Brian Wisniewski, RES ’18
I’m currently serving as the dual-hatted G2/G6 for the Army Reserve Innovation Command (ARIC). The U.S. Army Reserve and ARIC, in particular, had been working to identify systems for online collaboration and workflows even prior to the pandemic response, but the social distancing guidance has helped accelerate those efforts. To that end, we’re leveraging a number of new and emerging capabilities such as the Commercial Virtual Remote environment along with other collaborative tools. The limitations of virtual private network capacity across the force and other “on the .mil network” only options have really come under scrutiny. A primary focus has been on supporting the efforts of the Army Futures Command with Tech Scouting in a variety of key geographic regions (e.g., Boston, California, Colorado, Austin, etc.) along with providing unique Subject Matter Expertise where applicable. One example is several of our Soldiers being queued up to help the Army CIO/G6 Enterprise Cloud Management Office (ECMO) with the push toward migrating many enterprise applications into Cloud environments. Many of these Soldiers, by day, are Cloud Engineers, Security Architects, or Developers with amazing backgrounds who have stepped up to assist where needed to help accelerate and amplify efforts within the Army overall. Though our focus prior to the pandemic was primarily on modernization efforts in the traditional sense (e.g. emerging technology, robotics, hardware, software, etc.), I will be curious to see how much we might begin looking at workflows, policies, and procedures as a Reserve Component (or even broader Army). Considering how we (the ARIC and the USAR at large) responded to the pandemic with new concepts like last month’s Virtual Battle Assemblies or some of the distributed Basic Training Pod Concepts I’ve read about, there may be opportunities for innovation there as well. I am optimistic this may help us refocus some effort on updating and exercising formal disaster recovery and business continuity plans going forward. On the corporate side, we made the leap to nearly 100% remote work where possible using tools like Microsoft Office 365 with Teams, Skype for Business, etc. By and large, this has been fairly seamless. A key aspect of both military and corporate efforts has been transitioning to a distributed workforce. Assignment of deliverables and tracking of productivity, whether in-person or remote, is fairly well entrenched. The biggest change has been how to lead and manage teams when you may not be able to see them. Without body language and non-verbal cues to work from, clear and open communication becomes critical. I do anticipate a lot of retrospective analysis both within the military and corporate realms as we emerge from the strictest measures. The ingenuity and flexibility demonstrated across the country was astonishing and often heart-warming. However, we need to understand where there were gaps and how to address them. A key one we’re looking at on the corporate side is supply chain risk management in the broadest sense. Many of our key suppliers and partners were disrupted or even brought to a halt by global steps to prevent the spread of the virus. We will be looking carefully at distributing that risk going forward and potentially even on-shoring some components where it makes the most sense.
COL Brian D. Wisniewski, CEH, GCIH, CISSP, ITIL
Resident Class of 2018
Cybersecurity Fundamentals Specialist