Stop. Think. Connect. – DoD Roundtable with the Center for Cyberspace Research

Stop. Think. Connect.

October is National CyberSecurity Awareness Month as declared by the President and those three words are the theme for cyber awareness throughout the nation. With the focus on cyber security the subject drew me to this DoD Roundtable with the warriors at the Center for Cyberspace Research. The US military has recognized the need for a Cyber Command and for education and research! The folks at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) are leading much of this effort through education efforts such as Cyberspace 200 and Cyberspace 300 courses where officers, senior civilians and senior NCOs with experience in the cyber world receive continuing education in their career field. Here is a quick 1 minute video from Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III on the importance of cyber defense.

Brigadier General Walter Givhan, Commandant of AFIT, brought a great group of experts and students from the first graduating class of Cyber 200 and 300 to the Roundtable. These courses “show students how to design and acquire cyberspace systems and explores cyber asset capabilities, limitations, and vulnerabilities and associated application and employment in Joint military operations.” The courses are two weeks and three weeks long, respectively, and address tactical and operational issues for this new mission. The general said that education and research are “key” for new technology and educating the cyber pros was critical to protecting our resources. There will be 600 graduates of these courses in the next year. He praised the efforts of the professionals of Center for developing the educational capabilities.

The courses end with an exercise which places the students in a mission with all the pieces and challenges of a real world effort such as the attacks on Estonia and Georgia’s cyber worlds in the recent past! While not trained on specific weapons, the students receive education on strategic doctrine, law, international law, mechanics, technological planning and more. They discuss what would be a “Cyber Pearl Harbor” and subjects such as cyber war versus cyber crime. He said the “Cyber Pearl Harbor” would not be as easy to determine as a land, sea or air attack.

One question posed about the Air Force response to social media such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter brought a great response. The general and staff said the Air Force was embracing social media as a positive that creates collaboration and enhances capability. While Airmen (and their families I might add) must be educated (ie. Stop. Think. Connect.)on the use of social media, they are great tools for staying connected and informed. We use twitter and Facebook accounts on to keep our military readers informed as well. You can find us at and We are glad to see the military community has “bought in” to their use instead of blocking valuable resources. By the way, the general said we should be teaching our children cybersecurity issues no later than the 5th grade!

A big thank you to General Givhan, his staff and students for taking the time to do this Roundtable. If you would like to read a transcript or listen to the audio file of this Roundtable please go to DoDLive. If you would like to see additional information on Cybersecurity please go the MilitaryAvenue Reading Room!

A big congratulations to the first students of Cyberspace 200 and 300 who are graduating this evening! Thank you for your continued service and protection of our ability to communicate, conduct business, control resources and much more through cyberspace.

Photo Credit: Brig. Gen. Walter D. Givhan, commandant, Air Force Institute of Technology. Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force.

Video Credit: The Pentagon Channel with Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn IIIbyColonel KonWednesday, October 27, 2010Military Life:,,

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