Army-trained Cyberwarfare Soldier Q's

ArmyCyberArmyCyber Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□

Not sure where to post this, but I wanted to dip my foot into the magical waters of IT that I have recently been baptized into.

I am hopeful that there are some IT/Cyber folks on these forums (maybe with military background) who might be able steer me in the right direction.

My background, young enlisted male with an Int. Affairs B.A. and trained to be a (35P) Cryptologic Linguist. Finished my training (2 years worth) and learned that I would be working at NSA (typical for my job) in a non-typical assignment (Cyberwarfare). I am being cross-trained in (35Q) Cyberwarfare specialist skills which is what has brought me into the world of Cyber/IT.

I have TS clearance with polygraph, and slotted to take CompTIA A+, Net+, Sec+, CEH. My job code is not officially IT but many of my duties working on my mission here for the next few years in my contract will be Cyber-centric. When I get out in a couple years, I want to work in Cybersecurity (Penetration tester, maybe? with CEH cert) - will that be possible if my Army job title was Cryptologic Linguist? Are there good opportunities in this field? Will the aforementioned skills/certs and 3 year's experience at NSA be enough to get a high-paying (6 figure) job when I get out, or would you recommend I stay in the Army longer to get more experience under my belt?

I am sorry if many of these questions seem stupid, I am brand new to the IT world (I love building computers and can set up my own network, but that is pretty much the extent of my knowledge at this point). Very excited to be working in this field, and thanks for the many resources provided on this site that I am sure will be invaluable as I begin my career in the IT world and start taking classes/certifications.


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    networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    It's not going to matter what the name of your MOS is when you get out.

    You could possibly get a six figure job with that experience. Not extremely likely with only three years experience, but possible. Your best chances would probably be some government contract. I much prefer the private sector personally though.

    I wouldn't think you'd need to stay in another term if you wanted to get out. You should be able to land a decent gig if you actually take your time serious and learn. I know people that were the same MOS as myself, same amount of time in an couldn't get a $10 an hour job if their life depended on it.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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    McNinjaMcNinja Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Honestly, your cyberwarfare skills will be what makes you the majority of the money when you get out. Being able to speak another language will only add to that (and speaking more than one language is never a bad thing).
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    ArmyCyberArmyCyber Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for the input and advice so far. If someone told me two years ago when I enlisted that I would be end up in the perfect position to launch into a Cyber/IT career with experience working in Cyber realm at NSA, I would've called them crazy. I am enjoying my IT classes so far and can definitely see myself making it my career. Does anyone know if private companies (i.e. Google, BMW, etc.) look at TS/SCI as favorable/desirable or is that only a desired trait for government/contractor employers?
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    the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    With the clearance alone you'd have no issue getting a contracting job for the government after your tour. Private companies probably won't care too much about the clearance, but it at the very least lets them know you can hold a position of trust. I wouldn't worry, once you complete this enlistment you could basically write your ticket to anywhere.
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    CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Your clearance will only help you in government jobs and gov associated jobs for the most part. But I would refrain from adding that you have SCI on a public forum. TS is a better practice no no, but SCI is getting close to being an actual problem.

    Three years with a CEH is not much, but it all depends on how in depth you get at NSA. I would push to be placed in a position that would require CISSP to get that under your belt before your departure.

    One thing that you will learn being part of departments like the NSA and others that keep secrets is that they do not take to kindly to employees publically describing what line of work they are in, their clearances and what the agencies are doing. Although I dont see it in this post, it is possible for "people" to piece things together and infer things if you know what I mean.

    Good luck in your career, learn as much as you can and you will end up sittin good.

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    ArmyCyberArmyCyber Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks the_Grinch!

    Cyberscum, I will take that advice to heart, I will definitely refrain from that practice. I came across this as common practice on Linkedin but in retrospect it probably makes more sense to just keep a lid on that since it isn't necessary, TS being pretty all-encompassing. I will keep my eyes and ears open for opportunities to get somewhere within the organization where I can get trained for CISSP. I have seen that keyword pop up a lot when reading these boards, so I am sure it is smart to get. Thanks!
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    zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    As others in the thread have stated, you are in a perfect position to make a nice transition into the government contracting or even private sector when you are done, especially if you get to work in a technical role and really learn a lot over the course of your enlistment. I would definitely try to learn all you can and study in your own time as well. Good luck!
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    BGravesBGraves Member Posts: 339
    Cool stuff and best of luck, a lot of us are prior military and you really can get a lot out of your time if you invest it wisely!

    Just wanted to mention, getting a CEH doesn't equal being a good penetration tester.
    That's a tool based exam and you'll learn stuff but it's not going to position you for actually knowing real world useful stuff.
    Maybe look at a backtrack/Kali + OSCP on your own time if you're dedicated to penetration testing.
    Linux/Unix and software programming skills are always good. (Python and etc)

    CISSP is good but requires a certain amount of years exp to obtain the full thing. I'd put that on a back burner for a few years and knock out some certs you can obtain, all the CompTia ones you listed, maybe a better networking cert, CCNA R/S or something and maybe a Linux+/MCSA depending on your idea of fun. Gives you a broader understanding of how things work and interrelate.

    Overall, sounds like a great opportunity, hope you enjoy it!
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    CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    ArmyCyber wrote: »
    Thanks the_Grinch!

    I came across this as common practice on Linkedin...

    I will keep my eyes and ears open for opportunities to get somewhere within the organization where I can get trained for CISSP. I have seen that keyword pop up a lot when reading these boards, so I am sure it is smart to get. Thanks!

    I understand, but realize that even if you are not putting the organization you work for at risk...you could potentially be painting a target on your own back. The field and org you are entering means very serious business. I think you get the point so that is good.

    You will be exposed to some very cool things and very cool technologies, that you will not get to experience in the civilian world so you might not want to leave after 4 years.

    As far as the CISSP, I am not saying you cant find work without it but it sure makes it alot easier.

    Again, good luck. If you have any questions PM me.
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    ArabianKnightArabianKnight Member Posts: 278 ■■■□□□□□□□
    As a 35N now in the National Guard I can only dream of going to the "Q" course(35Q), only offered to active duty. 35N is great but most of the cyber stuff broke out to its own MOS. I would highly suggest re-enlisting for 35Q if you get a chance because employers will practically be waiting outside the gate with a suitcase full of money and an offer letter when you get out!!! Your skillset and experience will pay off now as a 35P, by the way, what language did you get? Working there now will open up many training opportunities and networking contacts, there are plenty of contractors now I am sure you see all the time, talk to them and set yourself up.
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