This excellent report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. The National Guard has played a vital role in the defense of this nation's threats since the country's inception. Over 200 years ago, the militia helped George Washington strike a blow against the British after they forced him from New York and pursued the Continental Army across New Jersey. Today the nation faces the new challenge of how to best defend itself against cyber attacks. Just as the militia, forbearers to the National Guard, enabled George Washington's attack against Trenton, the National Guard stands ready today to work with Department of Defense (DoD) to counter the growing cyber threat. Given the challenges facing the United States to develop a comprehensive cyber strategy, the question is why and how should DoD integrate the National Guard into the national cyber forces. DoD should integrate the National Guard into the national cyber forces because of the cyber threats and the need for assistance at the state level. In addition, existing Guard cyber capabilities, Presidential, Congressional, and Department of Homeland Security mandates to protect critical infrastructure, and US Army doctrine points to full integration as the best path to seize, retain, and exploit the initiative to gain and maintain a position of relative advantage.
A home or business computer user does not buy a computer and connect to the internet without taking precautions. Most users understand the threats and design a layered defense to protect their computer and information. This defense could include installing anti-virus software and setting passwords for the computer, router, and modem. Users also practice good security by not downloading files from unknown sources or clicking on hyperlinks included in spam email. Doing only one of these things would leave the computer vulnerable, but all together they create a strong defense against unauthorized use or viruses. In a similar manner, DoD needs to take a multi-layered approach when confronting threats in the cyber domain. The National Guard is one of those critical resources.
Cyber Soldiers within the National Guard have attended the required schools as their active duty counterparts, have participated in many of the same exercises, and have developed innovative capabilities to assist states in their response to growing cyber threats. Even though the National Guard currently fulfills a limited role in the current cyber mission force construct, Guard leadership has developed robust cyber capabilities from its Army and Air National Guard cyber Soldiers and Airmen. Many leaders such as Major General William Reddel, New Hampshire Adjutant General, saw the threat, realized the Guard could help when an attacks occurs, and began lobbying for a more defined role for Guard cyber forces. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, also recognized the Guard's unique capabilities that give it the ability to serve through its dual status authorities, both Title 10 and Title 32, to work with DoD, but also with community partners in the state to help secure cyber networks.
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