In brief: The United States Marine Corps is looking for volunteers to staff its new Cyber Auxiliary. Applicants will not have to wear a uniform, get a buzzcut, or go to bootcamp. They will have to be highly skilled in the use of computers including how to penetrate systems.
Back in April, the Marine Corps announced it would be creating a new computer task force. The cyber security unit would be made up of volunteer civilians and veterans and would not be subject to strict USMC decorum.
“If anybody wants to join, you can sign up. You can have purple hair, too, but no EGA,” Commandant General Robert Neller told Military referring to Marines’ famous eagle, globe and anchor insignia.
This week the USMC announces that the Cyber Auxiliary (Cyber Aux) has been established and is recruiting. The unit consists of experts from the private sector who will “train, educate, advise, and mentor Marines” on cybersecurity and other computer-related matters. The group will assist in simulations and with training, but will not participate in “hands-on” activities. In other words, they will not take part in actual USMC cyber missions.
"Today, we face the modern version of hidden attackers, who seek to undermine our security and economy; now they just use malware instead of torpedoes."
“The Cyber Aux is part of the larger Marine Corps effort to better posture forces to conduct Operations in the Information Environment,” said the USMC's press release.
The new task force is headed up by the Deputy Commandant for Information, Lt. Gen. Lori E. Reynolds.
Volunteers must be US citizens and need to have advanced experience in information systems. Qualifying individuals will be assigned to units or projects that complement their particular skills. No further information such as specific experience they are looking for was released.
Although, judging by General Neller’s purple hair comment, black or white hat hacking experience is welcome as long as they can qualify for a security clearance. So a clean record is undoubtedly required.
Even though it is a volunteer position, that does not necessarily mean there will be no compensation. However, no further information was available in that regard. The USMC will have further announcements as the program develops.