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Senate confirms new Army Cyber Command chief

The Senate has confirmed President Joe Biden’s nominee to helm the U.S. Army’s digital warfighting branch.

Army Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett was approved by voice vote to be the next chief of Army Cyber Command and become a three-star general. The promotion will make her the first woman to lead the organization since it was established in 2010.

Her confirmation occurred Wednesday night — less than a week after she was approved by the Armed Services Committee — as the Senate works to clear a backlog of nominees before Congress goes on a two-week Easter and Passover recess.

The Record first reported in December that Barrett, who did not have a public confirmation hearing, had been selected for the post. 

In her current role as head of the Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command, Barrett is responsible for the operation and defense of the service’s part of the Defense Department Information Network, or DODIN.

She previously served as deputy of operations at U.S. Cyber Command. Before that, she was the deputy commanding general at Cyber Command’s Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber and deputy commander for operations for the command’s Cyber National Mission Force.

The promotion comes as cybersecurity officials across the federal government brace for potential Russia digital attacks to bleed out of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Worries about such strikes have only increased since the Kremlin’s offensive has ground to a halt and been forced to regroup due to stiff Ukrainian resistance.

Barrett will have more than 16,000 personnel under her new command and oversee regional centers around the world from Army Cyber headquarters at Fort Gordon, Georgia.

In a statement, Dr. Raj Iyer, the Army’s chief information officer, said he looks forward to working with Barrett in her new post.

“She brings tremendous experience to the position leading DODIN Operations for the Army and defending our networks,” according to Iyer. “We are fortunate to have someone of her caliber at the helm of ARCYBER at a time of heightened cyber threats against our networks.”

Lt. Gen. John Morrison, the Army deputy chief of staff for cyber, noted he has worked closely with Barrett for years.

“She is exactly the right leader to take Army Cyber Command into the future and her extensive experience within the cyber domain is critical as our Army continues to transform for Multi-Domain Operations,” the three-star said in a statement.

Barrett will succeed Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, who has led the Army Cyber Command longer than any previous chief. 

The date for a change-of-command ceremony, where Fogarty will transfer his authority and responsibility to Barrett, has not been announced.

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Martin Matishak

Martin Matishak

is the senior cybersecurity reporter for The Record. Prior to joining Recorded Future News in 2021, he spent more than five years at Politico, where he covered digital and national security developments across Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community. He previously was a reporter at The Hill, National Journal Group and Inside Washington Publishers.