, legal fields, and chaplaincy for many years. In late 2017, it began offering direct commissions in the Cyber Branch as well, to attract qualified civilian programmers, software engineers, developers, and data scientists to help the Army develop and execute programs and equipment to support its operations in cyberspace.

Typical applicants hold a four-year degree, master’s degree, or doctorate in a computer science or related field, such as data science or industrial control systems.

What skills are the Army seeking for the Cyber Direct Commissioning Program? 

  • Some of the roles and skills the Army is looking for include: 
  • Computer Scientist/Software Engineers 
  • Security Engineers
  • Data Scientists/Machine Learning Engineers 
  • DevOps Engineers
  • Full Stack Engineers 
  • Reverse Engineers 
  • Front End Software Engineers 
  • Site Reliability Engineers (SREs) 
  • Product Managers 
  • Network Engineers 
  • Hardware Engineers (EE/Mechanical/RF/Wireless) 
  • Software Designers 
  • Field Operations Specialists (Clandestine Capable) 
  • Software Development Engineers 

What do Army Cyber Officers do? 

Army Cyber officers collaborate to develop innovative solutions to the world's most complex security challenges and help the Army’s Cyber Mission Force teams accomplish their missions. Some of their many tasks include:

  • Assessing and communicating risks associated with complex large-scale cyberspace projects
  • Commanding and leading teams of Soldiers in defensive and offensive cyberspace operations
  • Developing technical solutions to identify and mitigate security vulnerabilities
  • Delivering designs and features for cutting-edge technologies
  • Developing tool suites, frameworks, and novel application techniques
  • Identifying, testing, and diagnosing performance issues and network components
  • Performing security assessments, technical assessments and design reviews
  • Developing and creating high-performance software, systems, and services

What are the requirements and training for the Cyber Direct Commissioning Program?
There six basic requirements and two training courses for direct commission into the Army Cyber Branch. Applicants must:

  • Be United States citizens
  • Be younger than 41 years of age
  • Be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance
  • Have at least a four-year college degree
  • Complete an Army physical and meet fitness standards for Army service
  • Complete an application to become an Army officer
  • Complete the Army’s six-week Direct Commissioning Course
  • Complete the Army's twelve-week Cyber Officer Basic Leadership Course

How long do officers commissioned under the program serve in the Army?

Officers must complete a total of eight years of service with at least three years on active duty, followed by service in the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard.

How do I apply for the program or get more information?

More information on the program application process and links to the application form can be found at https://www.goarmy.com/army-cyber/cyber-direct-commissioning-program.html. Once an application is received, the applicant will be contacted for an interview and assistance with completing the application process.