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DoD Hack the Pentagon' Program Nets 138 Issues PDF Print E-mail
Hack the planet? Tough. Hack the Pentagon? Easier, but still fairly tough. Yet, that didn't stop more than 250 hackers from taking part in the Department of Defense's first-ever bug bounty program. The pilot, which ran from April 18 to May 12—less than a month—netted 138 vulnerabilities that the Defense Department determined to be "legitimate, unique and eligible for a bounty."

Though the bug bounty program ended up costing the federal government around $150,000, officials believe it was money well spent.

"It's not a small sum, but if we had gone through the normal process of hiring an outside firm to do a security audit and vulnerability assessment, which is what we usually do, it would have cost us more than $1 million," said Ash Carter, Secretary of Defense, as reported by the DoD.

The Department of Defense seems pleased by the results, as it also announced that it's now planning to expand its bug bounty program and introduce other policies designed to help bolster DoD security. That includes the creation of a new vulnerability disclosure policy that will allow anyone to submit information about potential vulnerabilities in DoD systems, networks, applications, or websites.

"Next we will expand bug bounty programs to other DoD Components, in particular the Services, by developing a sustainable DoD-wide contract vehicle. Lastly, we'll include incentives in our acquisition policies and guidance so that contractors practice greater transparency and open their own systems for testing – especially DoD source code. With these efforts, we will capitalize on Hack the Pentagon's success and continue to evolve the way we secure DoD networks, systems, and information," reads an announcement from the Department of Defense.
 
Thousands honor Fort Hood fallen Soldiers PDF Print E-mail
housands in this sprawling Central Texas post paused for a solemn memorial held for nine fallen warriors June 16 during a service inside the Spirit of Fort Hood Chapel.

Eight Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and one cadet from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, were the victims of flash flood waters while conducting convoy operations June 2 on Fort Hood.

"Today, we honor and pay tribute to nine fallen comrades of the 1st Cav. Div.," said Maj. Gen. John 'J.T.' Thomson III, 1st Cav. Div. commanding general. "These exceptional cavalry troopers from Fox Forward Support Company … represent the best our nation has to offer."

Thomson added that as the community mourns the lives lost, "We also praise them for who they were, what they stood for and how they honorably served our nation.

"They were many things to many people -- sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and husbands, caring friends, trustworthy classmates and loyal comrades-in-arms," he said.

Central Texas and the Army family across the nation came together in the wake of the flood to support those in mourning and remember the lives of each victim. The venue for the service has a capacity of 1,500, which was not large enough to seat all those hoping to attend. To reach out to hundreds more, the ceremony was live-streamed to Howze Theater, the Phantom Warrior Center and several conference rooms within the chapel itself.
 
Artwork Honors Military Women PDF Print E-mail
“Honor knows no gender,” artist Steve Alpert said at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, June 13.

Alpert spoke following the unveiling of a triptych titled “Portrait of a Woman.” His work depicts a female soldier seen from three directions -- both profiles and from the back. She is saluting the U.S. flag.
 
A triptych is a set of three associated artistic, literary, or musical works intended to be appreciated together.

The subject of Alpert’s work is a warrior wearing the combat patch of the storied 101st Airborne Division on her sleeve. “She looks fierce,” said one of the women veterans who attended the unveiling.

That was the idea, Alpert said during an interview.

“Courage is what an ordinary person does in an extraordinary situation,” he said. “’Portrait of a Woman’ honors the girls next door who went and signed up, volunteered for the armed services. They took the oath to protect the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the pursuit of the American Dream. I define that as courage, and I see them as heroes.”
 
2 BCT commander heads to the Pentagon PDF Print E-mail
For most of the past two years, Col. Joseph Ryan was on standby, waiting for the Army to send him and his 4,200 troops from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team across the globe to respond to crises or pitch in aid after a natural disaster.

As the unit on status as the Global Response Force, he knew he would have to recall and deploy his paratroopers in as little as 18 hours.

"The experience of being on the Global Response Force, it revalidates the notion that the paratrooper and 82nd Airborne Division can do anything," he said. "We give them training that challenges them and pushes them to prepare for deployment. We work very hard, train very hard, challenge ourselves on a daily basis."
 
Ryan will leave the 2nd Brigade Combat Team as he heads to Washington, D.C., to serve as the executive officer to the Army's chief of staff at the Pentagon. He'll be working directly with Gen. Mark Milley, the former commander of Forces Command who is currently the Army's chief of staff.

"It's a great opportunity," Ryan said. "It's a challenge, and I'm looking forward to it."

Ryan's path to the Pentagon began when he was accepted into the United States Military Academy. He grew up near West Point and knew he wanted to pursue a military career.

"My family had a lot of pride," he said. "Being in the Army and leading people was something I really enjoy."

Ryan graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1991 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant of infantry.
 
Speaking Frankly, at West Point PDF Print E-mail
Drew Faust gave one of the signal speeches of her Harvard presidency at West Point this past March. The subject was education in the humanities—and in leadership. Her talk brought to the fore common Faust themes: immersion in the arts and humanities and learning to think critically about values. The venue and format (a formal address, rather than the occasions where an interlocutor poses questions, and Faust’s answers are briefer) made a difference.

At the United States Military Academy (USMA), as Faust noted, “the humanities are resources that build ‘self-awareness, character, [and] perspective,’ and enable leaders to compel and to connect with others.” She identified three ways in which that occurs. “First,” she said, “leaders need perspective”—the historical and cultural lenses that clarify a situation through “empathy: how to see ourselves inside another person’s experience. How to picture a different possibility.” Second, “leaders need the capacity to improvise. I often point out that education is not the same thing as training for a job.…Circumstances evolve. Certainly, soldiers know…that our knowledge needs to be flexible, as we grapple with complexity in an instant.” Third, she emphasized how leaders like Churchill and Lincoln “use the persuasive power of language.”

Two broad applications to Harvard come to mind. One concerns transitions. West Point, Faust noted, was “the nation’s first college of engineering.” Now, even as “other institutions drop liberal-arts requirements, military academies have been adding them. Over the past 50 years, West Point has transformed its curriculum into a general liberal-arts education, graduating leaders with broad-based knowledge of both the sciences and the humanities, and the ability to apply that knowledge in a fluid and uncertain world.” The College, grounded as it has been in the traditional liberal arts, is very much tilting the other way, expanding engineering and applied sciences, and inspiriting entrepreneurship. That prompts anxieties about waning student interest in humanities and adults’ responsibility to assure that their charges are broadly, not merely vocationally, educated.
 
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