Event Details


Thursday, Jan 31, 2019


12:15 pm


LBJ School of Public Affairs, SRH 3.122

Cyber Operations: A Military Practitioner's Perspective

Cyber Operations: A Military Practitioner's Perspective

Thursday, Jan 31, 2019  |  12:15 pm   |  LBJ School of Public Affairs, SRH 3.122

On Thursday, January 31, 2019, the Strauss Center welcomed Brigadier General Jennifer Buckner, U.S. Army’s Director for Cyber, Electronic Warfare, and Information Operations. She joined us for a fascinating panel discussion with Professors Michele Malvesti and Bobby Chesney. This was part of the Brumley Speaker Series, and was co-sponsored by the LBJ Ph.D. Colloquium.

Photos from the event can be found here


Brigadier General Jennifer Buckner discussed the military’s role in protecting the United States in cyberspace abroad, and the relationship the military maintains with domestic U.S. departments who are responsible for protecting the domestic cyber domains. She also commented on the need to respond to cyber attacks on private companies, like the one on Sony, by pointing out that the hack was attributed to a nation-state, and that was particularly important in deciding how to respond. The effect of a response, or no response, is important because of its effects on cyber-norms—she said that if we do nothing in response to hacks like these, in the long run it hurts our interests, because “we want to enforce an international order that does apply consequences to things that are harmful.”


General Buckner also spoke about lessons learned when she was deputy commander of Joint Task Force Ares, which had the responsibility to respond to the cyber aspects of ISIS. These lessons included learning the military could implement cyber in a way that complemented and reinforced other operations, that timing of those operations compelled decisions—whereas before there had been significant debate before being able to make decisions—and finally, it showed the military could do cyber operations on a timing and tempo that made a difference to combat operations.

The new idea of defending forward in cyber was also part of the discussion, and General Buckner discussed the need to prepare long-term for actions other nation-states might want to take against the U.S., and how being prepared to defend against unfriendly acts requires preparation months, and even years, in advance. It also requires the military to be strategically positioned on some networks, and have voices located in important forums.



Brigadier General Jennifer G. Buckner assumed her present duties as Director of Cyber, Electronic Warfare, and Information Operations, Headquarters Department of the Army G-3/5/7, in July 2018. She previously served with U.S. Cyber Command as Deputy Commander (Operations), Cyber National Mission Force, and Deputy Commanding General of Joint Task Force ARES, from June 2016 to June 2018. A native of Downers Grove, Illinois, BG Buckner is a 1990 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

As a career intelligence officer, BG Buckner has held command and staff positions across all levels of the Army with assignments in the United States, the Republic of Korea, Puerto Rico, and Iraq. BG Buckner has commanded a company, battalion, and brigade, including the Army’s first Cyber Brigade. She served as the first U.S. Army Cyber School Commandant and Chief of the Army's Cyber Branch. BG Buckner has served in Joint and Army assignments in the United States and Iraq. Her most recent overseas posting was as a Battlefield Surveillance Battalion Commander supporting Multi-National Corps – Iraq.

BG Buckner is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, the Command and General Staff College, and the Joint and Combined Warfighting School. She holds two graduate degrees, served as a Cyber Fellow at the National Security Agency, and completed Harvard's Executive Education Program in Cybersecurity.

BG Buckner’s awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (Oak Leaf Cluster), Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (Five Oak Leaf Clusters), Joint Service Commendation Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Commendation Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster), Army Achievement Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster), Iraq Campaign Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Staff and Joint Staff Identification Badges, Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Australian and Honduran Jump Wings.

General Buckner is a collegiate All-American swimmer and was recently inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame.

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