NGAUS Applauds Legislation to Create National Guard Cyber Teams

WASHINGTON (April 18, 2013) — Five members of the U.S. House of Representatives today introduced The Cyber Warrior Act, a companion bill to the Senate version of the legislation, S. 658, which was introduced last month.

The National Guard Association of the United States follows this action with the statement below by retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr., the NGAUS president, commending Congress for taking this step to leverage the Guard’s unique capabilities in cyber operations:  

“The U.S. military and many state and local governments are outmanned and outgunned when it comes to defending their critical computer networks from the already real and growing threat of debilitating cyber attacks.

“And this disparity is difficult to close due to the challenge government at all levels faces in attracting and keeping top cyber expertise. 

“Creating small National Guard cyber teams in every state, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia to assist with both local and national cyber emergencies would go a long way to narrowing this gap.

“The teams would rely primarily on part-time soldiers and airmen who already work as cyber experts in the private sector. This would enable the U.S. military to tap at minimal cost highly specialized know-how that we cannot pay enough to retain in our ranks full time.

“We applaud both the House and Senate for this ingenious, yet common-sense and cost-effective approach to bolster our cyber defenses.”

The five co-sponsors are Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., William Enyart, D-Ill., Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., and Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, D-Pa.

Enyart and Palazzo are members of the House Armed Services Committee.

Reporters, Editors & Producers: Retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr. is available for interviews or to appear as a subject matter expert on defense issues related to the National Guard. Contact John Goheen at 202-408-5882 to schedule an interview or appearance.

About NGAUS: The association includes nearly 45,000 current or former Guard officers. It was created in 1878 to provide unified National Guard representation in Washington. In their first productive meeting after Reconstruction, militia officers from the North and South formed the association with the goal of obtaining better equipment and training by petitioning Congress for more resources. Today, 135 years later, NGAUS has the same mission.