Army civilian receives lifetime achievement award for cyber contributions

Charles Kendzierski, a lead computer scientist and offensive cyber team lead, received the Jeffrey B. Jones Cyber Operations award from the Association of Old Crows during an Oct. 19, 2016 ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The award recognizes a U.S. or international military, civilian or industry official for outstanding and lifelong dedicated service to promoting and advancing the cyberspace operations. | U.S. Army photo by Bob Schofield

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – A U.S. Army cyber-subject matter expert received a cyber operations award from the Association of Old Crows, or AOC, during the Cyber Electromagnetic Activities Conference at APG, Oct. 19.

The Jeffrey B. Jones Cyber Operations Award recognized Charles Kendzierski, a lead computer scientist and offensive cyber team lead at the U.S. Army Materiel Command’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, for his committed career to cyber and electronic warfare.

Each year the AOC presents the Jeffrey B. Jones Cyberspace Operations Award to a U.S. or international government, military or industry official for outstanding and lifelong dedicated service to promoting and advancing the cyberspace operations discipline; this includes informing, persuading and influencing activities, said the AOC.

“Chuck consistently pushes the state of the art to develop and deliver both cyber and electronic warfare capabilities for transition to the U.S. Army Cyber Command; U.S. Army Intelligence & Security Command; U.S. Cyber Command; the Program Executive Office – Intelligence Electronic Warfare and Sensors; and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering,” said Paul Robb, Jr., CERDEC Intelligence and Information Warfare, or I2WD, Cyber Technology Branch chief.

Kendzierski’s work in cyber began in 1987 when the National Security Agency hired him as a computer scientist. After 18 years with the NSA, he led requirements collection, analysis and Joint Requirements Oversight Council validation of Defense Department cyber situational awareness gaps, requirements and capability needs on behalf of the U.S. Cyber Command.

He served as the Cyber Command’s lead for co-development of the Joint Cyber Situational Awareness Initial Capabilities Document with U.S. Strategic Command and was one of two deputy directors under OSD AT&L’s Joint Cyber Situational Awareness Evaluation of Alternatives.

While working for the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, Kendzierski served as an enlisted Airman and a Cyber and Intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard.

Prior to retiring from military service in 2011 after almost 24 years, Kendzierski spent his last six years as a commander in the Air National Guard’s first Network Warfare Squadron. Kendzierski, along with assistance from then Delaware Senator Joseph Biden, was instrumental in standing up the Air Force’s establishment of the first Network Warfare Squadron.

In 2014, Kendzierski arrived at I2WD and has since overseen several offensive cyber technology development initiatives and the successful transition of cyber capabilities for operational use. Additionally, Kendzierski was appointed as I2WD’s component lead for a four year, multimillion dollar, CERDEC-wide Science and Technology Objective effort called Cyber Electromagnetic Activity Situational Awareness Tactical Analytic Framework, more commonly known as C-STAF.

“Under this strategic initiative, he is guiding the development of analytical techniques to discern red and grey space CEMA situational understanding derived from tactical sensor collections; this information is critical for timely, accurate and effective decision making by the tactical commander,” Robb said.

Kendzierski provides subject matter expertise to the Army’s 40 year Cyber Materiel Development Strategy – the Army-wide strategic investment strategy for cyber.

In addition to his technical expertise, Kendzierski creates and maintains relationships with CEMA customers, those in the development community, and multiple Joint military efforts.

“These relationships and his ability to convey complex cyber concepts has resulted in an ASD(R&E) approved three-year, multimillion dollar program across Army, Navy, and Air Force research labs to develop a defensible offensive cyber operations (OCO) architecture and OCO cyber situational awareness. This effort has far-reaching application across many emerging CEMA technologies and has a clear transition path to materiel developers,” Robb said.

Kendzierski’s ability to maintain relationships led him to his position at CERDEC.

“My background was predominately in defensive cyber, but I’ve had a consistent relationship with I2WD since 2008,” Kendzierski said.

Kendzierski believes the work done at CERDEC significantly impacts to the operational environment.

“The work we do in CEMA is considered by warfighters as critical to their success. Timely and accurate CEMA situational awareness of the battle space is a vital component to both Army and Joint future mission success, and the capability and ability we have to determine solutions makes a difference on the future battlefield,” Kendzierski said.

“The individual elements that make up CEMA are incredibly difficult problems to solve. The work we do – these R&D solutions – will enable decision and action giving the commander the information needed to make a decision within operationally relevant timelines,” Kendzierski said.

Kendzierski credited the successes of his current team to the diversity of thinking and experiences with both new and seasoned engineers bringing different views of analysis, visualization and problem solving to the workplace.

“I’ve had incredibly blessed career thus far, and I’m humbled by the team I have and the people I work with,” Kendzierski said. “Their acumen, expertise, and persistency makes it easier to come to work.”

“Coming from my previous positions with U.S. Cyber Command and the U.S. Air Force, I am consistently humbled by the Army’s substantive expertise, understanding and contributions in the areas of research and development of science and technology for CEMA,” Kendzierski said.

Story by Kristen Kushiyama, CERDEC