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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Oct. 19, 2022

Three things the Office of Cyberspace Forces wants you to know for Cybersecurity Awareness Month  

By MyCG Staff 

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, so MyCG decided to seek out the professionals. Here are three things the Office of Cyberspace Forces is doing to safeguard the Coast Guard – plus one thing you can do to help: 

1. Enhancing our expertise with a new Cyber rating for enlisted personnel  

The cyber mission specialist (CMS) rating began rolling out in September. The service is converting 193 cyber billets for the 2023 assignment year. Coast Guard leadership has long recognized the need for a specific rating to train and help retain some of the service’s most technically capable members. Now it has a way to draw cyber experts from different mission backgrounds and provide them with a dedicated career path. By 2024, the goal is to have a CMS workforce of 280 active duty enlisted members and chief warrant officers, plus an 80-member reserve. This will bolster the Coast Guard’s already robust cybersecurity program.  

Applications to make lateral moves into the first active duty CMS closed in September, with selections to be announced sometime around November 1. Look for guidance on Reserve lateral applications later that month and information on the second group of active duty CMS in 2023. Questions? Check out the FAQ or resources available on the cyber rating informational page or contact

2. Teaching Marine Transportation System (MTS) operators about cyber safety  

Knowledge is power, particularly when it comes to protecting the sprawling and diverse MTS from cyberattack. But with so many different operators and systems, how do you educate them all? One way the Coast Guard does it is with CG-FAC Roadshows. These events are hosted at the district or sector level to help keep our partners in the field up to date on everything from cyberattack trends to what capabilities are available for protection, and how to use them. These face-to-face engagements with the service’s cyber staff also provide a forum for all your cyber questions. To date (or so far this year), roadshows have come to 24 locations across eight districts. Future roadshows are scheduled for District 9, including Sector Buffalo, Sector Sault Saint Marie, and Marine Safety Unit Duluth; District 7, including Sector Charleston and Sector Jacksonville; and District 14, to include a visit to Activities Far East – Japan. 

The office also helped develop the MTS Incident Playbook outlining strategies and resources to help operational commanders manage cyber incidents.  

3. Cooperating with international partners to reduce the cyber threat  

Boundaries matter little to our adversaries or other bad actors who seek to launch cyber attacks. So, it’s critical to take a global approach to the problem. This past May, the Coast Guard hosted its first Global MTS Cybersecurity Symposium to trade ideas and share best practices with allies about ways to safeguard our systems. Since then, the Coast Guard has worked with international partners, including the Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Australia to discuss how the public and private sectors can work together to improve cybersecurity in the maritime sector.

How you can help  

Don’t forget that all-hands must complete the Cyber Awareness Challenge (eLearning course 502829) by Dec. 31. Cybersecurity is not just awareness or compliance. Every employee is a cyber-citizen; you either reinforce or degrade the cybersecurity of the Coast Guard and our nation.  

Remember, if you haven’t completed the challenge by Dec. 31, your account will be disabled in January 2023.  

Learn more about protecting yourself from cyber attacks here.  

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