The Australian military and Defence Department says it will have to accept out-of-shape couch commandos into the ranks as it tries to recruit a new generation of cyber soldiers.
And the Defence Department says it too will have to think outside Australian Public Service traditions – and wage levels - if it is to attract the technical expertise it needs.
A senior officer told a cyber security conference this week that army's physical fitness requirements could be relaxed to allow the recruitment of military keyboard warriors.
And in comments that could stir dissent among the rank-and-file who remain unhappy about their recent pay determination, the army's modernisation chief Major-General Fergus McLachlan said hacking experts might be hired on different wage scales than their comrades in arms.
He also indicated the ADF might have to use different pay scales to find the abilities it needed and that new trades skills and training might have to be offered to serving sailors, soldiers and air-force personnel.
In comments reported by trade site iTnews, General McLachlan said that a "non-linear recruiting model" might have to be used to find the soldiers capable of fighting emerging cyber threats to the nation's security.
The officer said that might include exemptions to the army's usual requirements that recruits have a reasonable level of physical fitness.
"We'll need cyber soldiers who can defend our systems at the tactical level as well as forward in the operating environment," General McLachlan said, according to iTnews.
"They will have the skills to identify the threats within that environment and the means to protect the networks providing commanding control to commanders.
"This includes insider threats and anomalies."
Defence's head of joint capability, Rear Admiral Peter Quinn, told the conference the department was willing to look beyond traditional public service recruitment techniques as it sought to build "a coherent, ubiquitous cyberspace defence strategy in Defence."