FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. -- Fort George G. Meade, Md. -- The Marine Corps is seeking qualified applicants for the Joint Cyber Development Program (JCDP) Class of 2021 via MARADMIN 439/17.
JCDP is a subprogram of the National Security Agency’s and U.S. Cyber Command’s Joint Computer Network Operations Development Program, the nation’s premier cyber program. The program consists of a three year internship and is designed for highly technically inclined individuals, regardless of current MOS, to further develop their skills in the areas of system design, vulnerability analysis, computer network defense, and computer network operations.
Upon completion of the three year internship, Marines will incur a three year service obligation in an assignment that benefit’s the Marine’s career progression and takes advantage of the unique skills and knowledge gained for the benefit of the Marine Corps. These specifically trained Marines will contribute to and lead future Marine Corps efforts in cyberspace operations, serving both the needs of the MAGTF and the Cyber Mission force.
This year’s JCDP class includes the program’s first Marine Corps attendees, whose identities cannot be released due to the sensitive nature of the program.
Here is what they have to say about the Joint Cyber Development Program:
Q: What made you want to apply to the Joint Cyber Development Program?
A: Until the JCDP, there was no way to stay technical and develop cyber capabilities full-time within the Marine Corps. JCDP gives us three years to become subject matter experts in an area of technology, and the accompanying payback tour gives us the chance to use those skills to provide capability development in direct support of operational needs. This is an incredible opportunity and the Marine Corps needs to capitalize on development programs like this to ensure we have deep technical knowledge of how to employ cyber capabilities in support of Marines.
Q: How do you see what you learn from JCDP assisting you in the future within the Marine Corps?
A: Many of the best operational planners in the intelligence community and U.S. Cyber Command are former JCDP graduates. They enjoy this success because they understand at a deep level the capabilities they are either employing, or requesting for development. We need the same expertise within the Marine Corps. As Marines, we "know our stuff" when it comes to kinetic weapons systems, but struggle to understand the art-of-the-possible when it comes to cyber capabilities. JCDP graduates will be able to directly support the needs of Cyber Mission Force units underneath the Marine Corps Cyber Warfare Group with state-of-the-art capability development. Additionally, by sending Marines with MAGTF planning experience to JCDP, we can create technical experts that think in terms of future MAGTF operations and can pair real-world cyber capabilities to the needs of operational planners.
Q: What knowledge would you share with JCDP hopefuls?
A: JCDP is not about paper certifications or managing capability developers: you are the capability developer. This is also not a program to teach operations or analysis; it is solely focused on development. Realize that this is an extremely technical program that requires exploring technology to its lowest level. One should understand basic concepts of electronics and computer architecture, software development, how software and hardware can be vulnerable, and, in turn, how it can be exploited. Having at least an appreciation for reverse engineering of both software and hardware, if not a complete understanding, is a must. You should also be an innovative thinker; someone who thinks outside the box and challenges the status quo.
Q: Any last words of advice to interested Marines?
A: Don’t self-select yourself out of the application process because you are unsure if you’re a good fit. The selection board looks heavily into qualifications and conducts interviews to ensure you are the right fit.
The application deadline for the JCDP internship is Sept. 15, 2017.
For more detailed information about the application procedure, see Marine Corps Administration Message 439/17 at: http://www.marines.mil/News/Messages/Messages-Display/Article/1278436/call-for-applicants-for-the-joint-cyber-development-program-jcdp-class-of-2021/