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Army OKs Direct Commission for Civilian Cybersecurity Experts

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By Debbie Gregory.

Are you a programmer, web developer or data scientist? Do you enjoy solving a challenge with a innovative tool, script, program, or reverse engineering a piece of equipment? If so, and you have a four-year degree and are currently working in the tech field, you can now join the Army as an officer.

Qualified civilians can now directly apply for a commission as an officer in U.S. Army Cyber. Direct commissioning will allow candidates chosen to forgo the Army’s 10-week Basic Combat Training Course

The Army has approved a program to recruit experienced cybersecurity experts directly into the service as cyber officers. That means you could join the Army at the rank of First Lieutenant or higher, and start building the future of Army Cyber warfare.

The pilot program aims to bring in five new officers each year for five years. Potential candidates should be skilled in teamwork.

Applicants must be younger than 41 years old, hold U.S. citizenship, be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret security clearance, and meet the Army’s physical fitness standards.

Individuals selected for the pilot program will spend six weeks in the direct commission course at Fort Sill in Oklahoma and then attend the 12-week Cyber Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Gordon in Georgia. Most cyber officers will be stationed either at Fort Gordon or Fort Meade in Maryland.

Those selected will build tools and devices, write algorithms, ciphers, programs and scripts, and conduct research based on their current industry expertise.

Officers entering military service must complete a total of eight years of service, with at least three years on active duty, followed by service in the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard.

Following suit, the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps will be offering similar programs in the cyber field.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Fort Gordon Colonel Accused in Bribery Scheme

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By Debbie Gregory.

Army Colonel Anthony Roper, along with his wife and others, has been accused of participating in what federal prosecutors are calling a bribery and kickback scheme. They allegedly conspired to seek and accept bribes in order to rig more than $20 million in Army contracts to individuals and companies.

It is alleged that the activities go back to 2008, lasting close to a decade.

Colonel Roper was stationed at Fort Gordon near Augusta, Georgia.  Oversight of the Army’s efforts to build and modernize its information and communications networks was part of Colonel Roper’s duties.

Charged with bribery, obstruction and making false statements, the 55-year-old Roper could face a maximum sentence of eighty-five years and a fine of $1.75 million if convicted.

His wife, Audra Roper, was also charged with conspiracy, false statements and obstruction and could face a maximum sentence of twenty-five years  and a $750,000 fine.

Mrs. Roper operated Quadar Group, which prosecutors allege was a shell company that was used to funnel bribes to her husband, Colonel Roper.   Prosecutors allege that Quadar Group was one of a number of shell companies used to defraud the government.

Dwayne Oswald Fulton, 58, is charged with conspiracy and obstruction.   Mr. Fulton was an officer for a large defense contracting company.  His firm is not identified in the court records.

The indictment also alleges that in trying to hide the schemes, the three accused attempted to obstruct an official investigation looking into their conduct.

Fort Gordon has not commented on these allegations.  According to court records filed this week, attorneys representing the defendants are not listed.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.