Report: Military spends money and takes time to train cyber troops, who then leave

WASHINGTON, D.C. — There are questions about how the military is using your tax dollars.


A new report raises concerns the Department of Defense is spending money and taking time to train troops and then those troops are leaving for private sector jobs.

READ: 20 attorneys general send letters warning Walgreens, CVS against mailing abortion pills

These are specially-trained service members who work in U.S. Cyber Command. It is critical to our national defense, and with constant threats, it keeps growing every day.

“We’re talking about people who build, defend, protect DOD resources and those of the other federal agencies,” Brenda Farrell, who specializes in personnel management for the Government Accountability Office, said.

Farrell’s latest GAO report focuses on the military’s cyber talent. She looked at four of the services -- Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

“Everything from information security to cybersecurity personnel to some aspects of intelligence,” she explained of the roles they examined.

Training for those roles comes out of your tax money. Farrell learned for some, it costs $220,000 - $500,000 and lasts one to three years. That’s for each person.

READ: Biden’s handwritten notes part of classified docs probe

The report says across the branches, there’s no standard length of time these people have to stay.

We asked what would be the impact on taxpayer dollars if these folks, who the military spent time and money to train are leaving quickly.

“The impact again is related to that return on investment,” Farrell answered. “DOD, the services have been experiencing recruiting and retention challenges.”

Farrell also explained it’s difficult to figure out how many vacancies the services have in these fields.

The GAO came up with recommendations it thinks will help the situation. It suggests the branches clearly define the service obligations and better track personnel data.

READ: Body found in Georgia 37 years ago identified as missing Seminole County woman

“There’s some unanswered questions,” Farrell said.

In DOD’s response, officials agreed with every recommendation. They say they’ll take action to implement them.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.