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Rounds Introduces Bill to Help Speed Defense Department Hiring of Cyber Security Professionals

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) introduced S. 2482, the Cyber Command Employment Personnel Training Act of 2016. This bill will improve the Department of Defense’s hiring practices for cyber security professionals by making certain specified categories of personnel are trained on new rules for hiring and pay flexibilities for civilian cyber security employees. These rules permit faster hiring and higher pay for these employees than is normally the case for the U.S. civil service. 

“Cyber-attacks are among the fastest-growing and increasingly damaging threats to our national security,” said Rounds. “Improving the training practices for hiring officials at the Department of Defense - who play a vital role in the hiring of civilian cyber security professionals - can help assure the U.S. military is working with the best talent possible. In turn, our military will be better equipped to deal with a cyber-attack on our nation. Additionally, it will enhance the Department of Defense’s ability to hire young, qualified cyber security professionals from schools such as Dakota State University in Madison, which is a national leader in cyber security.”

“The need for cybersecurity professionals continues to dramatically increase,” said Dakota State University President José-Marie Griffiths, Ph.D. “At Dakota State University, as one of the first leaders in higher education in this field, we continue to respond to the needs of both the public and private sectors.  We take very seriously our role in educating cybersecurity professionals for the U.S. Department of Defense, and welcome any opportunity to help fully staff U.S. Cyber Command.  Dakota State University supports this legislation that will help educate and train Department of Defense personnel to provide a more flexible and agile hiring process for cybersecurity candidates.”

Rounds’ bill would require training for department-level human resources staff that manage the civilian workforce, staff that write implementing guidance for hiring and pay flexibilities and supervisors and hiring managers that use, or would use, the flexibilities.