U.S. Cyber Command’s Escalation to COCOM

Written By: An IntelliGenesis Cyber Specialist

During my 12-month tenure as Cyber-Lead, I’ve been tracking some major movements in the Cyber-arena. In celebration of October Cyber Month, the following are highlights of recent changes in the Cyber-battlefield having huge impacts on the future of Cyber rules of engagement (ROE) as we know it.

Calling your attention to an escalation of privileges at Cyber Command, instead of opening a command prompt, reverse shell, and dropping a hand-scripted .dll that’d cause defensive sensors to bristle with energy, this Cyber escalation is nothing that should cause your Cyber-senses to tingle. Let’s take a moment reviewing audit-logs to get up to speed on the latest Cyber News.

December 2016: President Obama reviews formal proposal for USCC becoming full Combatant Command (COCOM).

March 2017: Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) review feasibility assessment and make recommendations concerning dependencies to be addressed before USCC could logically achieve Full Combatant Command status. Recommendation provided to Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Jim Mattis for review.

May 2017: SECDEF reviews proposed plan of actions and provides President Trump with formal recommendation for Cyber Command’s elevation to COCOM.

August 2017: POTUS signed policy that paves the way for USCC to achieve Combatant Command status.

By elevating USCC from Sub-Unified Command to COCOM level, this elevation carries the expectation of appropriately separating the current dual-hat position of DIRNSA and Commander USCC held by Admiral Rogers. This Cyber escalation comes with a dedicated funding stream and a timeline that appears to be matching the pace of construction at USCC’s new state-of-the-art facility being built on Fort Meade at this time.

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