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    CYBER SNAPSHOT: Sgt. James Harmison

    CYBER SNAPSHOT: Sgt. James Harmison

    Photo By William Roche | Sgt. James Harmison, Cyber Operations Specialist (MOS 17C), 156 Cyber Protection Team,...... read more read more

    FORT BELVOIR, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES

    09.18.2018

    Story by William Roche 

    U.S. Army Cyber Command

    Hometown: Naples, Florida
    Military Occupational Specialty: 17C – Cyber Operations Specialist
    Duty title: Cyber Operations NCO, Army Cyber Protection Brigade
    (NOTE: Rank and position are correct as of time of interview)

    QUICK SKETCH:
    -- Self-professed nerd who says he taught himself computer programming
    -- Spent seven years as Army Apache attack helicopter mechanic prior to switching to cyber
    -- Reclassified into cyber career field to pursue his true passion

    ON WHY HE MADE THE CAREER CHANGE TO ARMY CYBER:
    "I've been a nerd just about my whole life. I taught myself to program when I was young, and I was president of the computer club in high school. (After serving as a helicopter mechanic for years) I saw the all-call reclassification request for 17C and I put together my packet to try to demonstrate that I had what it took, despite my seven-year hiatus from the field professionally. (During that hiatus) I just tried to maintain my own skills on my own time, and demonstrate that I had what it took to reclassify. And I was chosen for what really is my passion."

    ON THE PROCESS OF RECLASSIFYING INTO THE CYBER BRANCH:
    "It was a 27-page packet for me to submit to request reclassification, and that was just to get approval. And then following that was all the hurdles of -- I had a secret clearance at the time -- all the hurdles of moving that up to the Top Secret clearance required. ... All of that combined, to get to the administrative part. And the physical part was challenging. My daughter was eight years old at the time, and I had to attend a six-month school in Pensacola, Florida,* which is a PCS (Permanent Change of Station) move, so I had to move my daughter in the middle of one school year to Pensacola over the summer -- which she loved -- and then I had to PCS her again in the middle of the next school year. So there was certainly some hardships my family had to go through in order to make it work, but to me, again, following my passion, it was a sacrifice our family decided to make together."

    ON WHAT HE WOULD SAY TO SOLDIERS CONSIDERING RECLASSIFICATION:
    "Just be sure that you love it, because it's going to be a challenge. And the schooling has gotten even longer since I transitioned. It's going to be grueling, so make sure love it enough to really pay attention and study and focus. It's a long administrative process. ... I would say ensure that you're really demonstrating your own passion in your (reclassification request) packet, as well as demonstrating what you can offer … whatever you are capable of, you should try to articulate that."

    ON WHAT HE LOVES ABOUT CYBER:
    "I love the work. I love continuous problem-solving. I love the challenge every day of trying to figure out something that I didn't understand before, because there's never any shortage of challenges and you can never understand everything. So the continuous problem-solving, the questions, asking yourself, challenging yourself to understand and learn more and more and more every single day, is my favorite part of coming to work."

    * The Joint Cyber Analysis Course, taught by the U.S. Navy at the Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station in Pensacola, Fla. The course trains and certifies cyber service members from all branches to a common Department of Defense standard that provides them with the skills and knowledge required to provide technical network and infrastructure analysis and technical solutions for cyberspace operations. For more information on the JCAC, go to http://www.doncio.navy.mil/CHIPS/ArticleDetails.aspx?ID=8429

    For information on uniformed Army Cyber careers, go to www.goarmy.com/army-cyber.html

    For information on Army cyber civilian career opportunities, select the “Careers” menu at www.arcyber.army.mil

    -----

    ABOUT US: United States Army Cyber Command directs and conducts integrated electronic warfare, information and cyberspace operations as authorized, or directed, to ensure freedom of action in and through cyberspace and the information environment, and to deny the same to our adversaries.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 09.18.2018
    Date Posted: 09.18.2018 14:00
    Story ID: 293335
    Location: FORT BELVOIR, VIRGINIA, US

    Web Views: 300
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN