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NEWS | Feb. 11, 2019

Army Cyber Institute welcomes Army Reserve Soldiers

By Capt. Lisa Beum Army Cyber Institute

The Army Cyber Institute (ACI) at West Point and the 335th Signal Command's Army Reserve Cyber Operations Group (ARCOG) joined forces the weekend of January 25-27. Determining that both units could benefit greatly from each other, the 335th SC(T) ARCOG agreed to have 10 members of the unit serve their duty with the ACI at West Point over the next couple of years.

"We established a strong foundation during our initial battle training assembly for the ARCOG ACI Research Team," Col. Michael D. Smith, 335th SC G39 chief, missioning and stationing, said. "It is an ideal partnership sharing the civilian acquired skill set and private sector expertise with the ACI on the tough research areas targeted by ACI."

The Army Cyber Institute conducts cutting edge cyber research to explore the challenges facing the Army within the cyber domain in the next five to 10 years. The institute's research initiatives include cyber resiliency for critical infrastructure, cyber autonomy, high frequency communication and more.

This partnership allows the ACI research teams to leverage the U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers' unique industry, government, private sector and academic expertise to expand the body of knowledge and support the advisement of senior military and government officials.

"The relationship we are having at ACI with reservists not only solidifies the relationship between active and reserves, but it also harnesses skill sets in reserves and even the National Guard," Chris Hartley, deputy director, ACI, said. "This relationship gives sustainable access to skill sets and helps foster public-private partnerships because these reservists come from different sectors across the nation."

"I'm really excited about our new reservists whose energy industry experience dovetails well with our Jack Voltaic research," Lt. Col. Erica Mitchell, strategy and policy division chief at ACI and project lead for Jack Voltaic, said.

Jack Voltaic is a bottom-up research approach to critical infrastructure resilience, and Mitchell will be heading the research initiative for Jack Voltaic 2020, with additional help from reservists.

Capt. Vikram Mittal, currently transitioning from National Guard to the 335th SC(T)'s ARCOG, heard about the opportunity to work at ACI through a friend. Mittal is a systems engineering professor at West Point in his civilian capacity and had worked with Lt. Col. Brett Lindberg, ACI researcher, on a class about a year ago and kept in touch since then. 

When Lindberg mentioned the opportunity to work at ACI in a reserve capacity, Mittal jumped at the opening.

"I'm really looking forward to doing cutting edge research and providing value back to the Army," Mittal said. "Being in the 335th SC(T)'s ARCOG and working with ACI will also improve my skills and ability to actually use those skills."

By the end of the first drill weekend, the Reserve Soldiers were heavily engaged with their particular ACI research initiatives based on their skills sets and strengths.

"Looking at the breadth and depth of the skillsets of these Soldiers, we hit a home run," Hartley said.