The Department of Defense recently added the United States Cyber Command to its list of combatant commands. This is a direct response to the growing number of threats found in the cyber realm, from both state actors as well as independent ones. The program was initially meant to be defensive in nature, but it will also prove to be an offensive tool as well.

The commander of U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) was former director of the National Security Agency (NSA), Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers. He announced his retirement from the Navy and was replaced by Army Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, who is also the current director of the NSA, as well as the Chief of the Central Security Service.

At the ceremony which celebrated both the change in command and the transition of USCYBERCOM into one of the combatant commands, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said,

For more than 1,000 years, militaries have vied for dominance on land and sea. For the last 100 years, we have dominated in the air. Today we are at the dawn of a new era, facing the reality of war’s changing character: The emergence of cyberspace and outer space as contested warfighting domains, equal in importance with land, sea and air.”