Constructive Service Credit reels in top cyber talent to Air Force Reserve, Opportunities Open for Direct Commissions as Cyberspace Officers Published Nov. 17, 2023 By 960th Cyberspace Wing Public Affairs 960th Cyberspace Wing JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- The U.S. Air Force is maintaining its commitment to accelerating change for today’s fight. The cyber workforce is rapidly evolving by revolutionizing recruitment and commissioning processes by expanding eligibility criteria within constructive service credit (CSC). This initiative offers an exceptional opportunity for qualified United States citizens and current Citizen Airmen to achieve officer rank and pay reflective of the industry talent, experience, and leadership they bring to the Reserve. “The Air Force and Space Force are incredibly capable, but we need to re-optimize the department for greater power projection and great power competition,” said SecAF Frank Kendall in his keynote address during the 2023 Air Force Association’s (AFA) Air, Space & Cyber Conference. Kendall provided his insight on the Air Force’s position and progress across initiatives in meeting the pacing challenge. “It is your initiative, professionalism and dedication that gives us our enduring competitive advantage,” said Kendall, remarking on the capabilities of Airmen and Guardians. The Department of the Air Force has followed these lines of effort closely to ensure cultivation of an agile, flexible, and responsive cyber workforce through initiatives including the Cyber Direct Commissioning and Constructive Service Credit Program (DC/CSC). The updates under the Cyber Direct Commissioning authority have granted applicants expanded eligibility criteria utilizing constructive service credit with respect to advanced academic degrees, professional work experience, certifications, and proven leadership abilities. Prior to these changes, CSC had only been available for medical, chaplain and judge advocate (JAG) corps. Applicants who qualify may fill the ranks of lieutenant to major. Appointments to the grades of lieutenant colonel or colonel may be considered to meet current missions needs. Members that commission under Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) in the cyber career field will be assigned to key Individual Mobilization Augmentation positions, critical cyber roles in communication squadrons and the 960th Cyberspace Wing, AFRC’s first and only cyberspace wing, consisting of 16 direct reporting units and 1,300 personnel. The missions of these units include defensive cyber-operations (DCO), support to offensive cyber operations teams, combat communications, network operations, Initial Qualifications Training for cyber professionals across seven cyber weapons. During the 2022 AFA conference, Lt. Gen. John Healy, Chief of the Air Force Reserve and commander of the Air Force Reserve Command, outlined his two strategic priorities – Ready Now and Transforming for the Future – to highlight the importance of a strong Total Force able to effectively posture its lethality and agility. Healy added that Citizen Airmen would be better able to meet the challenges facing the Total Force by having the right people in the right spaces. Under the new authority, development is supported and lengthy pipelines reduced by providing commissioning paths to potential cyber talent to get them in the right space. Under this initiative, SSgt Tiffany Tremont, 854th Combat Operations Squadron, was among the most recent cyber Citizen Airmen whose exceptional skills and experience earned her a direct commission to the rank of major into the 42d Cyber Operations Squadron as Cyber Protection Team member directly supporting United States Cyber Command. Tremont’s professional experience began when she joined the National Security Agency (NSA) and enlisted in the Air Force at age 17 building foundational Airman skills across several assignments. Since that time, Tremont has worked between several federal agencies alongside her military employment in Cyber and IT, earned a Doctorate of Science in Cybersecurity, and established her own major cybersecurity firm as president and CEO. She has been awarded multiple industry and community-level awards for her volunteerism, leadership, and entrepreneurial achievements. Although the cyber workforce is largely male-dominated, Tremont attributes her company’s success to her military and professional experiences in diverse assignments and environments. “My decision to join the Air Force was not only fueled by a sense of duty towards my country but also an unwavering desire for personal growth and a strong yearning to make a lasting, positive impact on the world,” said Tremont. “I am grateful and excited for the opportunity to commission as a Citizen Airmen into the Air Force Reserve. This opportunity allows me to grow more confident in my ability to contribute meaningfully to the mission and to my fellow Airmen, all while continuously learning from their expertise and experiences. It is truly an honor to stand alongside the brave men and women who dedicate their lives to protect and serve our nation. As an Air Force officer, I am driven by the belief that I can bring significant value to the mission of the United States Air Force, playing my part in something greater than myself.” As a Citizen Airman, Tremont will remain assigned under the 960th Cyberspace Wing where she will exercise the full extent of her civilian talent while serving alongside cyber operators. The diversity offered by the Reserve workforce enhances mission readiness, greatly contributes to the technical skills of Multi-Capable Airmen, and leverages the independent innovation and problem-solving required to maintain the competitive advantage in cyberspace. Integration of exceptional cyber professionals allow for agile interoperability for the warfighter and combatant commanders. The nation will continue to see malicious cyber actors attempt to undermine the Department of Defense’s networks, business operations systems, critical infrastructure, and manipulate of the information environment. Developing a robust and integrated cyber capability, from cutting-edge technology to professional talent, is essential for cyber deterrence and national security. This initiative was designed to primarily target industry cyber professionals who want to serve their country but want to be paid and hold the rank commensurate with their education, training, and experience. By seeking out top cyber professionals, AFRC will continue to employ highly skilled leaders in critical roles to defend the nation and the digital landscape necessary to building the Air Force We Need.