Major Kaitlin Kenny serves as the deputy director for cyber professional continuing education within the Air Force Institute of Technology’s School of Strategic Force Studies and is a 2020 graduate of Joint Professional Military Education, Phase II through the Joint College of Warfare Studies in Norfolk, Virginia.
Students are competitively selected to attend JPME II where they study integrated deployment and employment of multi-service forces with focus on joint doctrine, specifics of joint warfare, understanding the four service cultures, and developing joint attitudes and perspectives.
“It is hard to get a seat if you are not a lieutenant colonel or sitting in a joint billet at the time,” explained Kenny. “I had just PCS’d out of a joint billet and got to go as major without a line number and now that I have completed the course, I am fully joint qualified.”
The program concentrates heavily on government level operational and strategic level planning using the Diplomatic, Information, Military and Economic Model. “As military members, we tend to focus on the military category when we are coming up with response options,” said Kenny. “But this course helps remind you that there are other avenues out there that can either support what you are trying to do, or possibly even prevent the military option. It makes you a more strategic thinker.”
Another outcome of the course for Kenny was a greater appreciation for joint culture, particularly understanding how the different services approach problem solving. “What I appreciate is understanding how a Marine approaches a problem, or how a Navy guy approaches a problem, and being able to meld that together when you are in a group,” said Kenny.
Being able to bring her new knowledge and experience into the AFIT classroom is an opportunity that the School of Strategic Force Studies Dean, Col. Craig Narasaki, believes will help set-up young officers for success. “Major Kenny was handpicked to join a select group of professionals tasked with providing professional continuing education required for cyber badge upgrade. We are all very proud of her accomplishments,” said Narasaki.
Kenny has deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Spartan Shield, and other missions in support of the Global War on Terror including five times in support of U.S. Special Operations Command. She served as a flight commander in Iraq and Afghanistan where she helped to establish a new base and served on a U.S. naval vessel as the J6 for a Joint Special Operations Task Force Headquarters afloat.
Completing JPME II opens up more career assignment opportunities for Kenny who would like to return to a joint assignment within organizations like the U.S. Special Operations Command. “I love the Air Force, but I also love the different perspectives that you get working with the other services in a joint environment,” said Kenny.
Kenny sees increased multi-service interaction as the future of the military and encourages Airmen to get experience working with the other military services. “As young as possible, even if you don’t get the credit for being in a joint billet, seek opportunities for joint education or a deployment and get that joint experience.”
Kenny holds a Bachelor of Science degree in systems analysis from Miami University, Ohio and a Master of Science degree in criminal psychology from Tiffin University and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in industrial and organizational psychology. She is also a graduate of the U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School and AFIT’s Cyber 200 and Cyber 300 courses.