Whenever the Army creates a new Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), they have to fill it with bodies initially that aren’t actually the MOS. Years ago when the JNN was first created, it was manned and operated by 25F while they were creating, and training the new 25Ns. For several years, 25F could fill this new MOS while the Signal Corps worked to build up the new MOS. More recently as the 170A was stood up, it was very common to see Signal and MI warrants filling these roles until the cyber corps had really had a chance to build up.
In late 2013 the Army graduated its first class of the new 25D MOS. The 25D Cyber Network Defender was designed to be the counter part to the older 255S Cyber Defense Technician that was created a few years earlier. In both cases, many saw this as the Signal Corps trying to get their part of the new cyber domain. And in both cases, the new implementation was rocky at best. Commanders have had a hard time defining what these new Signal/Cyber Soldiers are supposed to be doing. For the 255S, they often simply became the IA guy, while the 25D was often seen as another 25B (especially considering many of these folks came from the 25B MOS). Shortly after it’s creation, the MTOEs for the tactical units were modified to put the 25D in the COMSEC vault. I’ve been told that someone saw COMSEC as an important part of defending the network. While I agree it is, I don’t think this is exactly what they had in mind when they created the MOS.
At so it once again began, a highly trained Solider that the Army just trained at significant time and expense, completely being underutilized. 25Ds were completing lots of pretty good training (so I’ve been told anyway) and then go to their first unit only to run a COMSEC account. But soon this will no longer be the case. Based on an email I received today it looks like the Army will correct it’s mistake here soon and once again put the 25Bs back into the vault and allow 25D to protect the networks as they should. While this still isn’t a great solution (I don’t consider COMSEC to be the job of an Information Technology Specialist either, but someone has to do it), it allows the 25D to finally do what they were supposed to. There are significantly more 25Bs in the unit compared to 25D and they are in a much better position to take up this task.