Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

Preparing Military Cyber-Strategic Leaders

Newport, R.I. – The Army Cyber Institute at West Point recently published their inaugural print edition of The Cyber Defense Review (CDR) with contributions from Pell Center Senior Fellow for Cyber Leadership, Francesca Spidalieri. Spidalieri co-authored a chapter of the magazine entitled, “Transforming the Next Generation of Military leaders into Cyber-Strategic Leaders: The Role of Cybersecurity Education in US Service Academies.”

Her study addresses the role that US service academies play in developing not only specialized cyber forces, but especially a pipeline of qualified cyber strategic military leaders. As Spidalieri noted: “Today, no modern military can enter the battlespace without some reliance on cyberspace. In the future, every military leader will have to also be a cyber strategic leader.”

The article surveys current efforts by the US Coast Guard Academy, the US Air Force Academy, the US Military Academy, and the US Naval Academy to prepare all future officers for the challenges of operational- and strategic-level cyber threats. The survey Spidalieri carried out over the course of several months provides an overview of the level of exposure cadets and midshipman receive to cyber issues and to what extent they graduate with an adequate understanding of the cyber challenges facing their respective services. In addition, the article identifies some of the gaps in current curricula and offers preliminary recommendations to include a stronger cybersecurity component into existing programs at US service academies.

The full article, “Transforming the Next Generation of Military Leaders into Cyber-Strategic Leaders: The role of cybersecurity education in the US service academies,” can be downloaded here.

The Cyber Defense Review magazine can be downloaded here.

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