Pentagon worried about strategic nerd shortage on electronic battlefield
WASHINGTON — As the U.S. military prepares to fight the wars of the future, many of the most effective warriors will very likely be keyboard warriors, far behind the lines of combat. According to Lt. Gen. Edward C. Cardon, the head of U.S. Army Cyber Command, however, the U.S "nerd inventory" is at an all time low.
"We simply don’t have enough nerds," Col. Jeffrey Church, the head of the Army's electronic warfare division, said, "but we’re working on it as we speak. We’re lowering weight standards, altering work hours."
With most of the nerd demographic above acceptable weight and grooming standards, Cyber Command is scrambling for loopholes to leverage the skills they have acquired from years of nerding out, to bring them to bear on future adversaries of the United States.
"Basically whatever it takes," Cardon added.
In recent years, electronic warfare has received significantly less funding and recruitment focus because of the nature of fighting in Afghanistan, which usually included vaporizing Taliban fighters with drones. "Electronic warriors" tend to be more couch potatoes than men of action. Increased electronic threats from China and Russia have defense officials worried that the ned deficit may be cut the military its edge on the digital battlefield.
“The key to getting strong cyber warriors is allowing neck beards, fedoras, and Cheeto dust as standard uniform accessories.” said Church. “Want to get the best white hat hackers? Stop testing for weed, stop testing for body fat.”
United States Cyber command has already posted hundreds of USAJobs.GOV posts Recruiting Level 27 Dungeon Masters. The recruiting arm of Cyber Command used available census data to find promising basements in the homes of disgruntled parents and even staged a fake D&D convention. Once participants arrived, the doors were automatically locked and recruiters emerged from behind curtains offering t-shirts and stress cards.
"We had some difficulty cornering these guys, but we somehow managed to pull it off," said Staff Sgt. Nathan Gerry. "We’ve got a one time, mass exemption, for up to 1,000 asthmatics who otherwise pass the modified medical, and we tell them about the free inhalers for life.”
“While we recognize the term 'dungeon master' usually refers exclusively to people running a Dungeons and Dragons session,” said Church, “we will be allowing experienced Clash of Clan players as well.”
“Pokémon and Magic the Gathering dweebs need not apply.”