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The 90 COS logo.

90th Cyber Operations Squadron

The SHED logo.



Our job is not done until an operator can employ our products. We deliver or we lose.


Deliver options to the warfighter before the country needs them employed. Lead the info warfare community: understand needs early, arm them prior to conflict, give maneuver space in conflict.


The home of the military hacker. Disciplined and agile craftspersons of the highest caliber, empowered by an environment tailored to their work, ready to deliver and win.

How We Get There

Build Competence - Everywhere

  • Take deliberate action, and think out loud.
    See Turn the Ship Around and Pointing and Calling
  • Cultivate skill through study, observation, and practice.
  • Enrich understanding of our materials and our tools.
    Constantly seek to learn about what we are producing (for external and internal consumption) and the tools we use to produce those things.
  • Teach in order to learn.

Clarity - 360° Transparency

  • Clearly articulate guidance, intent, and priorities.
    Make the important things searchable and discoverable.
  • Embrace an automation-oriented mentality with inspectable code.
  • Use our guiding principles as decision criteria.
    When our decisions are in-line with our principles, our decisions have a documented bedrock.
  • Seek feedback. Then achieve excellence, don’t just avoid errors.
    Don’t seek to simply avoid errors, strive for excellence personally and within your team. Be transparent internally and externally to gain useful feedback. Grow from that feedback.

Give Control - Move Authority to the Informed

  • Provide necessary resources, authority, and top cover. Nurture an environment of autonomy.
  • Reward initiative, prepare for and take risk.
    Taking initiative within a team often involves incurring risk. Perhaps, just risk of wasting some time or money. Reward responsible risk initiatives.
  • Reduce overhead, eliminate unhelpful bureaucracy, embrace automation.
  • Actively listen.
    Do more than hear, listen.

Guiding Principles

Be Accountable

  • Take ownership - own the good with the bad.
  • Don’t pass the buck - we are responsible.
    Take responsibility for everything in your purview. When your team’s success relies on something outside your purview, your responsibility doesn’t end - take responsibility for interfacing with those who do control that work.
  • Be honest and transparent. Assume good intent, build trust.
    Let honesty and transparency engender trust from your teammates, your squadron mates, your fellow airmen, and our partners. Build mutual trust over time.
  • Follow your conscience.
    Follow your personal conscience, and follow our team conscience.
  • Value individuals, interactions, and customer collaboration.
    People, and interacting with them, are more important than processes. Processes are important, but communication is more important. See the Agile Manifesto for more information.

Teach and Learn

  • Be humble. Listen, be open.
  • Learn by doing and delivering.
  • Teach - remember how it was before you learned.
  • Embrace change - help your peers embrace it too.
  • Value the ability to respond to change.

Take Risk Responsibly

  • Act. Boldly.
    See: Jean-Luc Picard, Benjamin Sisko, and Kathryn Janeway.
  • Accomplish our mission safely.
    Our adversaries are as advanced as we are. We must avoid falling victim to them as we seek to expeditiously accomplish our mission. Build things in ways such that we don’t get hacked and we don’t get our operators hacked.
  • Exploit situations with small downside but large upside.
    See the book Antifragile, or this page about asymmetric opportunities, for a discussion about this idea.
  • Experiment, probe the unknown to make it known.
  • Fail sometimes, quit sometimes. Do not fail the mission.

Our Conscience

Do the Right Thing

Integrity first. Service before self. Excellence in all we do.

Live up to Our Heritage

We are an instrument of US foreign policy. We are ready for the time when other foreign policy fails. Our readiness holds our adversaries at bay. We are here to guard our country and our way of life. Many came before us.

Have Humanity

Our actions define us, and the consequences of our actions will be judged by history. Earn the continued trust and respect of the American people and our allies.

“This is my leadership philosophy. I will be consistent. I will hold you accountable to this standard. I expect you to hold me accountable. HACK ‘EM UP!” - Lt Col Karl Rosie Sickendick

Built 2024-03-23