News>New Air Force cyberspace badge guidelines released
Lt. Gen. William T. Lord, chief of warfighting integration and chief information officer in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, pins the new cyberspace badge on 1st Lt. Thomas P. McGrevey April 30, 2010. Lieutenant McGrevey is assigned to the 844th Communications Group at Bolling Air Force Base, D.C. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Russell P. Petcoff)
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.
12/17/2010 4:39:21 AM ET We all feel better getting that off our chests Good - now let's get back to the task at hand.
AF Comm- I mean Cyber Guy, Outside the Wire Iraq
5/5/2010 12:04:27 PM ET Awwww... I was expecting something like a DUI or gender related article based on the amount of comments. Good looking badge though.
That Other Guy, Pope AFB NC
5/5/2010 9:06:00 AM ET This story was picked up by Wired magazine. Here is what they suggest for the badge. The gilded coffee cup represents the caffeine-fueled bravery. The twin battle-axes represent his 60th level Paladin on World of Warcraft. The birds represent each Colonel taught how to post an update to Facebook. I know that the Cyber guys are protecting things that most of us don't know about, but I think it is normal for most people to be cynical about their mission because we just don't know what they do.
TSgt H, Japan
5/4/2010 2:21:32 PM ET The wings aspect is to recognize the 1-series AFSC 17DX. The precedent was already set with the Space Operations badge and the intensive qualification process is modeled after the flying world. Spend a day in the 624 OC and you will see that the most prominent threat that we face isn't on land, sea or air. We have peer competitors in the cyber realm - when was the last conflict we could say that? Downplaying our contribution or dismissing our part in the fight will reap disastrous repercussions. Through non-kinetic means an adversary could turn off utilities delete the ATO disrupt the entire supply chain and misdirect command and control elements. Without communications, an F-22 is an 80000 pound paperweight. We're here to make sure that doesn't happen.
Capt O, Texas
5/3/2010 8:14:34 PM ET Based on some posts here from the entitlement crowd am I to assume that maybe the Air Force should start handing out Maroon Berets and pseudo HALO wings to everyone that wants them. What about a Crimson Beret? Of course not but what makes these wings any different? Wings signify aircrew always have and always should. Say what you want about these wings being lightning bolts they were obviously designed to give the appearance of flyers wings and in my opinion, they lessen the reward for those who have earned Aviator wings. I don't have a beret in my pocket or wings on my chest because I DIDN'T EARN THEM. I know that some people get their feelings hurt because others...... Golly have cooler stuff than the rest of us it's on purpose people it's something we call a reward but as soon as everyone gets them the reward is no longer there.
CSAR MX TSgt, Japan
5/3/2010 10:01:10 AM ET Just curious. If the energy everyone spent complaining about a patch of cloth or glitter on a uniform had been spent working to transform AFSPC this past year, maybe we wouldn't have some of the problems we've got now Through all of the generations of uniforms and bling I've been through, there's always a group who whines. They're usually the same people hiding in the corner during an ORI or AEF, sucking more life out of the ones who are working to get the mission done. To all you "I earned my wings" crowd - it's obvious you haven't deployed with very many comm folks because these guys are everywhere. They are out with the meat eaters 24/7. Ever heard of RFF (request for forces) When you've spent 16 months doing comm for an RFF ILO (in lieu of) you can talk trash. These guys have earned whatever badge and it comes with just as much blood as anyone else wearing the uniform.
5/2/2010 2:05:40 PM ET Senior leaders Why do you stress the importance of comm give them a new badge to emphasize this and then kick a whole bunch of them out in Force Management? Don't give me that overmanning stuff they are one of the most heavily deployed AFSCs in the USAF.
Capt B, Eglin AFB FL
4/30/2010 2:49:41 PM ET We are crying for a special ops pilot and flight engineer who lost their lives flying combat missions in a CV-22. Two heros who earned the right to wear wings.
Retired Flight Engineer, Hurlburt Field
4/30/2010 1:06:01 PM ET You know, the comments about getting out of the AF because you don't agree with something are overplayed and old news. People can have an opinion and I am sure you all using these excuses to try and shut people down have probably complained about something. Hypocrits
Sick , Scott IL
4/30/2010 8:55:14 AM ET Wow... Crying over a new badge that looks like it has wings. Really. I'm crying over the young Sergeant who's coming home on a litter missing both legs below the knee. I'm crying for the mother who's holding the flag from 'a grateful nation' as she watches her daughter's casket lowered into the ground. I think we as an Air Force could focus our energy on something more important than chest glitter...
AFMedic, Portsmouth VA
4/29/2010 4:29:30 PM ET Since we are now handing out wings like candy, how about giving the Flight Engineers their Wings back.
Retired Flight Engineer, Hurlburt Field
4/29/2010 4:25:33 PM ET Well said, Captain Jones and Senior Morgan. One team one fight. Who cares what badge is worn. We're all playing for the same team.
