Joint Cyber Reserve

A Joint Cyber Reserve (Joint Cyber Unit (Reserve)) for the UK military was mentioned in the 2012 update to the UK Cyber Security Strategy. It was announced by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond MP in September 2013[1] as part of a "cyber strike" capability to cost "hundreds of millions" (up to £500 million according to the Mail[2]).

A page by Joint Forces Command indicates the sort of networking, security and forensics skills being looked for[3]. In an interview with Newsnight[4] Lt Col Michael White said that if that they would be open to hiring convicted hackers if they could pass through vetting.[5] The physical fitness criteria has also become an item of comment.[6]

Recruiting began in October 2013, and it will eventually "number in the hundreds of personnel".[7] While the government cites security[8] as a reason not to comment on the number of positions, or applicants, applications "exceeded the numbers required".[9]

As of September 2014 "induction courses have taken place and these individuals will now move onto specific workplace induction and training".[10] While it was stated to be fully operational before September 2016[11], it is now expected to be in place by April 2017[12].

See also



  1. New cyber reserve unit created, GOV.UK, 2013-09-29
  2. Hammond's £500m new cyber army: As he reveals top-secret Whitehall bunker for the first time, Defence Secretary says future wars will be fought with viruses, Mail, 2013-09-29
  3. Working for JFC, GOV.UK (retrieved 2013-10-01)
  4. UK cyber defence unit 'may include convicted hackers', 2013-10-22
  5. open to hiring EX-CON hackers for cyber reserves, Register, 2013-10-23
  6. Hansard, 2014-03-24
  7. Hansard, 2013-12-27
  8. Hansard, 2015-02-17 - "revealing details such as the number of recruits would indicate capability to our adversaries - possibly helping them to degrade or counter that capability."
  9. Hansard, 2014-03-24
  10. Hansard, 2014-09-04
  11. Hansard, 2014-09-04 - "The next two years (from September 2014) will see the Cyber Reserve fully operational."
  12. Hansard, 2015-03-04 - "Recruiting is comfortably on track to deliver the cyber reserve by April 2017."