The Defense Department is working to boost cyber security support nearly five-fold in coming years, according to The Washington Post. Since August 2011, multiple California National Guard members have been activated to boost with U.S. Cyber Command manpower. There are currently 20 California Air and Army National Guard members serving CYBERCOM at four Joint Intelligence Operations Command centers in San Diego, Camp Parks and Los Alamitos, Calif., and Fort Meade, Md.
“I have found California National Guard members to be very professional and confident Soldiers,” said Lt. Col. Bill Hatzfeld, officer in charge of the Cyber Joint Intelligence Operation Center Reserve Detachment at Camp Parks. “Our command has accomplished top-priority missions by leveraging their skills and talents. We are able to assign higher responsibilities and duties to these individuals.”
California National Guard members have been winning awards for their work in CYBERCOM, with some attaining higher-level recognition from U.S. Strategic Command.
Four CNG members won awards at the CYBERCOM level, such as Sgt. Michael Kimmet of Company A, 250th Military Intelligence Battalion, March Air Reserve Base, Calif. Kimmet was activated to work at Camp Parks in August 2011, and the following year, was recognized as CYBERCOM’s Reservist of the Year for 2012. His award package was then submitted to STRATCOM for consideration as its Reservist of the Year. The winner will be announced in the near future.
“Sgt. Kimmet qualified for the award by performing exemplifying actions, maintaining superb professionalism and superior knowledge on mission set,” said Capt. Alexandria Frey, U.S. Central Command Support Team lead.
Kimmet said he feels blessed to work in a position where he can have an impact within the intelligence community while serving under outstanding leadership that pushes him to improve his skills.
“Every day the mission changes, or new task orders come in modeled after your ideas,” he said. “There is no better feeling than making a prediction or assessment and later confirming you were right.”
Sgt. Steve Peterson of 1st Battalion, 185th Armor Regiment, San Bernardino, Calif., won CYBERCOM’s award for Junior Enlisted Member of the Year in 2011, when he was a specialist. He later received the same award from STRATCOM.
“Working here, you learn more about intelligence. You receive a global view for how intelligence works in the U.S. and across the globe,” Peterson said. “The opportunity has been one of my most valuable experiences in the military.”
Adding to her many awards, Sgt. Andrea Adams-Anderson of the 40th Infantry Division was recognized as STRATCOM’s Junior Enlisted Member of the Quarter, while assigned as a specialist to CYBERCOM.
“The opportunity to work with the experience level of all the people there, as well as the leadership who really push us professionally to make our personal goals, is an extraordinary opportunity,” she said. “I believe pushing yourself and allowing leadership to push you, allows for further growth.”
Adams-Anderson has served as a CYBERCOM intelligence analyst for three years and has been in the Guard for four. An officer in the 40th Infantry Division recommended her for the position at CYBERCOM, after her initial set of orders were cancelled.
“What is better than a good opportunity? Divine intervention,” Adams-Anderson said referring to her job at CYBERCOM. “I was like, ‘Wow, I get to work here!’ I have friends who really wanted the assignment — I have been blessed to have this opportunity.”
Adams-Anderson said the most challenging part of the job was ensuring everything deemed analytically important, is being looked at by leadership. She continued with, “Colonel Hatzfeld pushes you personally and professionally in all experiences.”
Sgt. 1st Class Samuel Yudin, Company A, 250th Military Intelligence Battalion is also on orders with CYBERCOM. He won recognition as CYBERCOM’s reserve component Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year in 2011.
“California National Guard members on orders with us are not only performing well, they are striving to improve their skills and are actively involved in the communities through blood drives and charitable activities,” Hatzfeld said. “They are very involved individuals.”