sorry, I was out of town for a few days. UKSG I agreewith you on the first point, but I disagree on the second, to an extent. I would agree that it is something you have to be into, but not that you are born with or is limited to a subset of people. Look at the hackerspace movement and other similar things, you have people who have never shown an interest in this arena, sometimes in their later years learning these new skills, developing and learning new technology. While something does need to spark the change, I think it foolish for us to limit acceptance in the community to only the rockstars who hacked phones at age 10.
"But to excel in the field, you need to have some decent background and strong desire to continue learning."
Absolutely agree, you need a passion, but I think that passion doesnt always develop as a child, it can be nurtured later in life.
The specific topic that came up in discussion of the use of military personnel. Many people assumed that they would not be able to think out of he box, that they are robots. Having served with many, I disagree. I have served with people in many mos' and seen that across the board, military personnel are just like civilians, the difference is when they put on the uniform, they have to play the game, say yes sir and no sir. They are just as capable, just as determined as someone else. Many work in high technology fields, satcom, EW, IT support, Intel, they can all be cyber warriors if they want to. Now, I am not a fan of just letting anyone go cyber willy nilly. I think they should have to demonstrate knowledge or a passion for technology.