SSgt Cyberspace, Springfield ANGB
4/29/2010 2:17:50 PM ET Do not be so quick to be critical of cyberspace personnel. Most of you do not have the security clearance nor the need to know to begin to know what their job involves. Since a lot of you like to think that you're warriors and like to kiss up to the Army and Marines, let me educate you. Marine aircraft mechanics wear flight suits and their functional badge is wings. The aircrew members do not complain about this. It's 2010 and cyberspace is very important to our national defense and involves a lot of offense and defense. Flight suits are for those who operate flying crafts i.e. air and space crafts and that is why space operators wear them. For those of you who do fly, I would worry less about who wears wings and flight suits and worry more about being replaced by UASs in the futures because it is coming.
RA, SouthBay CA
4/29/2010 1:41:17 PM ET Very well put Capt C. Jones. It has always amazed me at how much career bullying goes on in the most powerful Air Force in the World. Perhaps it's time for some of you to find a new line of work.
SMSgt Bruce Morgan ret, Florida
4/29/2010 11:07:34 AM ET Glad to see that Haterade is still the official sports drink of the USAF
4/29/2010 11:04:32 AM ET Why are so many people so put off by the fact that the cyber badge has lightning bolts that look somewhat like a set of wings Anyone who passed his or her vision test can see that they are not in fact wings. Second, so what? It's a piece of metal that is pinned to your chest or sewn into your ABU's. No one is going to be fooled by these bolts, and the only people I see who have an issue are fliers that think the desk jockeys are cutting into their limelight, complaining under the ruse of they haven't gone through REAL training like us.
Wrench Monkey, Luke AFB
4/29/2010 10:30:38 AM ET What a sad commentary to see Airmen minimizing the contributions of other Airmen over an occupational badge. Individuals wearing this badge and every other Air Force-approved badge are carrying out tasks for their country as directed by Air Force and DOD leadership. If the winged appearance of this badge irritates you to the point of deriding your fellow Wingmen maybe it is time to hang up your uniform and find another line of work.
Capt C. Jones, Schriever AFB CO
4/29/2010 9:58:24 AM ET I swear, these comment feeds are a riot to read from time to time. But I'm going to need most of you to get back to work and get over it. If senior leaders wanted or cared about your opinions on such extremely important matters as their chest glitter, then they would have asked, and clearly they did not and rarely do. Please note the reason an enlisted badge is being addressed later is because it has been my experience that the officers who make such decisions simply want theirs first. Its not personal.. Just the fact that Rank has its privileges.
4/29/2010 8:27:37 AM ET Non-fliers are the reason pilots have planes to fly and hangars for those planes, and a paycheck every two weeks. Don't allow yourself to have tunnel vision. The Air Force is bigger than your AFSC. It would take you just a few seconds to miss the non-fliers if you suddenly didnt have them supporting you. It takes every sort of job to keep this thing running. The Air Force is one team, co-dependent on everyone else in it. WE fly, fight and win. And wings are the symbol of OUR Air Force.
4/29/2010 3:42:09 AM ET Lots of gnashing of teeth from nerves-of-steel operators...jealously guarding their right their heritage to aeronautical wings. The past: Signal Corps were the first military pilots...yep, comm geeks. The future: Remote operated UASs... children today who will have no need to develop seat-of-the-pants SA because the air vehicles g-loads would crush soft-body drivers inside them and they grew up with 3-D screens. Distant future: Cyber and space wings that look like aeronautical wings so there's at least a historical legacy link to the good 'ol days when pilots were in the jets and the leather jackets protect against air conditioning not high-altitude cold. Oh they already do that. Just sayin.
4/29/2010 1:33:03 AM ET With all due respect to MSgt Clarke, the design is a poor man's version of the navigator wings earned after a year of demanding training. I believe it's an insult to all Navs EWOs, WSOs, CSOs who have currently and will serve.
4/28/2010 6:22:22 PM ET Wow, more fake wings for non-flyers. Perhaps they should add wing-looking devices to all career field badges.
Michael Carnevale MSgt Retired, Colorado Springs
4/28/2010 5:23:10 PM ET They do look like futuristic wings...I didn't notice the lightning bolts til I read one of these threads...they were clearly made to look like wings If not, why are the bolts different lengths that curve in a wing shape. I hate to say it, but wings are for men and women in planes....if we truly go to a chair force, we should retire our wings.
4/28/2010 4:02:14 PM ET I guess there are no enlisted cyberspace warriors that warrant this badge. It says above that guidelines for Enlisted are slated for future release. I am certain this will give something for participants in the pioneering aspects of Cyberspace to build upon. History starts somewhere, and even though it changes something of our heritage it will be remembered for the bold move towards modern mission accomplishment. Air ,Space and...Cyberspace.
Lt, Offutt AFB NE
4/28/2010 4:00:47 PM ET Do they come with pocket protectors and BCGs?
C-130 Flight Engineer, Redneck Riviera Florida
4/28/2010 3:50:33 PM ET Maybe I need to have my eyes checked but I do not see any wings in the photo of the new badge. I see a series of lightning bolts in a staggered position that alludes to our Air Force heritage. Am I the only one seeing this straight?
