Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., currently commanding the U.S. Army’s Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Ga., has been tapped as the new chief of staff of U.S. Cyber Command, according to a Defense Department announcement.
In his role at the center, Morrison oversaw the development of a new cyberwar doctrine for the U.S. Army — the largest of the military services. “A commander who loses the ability to access mission command systems, or whose operational data is compromised, risks the loss of lives and critical resources, or mission failure,” writes Morrison in the forward to FM 3-12, the Army’s new manual for cyberspace electromagnetic activities, or CEMA.
Published in April 2007, the manual stresses the integration of cyber warfare, electronic warfare and information operations like propaganda alongside conventional or kinetic warfighting capabilities across the Army enterprise.
“CEMA synchronizes capabilities across domains and warfighting functions and maximizes complementary effects in and through cyberspace and the [electromagnetic spectrum, or] EMS. Intelligence, signal, information operations (IO), cyberspace, space, and fires operations are critical to planning, synchronizing, and executing cyberspace and electronic warfare operations,” states the manual.
Morrison’s backers are drawing parallels with the promotion of Gen. David Petraeus to U.S Centcom commander — in charge of the war in Iraq — after he authored the Army’s counter-insurgency manual.
“He wrote the doctrine, now he’ll have the chance to execute it.” said one observer.
Morrison has commanded the Cyber Center of Excellence since August 2016. Prior to that he was the commanding general for the U.S. Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., 2014-2016.
He had previously served as the executive officer of the Army CIO from 2009-2010, and as LandWarNet mission command director from 2010 to 2012. He was the commanding general for the 7th Signal Command (Theater), at Fort Gordon, from 2012-2014.
Morrison is an Army lifer, having been commissioned out of ROTC at James Madison University in Virginia where he graduated in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He also holds a master’s science degree in Telecommunications Management from Webster University and a Master of Strategic Resourcing from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Morrison’s appointment to Cyber Command does not require Senate confirmation, since he does not get an additional star, and was first reported by Fifth Domain.