DoD’s former chief digital and AI officer heads to private sector

Craig Martell, whose outside-government gigs have been with LinkedIn, Dropbox and Lyft, is joining Cohesity as its chief technology officer.

  • DoD's former chief digital and AI officer has a new job in the private sector. Craig Martell, who served as the Defense Department's first chief digital and artificial intelligence officer for almost two years, is joining Cohesity as its chief technology officer. In that new role, Martell will seek to accelerate the innovation internally and the advocacy externally of Cohesity’s AI-powered tools and capabilities to improve the use of enterprise data. Martell came to DoD in 2022 after spending most of his career in the private sector with LinkedIn, Dropbox and Lyft. Martell left DoD in March and Radha Plum, the former deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment, assumed the CDAO role in early April.
  • A draft version of the House defense policy bill would raise junior enlisted pay by 15%. Members of the House Armed Services Committee want to give enlisted troops ranked E-1 through E-4 a 15% raise. Last month, the committee introduced the Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement Act to address recommendations made by the House quality of life panel. The legislation is meant to serve as the foundation for all quality of life issues in the 2025 defense policy bill. The Defense Department is also in the middle of its Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation, which will impact lawmakers’ final decision. President Joe Biden’s 2025 budget proposal also includes a 4.5% raise for all service members.
  • The Postal Service is pausing some of its facility changes until next year. USPS is looking at 60 of its mail processing facilities and considering whether to move some operations to larger regional hubs. But Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said the agency will pause these plans until at least January 2025. That is because more than a quarter of the Senate recently called on USPS to pause these changes until a third-party regulator can weigh-in on the merits of its network modernization plan. USPS said its reviews will not result in facility closures or career employee layoffs.
  • The Postal Service is looking to raise prices on more than just mail. USPS is asking its regulator for a 25% increase on the rates it charges for Parcel Select, a package service that caters to high-volume shippers. USPS said it does not plan to raise prices on consumer-focused package services, such as Ground Advantage, Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express. But in July, USPS is planning on raising the price of its first-class Forever stamp to 73 cents.
  • The Army Software Factory program is expanding to add a new chief learning officer (CLO). The Army Software Factory describes itself as an Army Futures Command unit that enables soldiers to become software professionals. The CLO will oversee the learning and development initiatives for the entire organization. The person will also lead the development of the software factory's organizational, programmatic, operational and policy matters pertaining to training programs, strategic initiatives and activities. Applications for this Austin, Texas-based GS-14 position, which is open to the public, are due by May 17.
  • Joint Force Headquarters-DoD Information Networks has completed "Locked Shields 2024," its largest cyber exercise. Locked Shields focuses on cyber attacks on critical infrastructure in real time. The exercise brought together 3,500 participants from 40 countries. This year’s Locked Shields tested out artificial intelligence and 5G technologies. The Defense Department plans to operationalize lessons-learned during the exercise through the Rockville, Maryland-based National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, in partnership with Marshall University and West Virginia University.
  • Data experts across the federal government are setting shared goals. The Chief Data Officers Council is calling on its members to make the federal workforce more data-savvy and make sure agencies are able to hire the data experts they need. The council is also focused on making agency data sets easier to share with top users. Chief data officers are planning to help their agencies prepare for a rise in artificial intelligence tools. The council is looking to make progress on these goals by the end of fiscal 2025.
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  • The House Armed Services Committee wants to modernize the Defense Department’s processes to grant a cyber authority to operate (ATO). If passed, the 2025 defense policy bill would require DoD to establish and regularly update a digital directory of all authorizing officials in the military departments. It would also require the military service's chief information officers to implement a policy requiring authorizing officials to presume a platform is secure if it has already been accredited by another military service. Lawmakers, defense officials and industry partners have long said lengthy ATO processes are slowing down software development within the DoD.
  • The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is adding more depth and details to the common vulnerabilities it provides public and private sector organizations. A new effort called the "Vulnrichment," will add details such as Common Platform Enumeration, a Common Vulnerability Scoring System, Common Weakness Enumeration and Known Exploited Vulnerabilities to its Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs). So far, CISA said it has enriched more than 1,300 CVEs and will continue to add more details in the coming weeks to the other CVEs. CISA is listing all this new data on its  Vulnrichment GitHub Repository.

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