Over the past decade, the Navy made significant strides in developing an information warfare community to mirror traditional unrestricted line warfare communities. However, the Navy’s commissioning guidelines have not kept pace with this dramatic evolution in information warfare. Midshipmen at the Naval Academy and in NROTC units around the country have been flooded with energetic language from senior leaders about the importance of the “information domain” in modern warfare. To be sure, there have been real changes and investments of note, such as the creation of a cyber operations major and construction of a $106 million cyber center at the Naval Academy. But despite the grand promises, in many other areas the information warfare community is viewed just as it always has been—four relatively small restricted line designators that are their warfare peers’ equal in name only.
Navy Information Warfare Is a Second-Class Commissioning Community
By Lieutenant Lauren Hickey, U.S. Navy