Cyber Warrior: The Role of the National Guard

  • Lieutenant Colonel Gary A. Ropers

The National Guard has a long history of providing assistance to state and local communities in the wake of a hurricane, tornado, floods, forest fires or other natural disaster strikes. It is now time for the National Guard to build the next type of unit or section to help respond to the next potential man-made disaster, that being a cyber attack. The Department of Defense, the Active Army and Army National Guard should embrace the creation of Cyber Protection Teams in the National Guard. The National Guard has a strong relationship with civilian agencies, and these citizen-soldiers can play and increasing role in the cyber domain by leveraging National Guard personnel who already possess many of the core technological skills as a result of their civilian occupations. The cyber defense mission requirements performed at a home station can be expanded to provide DOD and the Governors with a synergistic capability.