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Representatives Tony Gonzales, Robin Kelly Introduce Bill to Form National Digital Reserve Corps

July 29, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Tony Gonzales (R-TX-23) and Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) on Thursday introduced legislation to form a National Digital Reserve Corps, a group of civilian individuals with relevant skills and credentials to address digital and cyber needs across the federal government. 

Reservists would sign-up for a three-year period, in which they would work for the federal government for 30 days per calendar year to take on digital and cybersecurity projects, digital education and training, data triage, acquisition assistance, and development of of technical solutions. Reservists would also have the opportunity to obtain and maintain security clearances, complete certifications, and receive training and education to better equip them to meet the federal government’s cybersecurity and digital needs. Individuals in the National Digital Reserve Corps would be detailed to federal agencies from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). The bill also requires the Department of Labor to issue regulations that ensure reservists jobs are waiting for them once they finish their annual service.

“The establishment of the National Digital Reserve Corps brings the ingenuity and expertise of the private sector to our federal government,” said Congressman Gonzales. “As we have seen from multiple cyber and ransomware attacks this year, the United States government currently lacks access to digital expertise. The organization of the National Digital Reserve Corps strives to fill that void with civilian industry experts working in service to our federal government and our national security.”

“The National Digital Reserve Corps is an innovative solution to help the federal government reach its cybersecurity and digital needs while allowing reservists an opportunity to gain valuable experience and receive additional training to grow their skillset,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “I am proud to introduce this bill with my colleague, Congressman Gonzales, to improve national cybersecurity and bring in new talent to assist agencies and modernize the Federal government.”

"The National Reserve Digital Corps is one of the NSCAI's most important recommendations on organizing the federal government for the global emerging technology competition,” said the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence’s (NSCAI) Executive Director, Yll Bajraktari. “This legislation will establish a talent management and digital workforce framework at the size and scale needed to meet the technology workforce needs of the national security enterprise. The NSCAI is grateful to Representatives Gonzales and Kelly for their leadership on this important workforce provision and look forward to its inclusion in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act."

The NSCAI is a Congressionally authorized independent commission established to advance the development of artificial intelligence, machine learning and technology to address the national security and defense needs of the United States. The organization is chaired by Dr. Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google. It was established by the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and was mandated to create a report with recommendations to the President and Congress on how to best utilize AI and technology to address the United States’ national security needs. A National Digital Reserve Corps was one of NSCAI’s recommendations.

Issues:Economy