WASHINGTON — The Army and Navy named principal cyber advisers who will help their services become better prepared in the digital domain.

The Army appointed Terry Mitchell to the position in September, a spokesperson confirmed recently to C4ISRNET. Mitchell will advise the secretary of the Army and chief of staff on cybersecurity matters to include implementation of various items tasked in the 2018 Department of Defense cyber strategy.

The Department of the Navy has selected Chris Cleary, most recently the Navy’s chief information security officer, to serve in the role effective Nov. 22, according to a spokesperson.

In a release issued Dec. 9, the Navy said Cleary will work with the Department of Navy chief information officer. The DoD principal cyber advisor and the DoD CIO and will advise the secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval operations, the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, the commandant of the Marine Corps and other appropriate senior military officers.

The annual defense policy bill for fiscal 2020 directed each service department to create a lead cyber adviser to provide insights on recruitment, training and readiness of cyber forces, acquisition of offensive and defensive cyber capabilities, and cybersecurity supply chain risks, among other responsibilities. The position must be at least the civilian equivalent of a three-star general.

The law required the services to create the position 270 days after it was signed, which was mid-September this year.

Such a position already exists at the Pentagon to advise the secretary of defense on cyber matters.

The Air Force has not named officials yet, though spokespeople told C4ISRNET that they are working toward it.

“The COVID-19 pandemic delayed our ability to meet the deadline. We are working through the required Department of Defense hiring process and plan to have an adviser hired in the next several months,” an Air Force spokesperson said.

This story is updated with the Navy confirming the appointment publicly in a news release.

Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for C4ISRNET, covering information warfare and cyberspace.

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