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Cyber-Operations Specialists

Cybersecurity and Information Technology

Service Branches

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  • Marines logo
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Work Environment

Cyber-operations specialists work in offices or in command and control centers on land or aboard ships.

  • Military Status


  • Median Military Salary This is the median, or the midpoint, of the salary range for this career.


    Military Salary Range Salary varies based on years of service, degree level, special pays, family status and location.

    $22,748 - $217,150


Cyber-operations specialists conduct offensive and defensive cyberspace operations in support of the full range of military options. They utilize devices, computer programs, and techniques designed to create an effect across cyberspace. Offensive operations involve applying force to target enemy and hostile adversary activities and capabilities. Defensive operations are conducted to protect data, networks, net-centric capabilities, and other designated systems by detecting, identifying, and responding to attacks against friendly networks.

Military Training

Like all enlisted personnel cyber operations specialists complete basic military training which includes time spent in a classroom and in the field and covers tactical and survival skills physical training military life and customs and weapons training. Cyber operations specialists in the Military receive advanced training. Starting with extensive technical preparation in everything from database design to computer networking to communications systems skills continue to be enhanced through classroom and on-the-job instruction. Training content may include:

  • Conducting defensive cyberspace operations
  • Conducting offensive cyberspace operations
  • Operating automated data processing (ADP) equipment 
  • Analyzing information and preparing technical products and time sensitive reports
  • Developing and maintaining analytical and operational working aids and databases
  • Installating and configuring networks
  • Caring maintaining and using networking software tools/equipment

Helpful Attributes

  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Ability to understand and apply math concepts
  • Interest in solving problems
  • Interest in work requiring accuracy and attention to detail

Related Civilian Careers

  • Business Continuity Planners
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers

Cyberspace Operations 17XX MOS

The new 17XX military occupational speciality is revolutionizing how we do cyber security.

Length 3:15 View Transcript


I'm gunnery sergeant Timothy Erickson. I'm in O688 currently that was the cybersecurity technician MOS. So the new occupational field is the 1700 occupational field or 17XX. There will be two primary MOS is within that field. The 17 11 and 17 21 the 17 11 will be the offensive cyber operations Marines. And the 17 21 will be the defensive cyber operations.

So on the defensive side what we're mostly looking for is either the presence of or recovering from the effects. You know, any type of cyber threat whether it's a computer virus or degradation of service based on some sort of cyberspace threat so we're looking for those types of threats or mitigating the effects of them or recovering systems that have been affected by one of those sets of threats.

On the offensive side what we'll be working on is, you know, trying to find and exploit vulnerabilities and systems to our advantage in the cyber space battle.

As of the beginning of this month all the Marines in the O688 MOS were individually assigned a new MOS. So there was a Cadre who were assigned to the 1711 IMO s there was a number of Marines who were assigned 1721 and then there were some who were assigned O679 which is the cyber network operator our cyber network chief MOS just based on the needs of the Marine Corps and input from the Marines chain of command.

So there are already movements taking place so going forward the goal is going to be to get to those staffing levels that we need in each of those MLS's and make sure that we're not taking too many Marines from the traditional communication side of the house and moving them over to the cyberspace operations. Or you know neglecting the needs we have on the cyberspace side based on you know a desire to make sure that we have the cream of the crop over there. 

So what we're trying to do is find a balance right now and then going forward we're going to look for highly qualified Marines who have a desire. It really boils down to aptitude and initiative. We want Marines who have the aptitude to figure things out for themselves on in, within the cyber environment and then Marines with initiative to, you know, take it upon themselves to continuously learn and grow and build their knowledge in that.