2013-04-11 National Governors Association

Cyber Warrior Act of 2013 (Senate)

The Honorable Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable David Vitter
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Christopher Coons
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Roy Blunt
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mary Landrieu
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Patrick Leahy
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mark Warner
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Patty Murray
United State Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Gillibrand, Senator Vitter, Senator Coons, Senator Blunt, Senator Landrieu, Senator Leahy, Senator Warner and Senator Murray:

The nation’s governors appreciate your work to support the National Guard and thank you for introducing the Cyber Warrior Act of 2013 (S.658).  This legislation represents an important step forward in strengthening our nation’s cybersecurity capabilities and leveraging the National Guard to fulfill the critical need for highly skilled personnel.

The National Guard serves as a unique resource in the nation’s defense by supporting both federal and state governments in protecting our citizens at home and abroad.  Across the country, National Guard units have begun developing cybersecurity capabilities that could be utilized to conduct vulnerability assessments, test information technology systems, enhance cyber resiliency and respond to cyber incidents when they occur.

The Cyber Warrior Act of 2013 recognizes the National Guard’s ability to attract and retain individuals with critical information technology skills necessary to meet dynamic cybersecurity threats facing the nation.  Governors agree with the legislation’s objectives of further clarifying and strengthening the role of the National Guard within the Department of Defense (DoD) and building a coordinated cybersecurity response capability that could be utilized under state or federal authorities.  Governors are actively engaged through the Council of Governors with DoD and the Department of Homeland Security in exploring these and other opportunities to cost-effectively fill a critical need for highly trained cybersecurity personnel.

Thank you for your leadership on this important issue.  We look forward to working with you to further these efforts.

Sincerely,

Governor Martin O’Malley
Chair, Health & Homeland Security Committee
Co-Chair, Council of Governors

Governor Brian Sandoval
Vice Chair
Health & Homeland Security Committee

Governor Terry E. Branstad
Co-Chair
Council of Governors