I read this article when it was published, but stumbled upon it again recently. I disagreed then, but didn't fully understand why until I had gained some more experience.
Working and talking with many people on both the now 17D/S sides I have found that part of the reason that no community flourished is that nobody tried. All the way back to my UCT days, I found a cynicism that both end felt "I don't need this training if I'm going to do [insert field here]". All the split did was create more of an us vs. them mentality when both are essential to developing and deploying cyber power.
The purpose of cyber training was to create well rounded officers with experience and knowledge across a broad spectrum of cyberspace so they may lead at all levels. And from those I know who've told me about their INWT experiences, it's no keyboard ninja factory.
A crossflow of knowledge and experience in both fields is necessary for effective 17Ds and 17Ss. The 17D block benefits to 17S officers is obvious (better understand networks and impacts on them), but the more 17S centric bloc imparts an understanding and appreciation of cyber threats posed to 17Ds and their network operations as well as concepts on how to protect against them, and a background in network operations.
Additionally, having a pool of 17D talent that is well versed in 17S (and vice versa) can only benefit the field and career progression. The new 17S field is tiny and competition for leadership positions will be fierce because of it. An example of where it can go badly is the old F-111 track. With only a couple squadrons and one wing it was either be the best or get out of the community if you wanted to advance. A community tied together allows 17S experts to cross into leadership positions in traditionally Comm roles. This also has the benefit of bringing their unique perspective into day to day Comm squadron operations. The same can be said for the opposite direction.
I don't see why we as cyber officers need to create a divide between each other, when together Air Force cyber is much stronger.
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