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March 22, 2017

Aguilar Cyberwarriors Pilot Program Takes Off

A critical cyberwarriors pilot program created by Rep. Aguilar is being implemented, the United States Army announced last month. Rep. Aguilar’s program was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, which passed the House of Representatives in May 2016 and was later signed into law. The pilot program expedites the process for individuals in the cybersecurity field to become officers in the United States Army and the United States Air Force. This program incentivizes students at institutions that specialize in cybersecurity training, like California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), to enter the armed forces and become cyberwarriors quickly and efficiently.

“Expanding our cybersecurity workforce is paramount to strengthening our national security,” said Rep. Aguilar. He continued, “As threats at home and abroad have become more sophisticated through rapidly evolving technology, it’s crucial that we have trained and ready recruits fighting to keep Americans safe. I’m glad that this program is moving forward and that it can empower local institutions like Cal State San Bernardino, which will allow us to invest in our growing Inland Empire talent.”

Patricia Frost, Director of the Headquarters Department of the Army, Cyber Directorate said, “The Direct Commissioning program has great utility for the Army to fill key niche Cyber Mission Force work roles.”

Rep. Aguilar’s amendment to create the pilot program was included in the 2017 NDAA. The NDAA is the annual defense policy bill that directs the United States’ defense programs for the year. The U.S. Army’s announcement was first reported by Fifth Domain and can be read here.

Investing in cybersecurity has always been a priority for Rep. Aguilar. Earlier this month, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 1301, which includes $5 million secured by Rep. Aguilar to restart critical cybersecurity scholarships affecting CSUSB students. It will now go before the U.S. Senate for consideration. Rep. Aguilar serves on the House Appropriations Committee and is a member of the Cybersecurity Caucus.