4.5.23 > Gregory Ogdahl

In today’s digital age, cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated and frequent. Organizations must take a proactive approach to safeguard their data, systems, and networks against cyberattacks. A resilient, highly trained, and ready cyberspace operations and intelligence team is essential to achieve this objective. Building such a team requires a combination of strategic planning, recruitment, training, and retention efforts. In this brief article, I propose a few key concepts and ideas to build a resilient, highly trained, and ready cyberspace operations and intelligence team, to include minimizing attrition.

  1. Develop a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy

The first step in building a resilient, highly trained, and ready cyberspace operations and intelligence team is to develop a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy built upon your mission and vision. This strategy should focus on identifying and recruiting top talent from a diverse range of sources, including universities, military service, and private industry. To attract the best candidates, you must offer competitive salaries, benefits, and opportunities for career advancement. To paraphrase a quote from Jim Collins, “First Who, Then What. Need to get the right people on the bus.”

  1. Create a supportive work environment

This means fostering a culture of teamwork, trust, and mutual respect. It also means providing opportunities for professional development, mentoring, and training. You should encourage employees to pursue industry certifications and participate in training programs to keep their skills up-to-date.

  1. Provide ongoing training and development opportunities

To expand on the previous, this includes providing access to advanced training programs, industry conferences, and other learning opportunities. You should also invest in cross-training employees in multiple areas of cyber operations to increase their flexibility and agility. You don’t want to have a “truck factor” of one in any of your critical cyber intelligence or operational processes.

  1. Implement a robust performance management system

This system should include regular performance reviews, feedback, and recognition programs to incentivize top performers. It should also include a clear career progression path that rewards employees for their contributions and achievements.

  1. Foster a culture of innovation

This means encouraging employees to think creatively, take calculated risks, and experiment with new approaches and technologies. Organizations should also invest in research and development efforts to stay ahead of emerging cyber threats.

  1. Prioritize employee well-being

This means offering flexible work arrangements, wellness programs, and other initiatives to support employee health and well-being. It also means addressing burnout and other mental health issues that can impact employee retention.

  1. Build a diverse and inclusive team

This means actively recruiting and retaining employees from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. It also means promoting diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the organization’s culture and operations.

  1. Minimize attrition

This means addressing the root causes of employee turnover, such as lack of career advancement opportunities, poor management, and inadequate compensation. It also means providing opportunities for employees to provide feedback and participate in decision-making processes to increase their sense of ownership and engagement.

Building a resilient, highly trained, and ready cyberspace operations and intelligence team requires a deep understanding of key concepts and ideas:  get the right people on your team, foster a culture of team work, provide development opportunities, recognize your team, invest in R&D, take care of your employees, ensure diversity and inclusion, and recognize all this will reduce your attrition while strengthening your resiliency of your highly trained, and ready cyberspace forces.


LTC Gregory Ogdahl, Commander 124th Cyber Battalion; Director of Cyberspace Operations and Intelligence, Freddie Mac

Lieutenant Colonel Greg Ogdahl is the commanding officer of the 124th Cyber Battalion. He oversees every element within the Unit, the subordinate sections, and all its members. He is a joint qualified officer and holds multiple military occupation specialties: cyber, information operations, signal, and systems administration. He is also a joint planner, strategic studies graduate, and cyber mission force service.

LTC Ogdahl has holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Computer Information Systems from St. Cloud State University, a Master of Science in Management of Technology from the University of Minnesota, and he is a graduate of the Joint and Combined Warfighting School from the Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University. He holds numerous professional certifications to include Boardroom Certified QTE, CISM, and C|EH.

In his civilian occupation, Greg is the Director of Cyberspace Operations and Intelligence for Freddie Mac; partnering with business and technology leaders to lead and evolve Freddie Mac’s cyber defensive posture.

Connect with Greg here at the Cyber Security Summit at https://www.cybersecuritysummit.org/speakers/gregory-ogdahl/

You can connect with Greg on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregoryogdahl/