Marine cyber operators will soon have a new military occupational specialty and occupational field, the commander of Marine Forces Cyberspace Command said on Tuesday.
The moves are meant to allow MARFORCYBER to keep experienced cyber operators, Maj. Gen. Lori Reynolds told Marine Corps Times.
"Most of the Marines who come on mission, they want to stay on the mission," Reynolds said after speaking at the Navy League's annual Sea-Air-Space symposium. "They don't really want to go back to where they came from."
Traditionally, Marine cyber operators have primarily come from two occupational fields: signals intelligence and communications, Reynolds said. Once assigned to MARFORCYBER, the command trains those Marines, gives them security clearances and puts them on teams.
Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller has approved creating a new occupational field and new MOSs for enlisted cyber operators, warrant officers and officers, Reynolds said.
This way, MARFORCYBER can keep talented cyber operators who have conducted multiple operations during three or four years of experience instead of having those Marines return to their original MOS, Reynolds said.
"Those who come to cyber stay in cyber," Reynolds said. "You'd be an offensive cyber guy or a defensive cyber guy, but once you come, you stay."
The new occupational field and MOSs are slated to become a reality "as soon as possible," Reynolds said, but Marine Corps officials are still working out the details.
The changes are in line with how Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command retains its Marines, she said.
"What we've learned in MARSOC is once you get all that training into Marines, you want to reap that investment for the fullness of their career," Reynolds said.