NEWS | April 18, 2014

Towards a Cyber Leader Course Modeled on Army Ranger School

By Col. Gregory Conti, Michael Weigand, Ed Skoudis, Lt. Col. David Raymond, Col. Thomas Cook, and Maj. Todd Arnold

Since 1950, the U.S. Army Ranger School has garnered a well-earned reputation as one of the most demanding military schools in the world.  Graduates have served with distinction in special operations units including the Ranger Regiment and Special Operations Command as well as line units throughout the Army.  With the emergence of cyberspace as an operational domain and the critical shortage of technically and operationally competent cyber[i] leaders, the time has come to create a U.S. Army Cyber Leader Course of equal intensity, reputation, and similar duration,[ii] but focused on cyber operations (see Figure 1). This article presents a model for the creation of such a school, one that goes far beyond just a tough classroom experience by using tactical close-access missions as a core component.  What we propose is unique, demanding, immersive, and fills a necessary gap in Army cyber leader development.  This article is a condensed form of a more detailed analysis and description of the proposed Army Cyber Leader Course.