MOS 17C US Army Cybersecurity

Steps to Getting into Cybersecurity 

There are two routes you can take to begin your journey to cybersecurity. The first one is going into the military with the intent of joining the MOS 17C division or applying to MOS 17C while in the military. Below is a breakdown of each one: 

Before Enlistment: To standout and drastically help you during the AIT (cyber training) the best thing you can do is get a certificate or bachelor’s in computer science, IT, or related. Remember you will be submitting yourself to an army cyber institute. Which means you likely will undergo a rigorous schedule. To at least give yourself a leading-edge, any past history in the field will do wonders. However, this is not necessary. Many new recruits join AIT without any certificate or degree. If you want to get a BA first, upping your chances in passing the course, vocalize your concerns to your recruiter. The army may be able to finance your degree. 
Note:  You likely will have to sign to the US Army for 6 years for a cybersecurity job. 

Apply within the Army: Occasionally, the army will seek various Grades to fill the MOS 17C position. You will have to check the HRC (US Army Human Resources Command) website for reclassification and contact the reclassification branch division.  

How to Get Started 

If you are just getting your feet wet in the industry, it helps to begin researching different jobs in the field. Look online, read blogs, magazines – really anything to grant you exposure to the industry. Once you have an idea of which job you’d like, try finding someone who can mentor you. This can be accomplished by looking at civilian companies. Inform the hand-selected individual that you hope to join the military and want to work in his field. Many older professors are more than happy to aid young soldiers. Here you can find out more specific information to further guide you to the correct certifications. Learning as much as you can better help you sell yourself later – and there’s no better time than the present! 

Requirements for Cyber Institute 

During your first steps entering the military, you will take the ASVAB. This test will narrow down a long list of military jobs. To become one of the cyber operations specialists, you must have a 110 on your GT (General Technical) where you will be exposed to word knowledge questions, paragraph comprehension, and arithmetic reasoning. Also, you must obtain a 112 on your ST (Skilled Technical) focusing, again, on your word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, general science, mechanical comprehension, and mathematics knowledge. Learn more about the ASVAB and begin practicing here. 

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Army Cyber Institute (AIT) 

Typically you must submit your application by August 31st. If you miss this deadline, you will have to wait another year. Once you are accepted into the program, you will undergo a rigorous year training. The first 25 weeks, you will begin in Pensacola Florida in the Naval Air Station. After which, you will move to Fort Gordon Georgia for an additional 20 weeks at the Headquarters to the United States Army Cyber School. During this time you will perform cyber-attacks and defenses, learn about cyber intelligence, penetration testing, and much more. Once you complete the school you will have certification for: 

  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Network+ 
  • CompTIA Security+ 
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) 
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) 
  • CISCO Certified Networking Associate (CCNA)  

Note: If you are first joining the military, before joining the Cyber Institute, you will have to go through 10 weeks of basic training first. 

After Cyber School 

Upon successful completion of training, you will know how to defend the country by maintaining and designing firewalls, creating ways to avoid cybersecurity breaches, hacking procedures, and coding. You will be ready for anything that may come your way! 

MOS 17C  

After having passed a background check and undergone a polygraph, you will be cleared for top-secret duty. Established in 2017, MOS bases are only officially found in selected places such as in Texas, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, and New York. Most likely your service will keep you confined to a base, never to be deployed abroad – but this is top secret, thus that information is classified. 


Transferring to the US Air Force 

If you haven’t applied to the military yet, great! Consider the Air Force. Here there are many more cybersecurity opportunities. However, if you are already enlisted in another branch this could be a problem. By law, military recruiters are prohibited from coaxing someone outside their military branch. Thus, if you are fully willing to go through this, the first step is to request an early dismissal, but even this step can take years to complete. There are also programs such as “Blue to Green” which can help you move from one branch of the military to the next. Another way is to reclassify, submitting to additional serving time. Bottom line, if your current department does not need you and the other branch does, you have more of a shot at transfer – but don’t set your heart on it.

Learn more about the US Air Force by clicking here. 

Benefits of an Army Cyber Career 

Throughout your military career, you will likely interact with civilian companies. By making a good impression, you might even line-up a career after you have completed your service. Furthermore, by working for the military, you will be exposed to technologies that may not have been revealed to the general public.  

Careers After the Military 

Once your time in the army is complete, know that your career is far from over. Many governmental agencies or other global security organizations will be more than happy to use your acquired skills compensating up to $110,000 salaries. They include, but are not limited to: 

  • CIA – Central Intelligence Agency 
  • DHS – Department of Homeland Security 
  • FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • NSA – National Security Agency 

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