What matters in NDAA 2019: pay, career, cyber and China

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What matters in NDAA 2019: pay, career, cyber and China

[cap­tion id=”” align=“aligncenter” width=“300”] The Pen­ta­gon, also (lov­ingly) referred to as the five-​sided puz­zle palace.[/caption]

The 2019 National Defense Autho­riza­tion Act (NDAA) passed this week. You can be for­given if you missed the announce­ment, because it cer­tainly didn’t make head­lines. I didn’t find out until I checked my email and received my auto­mated Defense News. I’ll go out on a limb and say that because it passed in a nor­mal fash­ion, it was com­pletely over­come by the 247 Russia-​Trump news feed.

Look­ing at details, there is a lot to pay atten­tion to. Here are some high­lights, explained in non-​defense speak:

- We bought more ships, air­craft, and weapons in gen­eral. Yup, no sur­prise there, we need more equip­ment and Con­gress needs to cre­ate jobs in their districts.

[cap­tion id=”” align=“aligncenter” width=“800”] I guess my RIM­PAC coin with the PRC flag is a col­lec­tors item now…[/caption]

  • The bill made sig­nif­i­cant changes to cyber author­i­ties.

  • All these changes are pretty good. Over the next cou­ple of months, it will be inter­est­ing to see how the Navy and the other ser­vices deal with these changes. For exam­ple, the Navy has an arti­fi­cial dis­tinc­tion between Line Offi­cers and Spe­cial Duty offi­cers in cyber war­fare, which has caused prob­lems when cyber oper­a­tions start involv­ing kinetic con­se­quences. DoD doesn’t care…to them, an offi­cer has Title 10 author­ity period unless they are med­ical staff corps.

    In the same way, Navy cyber has been hard over on hir­ing young peo­ple as offi­cers and has not used things like cyber war­rant offi­cers and access­ing mid­dle aged cyber pro­fes­sion­als. This could change in the future if the Army and Air Force use these expanded author­i­ties and bet­ter com­pete for the pool of good cyber candidates.

    In the near term, expect to maybe hear some news about these changes. In the long term, watch what each ser­vice does (and doesn’t) do to use their new authorities.


    This post rep­re­sents the views of the author and not those of the Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of the Navy, or any other gov­ern­ment agency. It’s not aimed at any par­tic­u­lar per­son. I’ve known plenty of peo­ple that “find them­selves,” most often alone and in worse shape when they are done.

    Did you donate to Da Tech Guy?

    Or buy his book? Hail Mary the Per­fect Protes­tant (and Catholic) Prayer

    Because if not…what are you wait­ing for?

    The Pentagon, also (lovingly) referred to as the five-sided puzzle palace.

    The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed this week. You can be forgiven if you missed the announcement, because it certainly didn’t make headlines. I didn’t find out until I checked my email and received my automated Defense News. I’ll go out on a limb and say that because it passed in a normal fashion, it was completely overcome by the 24/7 Russia-Trump news feed.

    Looking at details, there is a lot to pay attention to. Here are some highlights, explained in non-defense speak:

    – We bought more ships, aircraft, and weapons in general. Yup, no surprise there, we need more equipment and Congress needs to create jobs in their districts.

    I guess my RIMPAC coin with the PRC flag is a collectors item now…
  • The bill made significant changes to cyber authorities.

  • All these changes are pretty good. Over the next couple of months, it will be interesting to see how the Navy and the other services deal with these changes. For example, the Navy has an artificial distinction between Line Officers and Special Duty officers in cyber warfare, which has caused problems when cyber operations start involving kinetic consequences. DoD doesn’t care…to them, an officer has Title 10 authority period unless they are medical staff corps.

    In the same way, Navy cyber has been hard over on hiring young people as officers and has not used things like cyber warrant officers and accessing middle aged cyber professionals. This could change in the future if the Army and Air Force use these expanded authorities and better compete for the pool of good cyber candidates.

    In the near term, expect to maybe hear some news about these changes. In the long term, watch what each service does (and doesn’t) do to use their new authorities.


    This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. It’s not aimed at any particular person. I’ve known plenty of people that “find themselves,” most often alone and in worse shape when they are done.

    Did you donate to Da Tech Guy?

    Or buy his book? Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer

    Because if not…what are you waiting for?