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Homeland Security

New Air Force cyberspace badge guidelines released

4/27/2010 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) -- Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz has approved the new cyberspace badge and associated wear criteria.

In his Apr. 21 memorandum, General Schwartz set forth guidelines and addressed standard eligibility requirements for officers working in the cyberspace domain. Eligibility criteria for enlisted personnel are slated for release in a future message.

Maj. Gen. Michael Basla, Air Force Space Command vice commander, who will wear the new badge, highlighted its significance.

"The Air Force mission -- to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace -- acknowledges the significance and interrelationship of our three operational domains in effective warfighting. The establishment of the Air Force cyberspace badge underscores the crucial operational nature of the cyberspace mission," General Basla said.

Lt. Gen. William T. Lord, the Air Force's chief of warfighting integration and chief information officer said the new badge reflects the importance of cyber operations.

"The Air Force's cyberspace operators must focus on operational rigor and mission assurance in order to effectively establish, control and leverage cyberspace capabilities," he said. "The new cyberspace operator badge identifies our cyberspace professionals with the requisite education, training and experience to operate in this new critical domain. The badge symbolizes this new operational mindset and the Air Force's commitment to operationalize the cyberspace domain."

The new badge is authorized in three levels: basic, senior and master. Badge level eligibility criteria are consistent with those listed in Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel. The guidance for the cyberspace badge will be included in the next revision of the AFI.

Certain officers are "grandfathered" and eligible to wear the new badge. Officers converting from the 33S to the 17D Air Force Specialty Code on April 30 are authorized the basic cyberspace badge. Officers may continue to wear the communications and information badge at the authorized level until Oct. 1, 2011.

Upon completing the Distance Learning Cyberspace Operations Transition Course -- the "X- course," Undergraduate Network Warfare Training or meeting criteria for upgrade, officers who earned the senior or master level communications and information badge are authorized to wear that same level of the cyberspace badge.

Officers from other AFSCs who have completed the X-course and have at least one year of cyberspace experience since Jan. 1, 2006, also are eligible to wear the cyberspace badge. The 17D career field manager is coordinating with Air Force Space Command's Space and Cyberspace Professional Management Office to identify eligible officers.

Beyond the grandfathering period, standard eligibility criteria will apply and officers will be identified in orders published by the commander of Air Force Space Command, who is responsible for cyberspace force development.

The AFSPC commander, in conjunction with the Air Staff functional authorities responsible for cyberspace-related specialties, will regularly approve authorization orders listing additional officers who have earned the badge.

The design element of the badge holds significant meaning. The lightning bolt wings signify the cyberspace domain while the globe signifies the projection of cyber power world-wide. The globe, combined with lightning bolt wings, signifies the Air Force's common communications heritage. The bolted wings, centered on the globe, are a design element from the Air Force seal signifying the striking power through air, space and cyberspace. The orbits signify the space dimension of the cyberspace domain.

The new badge is equal in precedence to the aeronautical and space badges. Those awarded multiples of the cyberspace, aeronautical and space badges must wear the cyberspace badge above the others while serving in a cyberspace billet.

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