In May 2022, the U.S. Space Force held a Cyber Constructive Service (CCS) Credit Board, in which the service called for applications from civilian cyber professionals to become cyber officers in the Space Force.
Casting a wide net, approximately 1,000 people attended a virtual conference, with more than 400 applying. The board further narrowed the field and 10 cyber professionals accepted a commission as a cyber officer.
“Every cyber Guardian in the Space Force transferred from another service,” said Col. John Smail, senior cyber officer and a member of the CCS board. “Most came from the Air Force, then Army, Navy and Marine Corps. However, the process to transfer was based on volunteers, so we were left with a few gaps.
“The constructive service credit program provided another opportunity for us to find specific expertise and leadership experience in officer grades.”
Smail explained that not only was the board able to find candidates that were needed to meet force requirements, but they also saw candidates with experience that is rarely found in the military.
Through normal commissioning, someone with a Bachelor’s degree or higher can apply to serve in the Air Force or Space Force. Any newly-commissioned cyber officer will then start as a second lieutenant, promoting through the ranks as normal. However, these civilian cyber professionals brought unique skills and experiences, and were offered commissions to first lieutenant, captain, major and lieutenant colonel.
Six qualified candidates are authorized to attend officer training school this year. If more than six are qualified, their training authorization will transfer to Fiscal Year 2023.
“This program allows us to make the perfect match with those that have the education, training and experience the U.S. Space Force needs,” said Smail.