Wednesday, May 12, 2010

USAF Cyberspace Badge: Another Example of Marketing Superiority

As a brand new 2 LT I arrived at my first Platoon Command in Quan Loi, Republic of Viet Nam in May 1969. Our Army Security Agency (ASA) platoon was headquartered next to the Air Force detachment that ran the airfield. The NCOIC delighted in tormenting me with the luxuries he routinely provided his airmen. Getting anything from lobster to pizza was not a problem.

Since that day I continue to marvel at just how the Air Force is plainly superior in marketing. Whether getting funding or taking Cyber Space as their own, the Air Force just gets it. The latest bit of Air Force activity to catch my eye is the authorization of a Cyber Space Badge. (see

"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," said Maj. Gen. Michael Basla, Air Force Space Command vice commander.

What does this all mean to me?
1. The Air Force has accepted Cyber Space as a key part of their mission.
2. The authorization of a badge means a main streaming of sorts and establishes credibility for a career field.
3. The multiple levels of badge and the ‘grandfathering’ provisions imply a continuity of career path.
4. The Air Force continues to have the inside track when it comes to mindshare of the public and Congress where Cyber Space is concerned.

The implication for PSYOP is pretty clear. Thus far we have paid lip service to the McClure award. SWC (the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg, NC) is sitting on its collective butts in terms of authorizing the silver and bronze awards. The CG of SWC pays mere lip service to the PSYOP Branch. Perhaps when all the critical MOS billets are wearing blue a sense of urgency might appear.

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