The Few, The Proud... the Marine Corps Cyber Auxiliary
May / 13 / 2019
The Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert Neller, announced last month the establishment of the Marine Corps Cyber Auxiliary (Cyber Aux), a volunteer organization aimed at increasing Marine Corps cyberspace readiness. The Cyber Aux is comprised of a small cadre of highly-talented cyber experts who train, educate, advise, and mentor Marines to keep pace with constantly-evolving cyber challenges.
The Cyber Aux assists in simulated environments and during periods of instruction, but are not authorized to execute hands-on cyber activities. Qualified volunteers must be US citizens with advanced cyber experience and will be screened and assessed before assignment to a specified unit or project. Cyber Aux members do not wear a uniform nor need to meet the Marine Corps physical fitness and grooming standards.
The Cyber Aux is part of the larger Marine Corps effort to better posture forces to conduct Operations in the Information Environment and is managed by the Deputy Commandant for Information, Lt. Gen. Lori E. Reynolds.
This is all the information currently available for release at this time. In the near future there will be opportunities for media to engage with Marine Corps leadership to learn more about plans for the Marine Corps Cyber Auxiliary. If you are interested in participating, please email [email protected].
Highly qualified talent should email [email protected] for more information or to begin volunteering with the Marines."
There have been plenty of discussions / proposals on things like this in the past (even the active formation of a "Cyber Reserve" in the UK). I've been a member of the Air Force Auxiliary for the past 14 years, as well as the Coast Guard Auxiliary for a few years, and it wasn't until just recently that one of them (Coast Guard Auxiliary) started doing something like this. It just seems odd to see the Marines jumping on this bandwagon!
I sent them an e-mail to see what's up and got a response back the same day requesting my resume and forwarding some basic FAQs (below). As someone who has wanted to join the military in some capacity since childhood but never could due to medical reasons, this looks pretty cool. You don't go through any initial entry training, nor are you considered a Marine, but it sounds as if they'll work closely. From my understanding, it sounds like they will be security awareness advisers/advocates in some fashion.
What is the Marine Corps Cyber Auxiliary (Cyber Aux)?
The Marine Corps Cyber Auxiliary is a small volunteer cadre of highly-talented, diverse cyber experts who share their knowledge and expertise to assist Marines in responding to constantly-evolving cyber challenges.
What duties will an Auxiliarist perform?
Auxiliarists fulfill training, educating, advising, and mentoring roles alongside Marines in simulated environments and during periods of instruction, but are not authorized to execute hands-on cyber activities. Volunteer opportunities may be available at specific Marine Corps units based on a unit's particular need, but at no time will an Auxiliarist be required
to perform a specific service.
Will an Auxiliarist be required to travel? If so, will travel costs be paid?
Auxiliarists may be asked to support a specific unit based on that unit's particular need. If travel is required, all travel costs including transportation, hotel, meals, and incidentals, are paid by the Marine Corps.
How much time is required of an Auxiliarist?
The Cyber Aux is an all-volunteer program so individual support is based on an Auxiliarist's availability and willingness to support. Duration of projects will vary based on a particular need and the type of support requested.
Is a security clearance required?
Auxiliarists are not required to possess a security clearance; however, an appropriate-level interview may be required for specific projects. Security information specific to a volunteer's expertise will be discussed during the screening process.
How long is the screening and assessment process?
The screening and assessment process takes approximately 2-4 weeks to complete. Emails will be sent periodically to keep applicants informed.