4/28/2010 3:28:21 PM ET I don't see fairy wings. The haters are envious of the rock star lightning bolts. Besides, it's just metallic chest glitter. This isn't 1942. My cyber skills are all that matter. I might even start wearing a scarf and goggles with my new piece of flash while flying, fighting and winning in cyberspace. To infinity and beyond!
Cyber Space Cowboy, NC
4/28/2010 3:12:07 PM ET Technological evolution is inevitable. The Air Force exists purely as a transitional service component because of the technology that the 20th century created. The AF is a temporary bridge to the next organizational evolution. Due to tight budgeting and effects-based realignment...the Air Force needs to prepare for a major restructuring down the road. First, all air-breathing unmanned assets, close-air support, strategic bombardment, and airlift go to the Army for synergy with maneuver fires effects. Second, all ICBM assets go to the National Guard along with missile defense and this is way overdue since they are now funded and managed as an operational reserve. Third, space as a warfighter support ability is enabled by cyberspace ground assets and both will be operationally controlled by U.S. Cyber Command. The AF Academy is turned into Cyberspace Academy or probably just low-income housing.
Blue to Green, Sumter SC
4/28/2010 3:05:13 PM ET Generally speaking, what platform is seeing more combat action today as demanded by commanders on the ground -- manned or unmanned assets ? Unmanned. The next generation of fighter pilots will be cyberspace operators but not in the Air Force. The post-millenial video gamer generations will be the next generation of cyberspace operators as enlisted or warrant officers. It's cheaper. College degrees aren't required to fly. Who do you think operates helos, armor, naval vessels? Not degree-holding officers.
Hoodwinked, Charlotte NC
4/28/2010 1:00:42 PM ET I think that they should take the wing part off the badge and just leave the circle part as the badge. It'd be about the same size as the medical service corp badge. Leave the wings for the flyers. TSGT Picka, nice zing about the riding the missile. I agree.
TSGT A.C.B MEDIC , Joint Base Lewis-McChord WA
4/28/2010 12:47:26 PM ET I watched my six year old stick a french fry in my seven year old's eye this weekend. Now I come to work and see you guys complaining. It never ends. Yes, we all recognize the flight suit and leather jacket as the wrappings of the risk taking steely eyed highly skilled and trained testosterone driven killers of the sky who PILOT the pointy edge of the sword to our adversaries. Everyone loves pilots. That's a given. You won't hear a computer guy complain about letting a pilot mash the buttons on his USAF issued keyboard. Let them have their wings. They're very excited about getting them. Would you take your child's train or doll away from them a day after they found them under the Christmas tree? I think not. Embrace the joy.
4/28/2010 11:29:54 AM ET While I agree that a unique badge is warranted for those who will re-train into the new 1Bxxx AFSC, I think wings are inappropriate. Don't down-play the importance of network warfare, but it isn't the same thing as flight training.
4/28/2010 11:12:34 AM ET Great, another fine example of inventing a way to make the cyberspace folks feel more like operators. I'm sure they see alot of Operational Combat Experience from the inside of their air conditioned room. Cyberspace is an important component of our Air Force and we as flyers can't do our job without them, but giving them a badge that looks like a pair of wings is a slap in the face to those of us who have earned our wings and put it out on the line flying everyday in training and combat.
CSAR Gunner, Georgia
4/28/2010 10:24:27 AM ET NS, Space Operators are already wearing flight suits and have been for quite some time. Don't understand the need for one when you set behind a desk or console.
DM, Colorado Springs CO
4/28/2010 10:06:13 AM ET The Air Force has now made non-aircrew look like Flash Gordon Club Superstars. It's an insult to all aviators past and present who actually attended the arduous aircrew training. Are these Space mouse clickers going to attend SERE now?
4/28/2010 9:36:32 AM ET Ok, so really...why did they rebadge the Bentley logo?
4/28/2010 9:20:26 AM ET Overall not a bad design. What I'd like to know is that since precedent has now been set by this badge AND the space operations badge, how soon before all other badges are redesigned eliminating the laurel wreath and incorporating the wing appearance of these badges?
Chris, Scott AFB IL
4/28/2010 9:03:08 AM ET Personally, this looks like too much like the wings that rated crewmembers wear. I am not sure if this precedent has been set by other USAF badges, but it gives the appearance that you attend some type of flight training.
Rob Crawford, Tennessee
4/28/2010 8:57:04 AM ET Since these Airmen are now operators I expect the next announcement is that they will be authorized to wear flight suits and leather jackets and will receive and extra 40K as an incentive to stay in. Maybe one day the Airmen actually putting their lives on the line everyday in Iraq and Afghanistan will get the respect they deserve. It is amazing how what they are doing still isn't captured in the AF mission statement.
4/28/2010 8:24:21 AM ET I am honored this badge got approved as I created the preliminary graphic designs for this badge as a part of the Cyber Operator Badge Design Team.
MSgt John W. Clarke, Scott AFB IL
4/28/2010 4:26:21 AM ET I guess there are no enlisted cyberspace warriors that warrant this badge.
Ace , Japan
4/28/2010 12:57:47 AM ET Wings for desk jockeys. You should have to ride the missle to wear it.