Marine Corps’ Mahlock takes reins of Cyber National Mission Force

WASHINGTON — A U.S. Marine Corps general took command of the Cyber National Mission Force, ushering in a new era of leadership for a military hacking cohort often dispatched to assist foreign governments.

Maj. Gen. Lorna Mahlock succeeded Army Maj. Gen. William Hartman at the helm of the CNMF during a ceremony Jan. 5. Hartman, who led the force since 2019, is taking another post as Cyber Command’s deputy chief.

Mahlock in a statement said she felt humbled to serve alongside “our nation’s elite cyber warriors, competing daily against a threat that is very real, but which few can comprehend, quantify or see.”

The CNMF was established in 2014 and has since deployed more than 55 times to 27 countries — including Ukraine, ahead of Russia’s latest invasion, and Albania, in the wake of Iranian cyberattacks — to identify network weaknesses and unearth malicious software. Its elevation to a subordinate unified command within CYBERCOM in 2022 was recognition of its critical role in stateside election defense and overseas sweeps.