Army Cyber Operations Specialist - MOS 17C
Army

Army Cyber Operations Specialist (MOS 17C)

Cyber Operations Specialists (MOS 17C) are tasked with safeguarding Army intelligence and information.

They safeguard information by protecting digital data, maintaining security measures like firewalls, and introducing new cyber security.

Learn more about the role of an Army Cyber Operations Specialist (MOS 17C), including job duties, education, training, pay, and civilian job outlook.

Education, Qualifications, and Training

army 17c mos
Army Cyber Operations Specialist (MOS 17C) protect digital national interests. Image: Army.com

Army Cyber Operations Specialists conduct defensive operations in order to protect data and networks.

Some operations are also classified as offensive as 17C MOS may target and disrupt enemy network systems.

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Education

In order to become an Army Cyber Operations Specialist you must first meet the enlistment requirements of the U.S. Army.

Then, you need to take the Armed Serviced Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

The ASVAB is a series of tests that helps determine what Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) is for you.

In order to become MOS 17C you must complete a required ASVAB score of General Technical (GT): 110 and Skilled Technical (ST): 112.

Qualifications

Army Cyber Operations Specialists are experts with computers, data protection, and cyber security.

As a result, it helps to have an interest in the latest technology and network systems.

The Army also mentions that you need to have the ability to make quick decisions, multi-task, and perform well under pressure in order to succeed at MOS 17C.

It also helps to demonstrate self-discipline, confidence, and intelligence while performing job duties.

Training

All new recruits of the Army begin Basic Combat Training to learn the ropes of what it takes to exist in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Basic Combat Training, or boot camp, is 10 weeks.

Following the completion of BCT you will transition into Advanced Individual Training (AIT).

AIT is where you begin to learn the job duties of an Army Cyber Operations Specialist (MOS 17C).

AIT for MOS 17C is incredible extensive with the first stint at Corry Station, Florida (training lasts 25 weeks).

Then, you spend an additional 20 weeks training in Fort Gordon, Georgia.

What does an Army Cyber Operations Specialist Do?

army cyber security
Cyber Operations Specialists (MOS 17C) employ both offensive and defensive strategies. Image: Army.com

Army Cyber Operations Specialists employ a combination of offensive and defensive strategies for cyber warfare.

As more information and operations move to a digital environment the role of 17C MOS is becoming increasingly important.

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Safeguarding Army Intelligence

The U.S. Army depends on an Army Cyber Operations Specialist (MOS 17C) to protect its digital interests.

As a result, part of the job requires defensive operations where you protect data, networks, net-centric capabilities, and other designated systems.

In a defensive role you are responsible for detecting, identifying, and responding to attacks against friendly networks.

The Army states that specialists use “lethal and non-lethal actions that enable commanders to gain an advantage in cyberspace, across all domains.”

The goal is to evaluate network defense operations and respond accordingly.

Specialists also use defense tools such as firewalls and routers to protect national interests.

Offensive Strategies

Your job duties also include the need to “conduct integrated and synchronized offensive cyberspace operations by targeting enemy and hostile adversary activities and capabilities”, according to the Army.

You may perform surveillance or reconnaissance actions on specified systems and networks.

Army Cyber Operations Specialists respond to incidents in cyberspace and sometimes respond with their own offensive attacks.

A large part of working as 17C MOS requires the ability to think independently as you collect, analyze, and report digital data to superiors.

What does an Army Cyber Operations Specialist make?

cyber operations specialist
The job outlook is extremely bright for MOS 17C. Image: Army.com

Even though Army Cyber Operations Specialists work a very sophisticated and demanding job in the U.S. Military the pay is no different from any other MOS.

Consequently, the pay for Army Cyber Operations Specialists is dictated based on Army rank and years of service:

InsigniaPay GradeRankAbbreviationAvg. Monthly Pay
E-1PrivatePVT$1,681
E-2Private Second ClassPV2$1,884
army e 3 insignia - pfcE-3Private First ClassPFC$1,981
army e 4 insignia - specialistE-4SpecialistSPC$2,195
army e 4 insignia - corporalE-4CorporalCPL$2,195
E-5SergeantSGT$2,394
E-6Staff SergeantSSG$2,613
E-7Sergeant First ClassSFC$3,021
army e 8 insignia - master sergeantE-8Master SergeantMSG$4,345
E-8First Sergeant1SG$4,345
E-9Sergeant MajorSGM$5,308
E-9Command Sergeant MajorCSM$5,308
e 9 sergeant major of the army insigniaE-9Sergeant Major of the ArmySMA$5,308

Benefits

There are multiple benefits to joining the U.S. Army in addition to your monthly paycheck:

  • Medical Insurance
  • Vacation Time
  • Special Pay
  • Retirement
  • Education: Army members can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus annual stipend for living expenses.
  • Housing: Allowances for living expenses, utilities, and maintenance.
  • Food: Allowance for the on-base dining hall and access to tax-free department and grocery stores.

Job Reviews

The future for an Army Cyber Operations Specialist (MOS 17C) is exceptionally bright.

There are a ton of new job postings for cyber operations specialists across the nation.

Since the MOS is still relatively new within the U.S. Army there are very few job reviews specific to working as an Army Cyber Operations Specialist.

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Civilian Job Opportunities

An Army Cyber Operations Specialist (MOS 17C) has multiple opportunities to find a civilian career after leaving the military.

17C MOS have the option of continuing to work for the U.S. government in cyber security or join a global security company. 

The Department of Homeland Security, NSA, FBI, and CIA all have a need to fill positions related to cyber security.

Additionally, Lockheed Martin Corporation and Northrop Grumman Corporation are just two examples of major companies that frequently employ military specialists after leaving the Army.

You will receive several industry-leading certifications during training for MOS 17C.

These include CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and CISCO Certified Networking Associate (CCNA).

Summary

Becoming an Cyber Operations Specialist is an increasingly important role within the U.S. Army.

Furthermore, the civilian job outlook is extremely bright following your conclusion in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Resources:

  1. https://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/brohttps://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/browse-career-and-job-categories/computers-and-technology/cyber-operations-specialist.html
  2. https://www.indeed.com/q-Cyberspace-Operations-Specialist-jobs.html
Rob V.
Rob V.
Rob V. is the founder of OperationMilitaryKids.org. While he never actually served in the US Military, he has a passion for writing about military related topics. Born and raised in Woodbridge, NJ, he graduated from the New Jersey Institute Of Technology with an MBA in eCommerce. His hobbies include beach volleyball, target shooting, and lifting. Rob is also a commercially rated pilot with over 1,500 hours of flight time.

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