Enlisted Sailors in the Navy Cryptology community analyze encrypted electronic communications, jam enemy radar signals, decipher information in foreign languages and maintain state-of-the-art equipment and networks used to generate top secret intel.
Their other responsibilities include:
- Collecting, analyzing and reporting on communication signals
- Utilizing computers, specialized computer-assisted communications equipment and video display terminals
- Serving as an important part of the Information Dominance Corps in its mission to gain a deep understanding of the inner workings of adversaries and develop unmatched knowledge of the battlespace during wartime
Within Navy Cryptology, there are distinct focus areas that have their own training paths and job descriptions. Each CT role works under the oversight of Cryptologic Warfare Officers (four-year degree required) or Cyber Warfare Engineers (four-year degree required) – and potentially both.
Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI) – CTIs serve as experts in linguistics (including Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian-Farsi, Russian and Spanish) and deciphering information in other languages. Their responsibilities include:
- Collecting, analyzing and exploiting foreign language communications of interest
- Transcribing, translating and interpreting foreign language materials
- Providing cultural and regional guidance in support of Navy, Joint Force, national and multinational needs
Cryptologic Technician Technical (CTT) – CTTs serve as experts in airborne, shipborne and land-based radar signals. Their responsibilities include:
- Operating electronic intelligence-receiving and direction-finding systems, digital recording devices, analysis terminals, and associated computer equipment
- Operating systems that produce high-power jamming signals used to deceive electronic sensors and defeat radar-guided weapons systems
- Providing technical and tactical guidance in support of surface, subsurface, air and special warfare operations
Cryptologic Technician Networks (CTN) – CTNs serve as experts in communication network defense and forensics. Their responsibilities include:
- Monitoring, identifying, collecting and analyzing information
- Providing computer network risk mitigation and network vulnerability assessments and incident response/reconstruction
- Providing network target access tool development
- Conducting computer network operations worldwide in support of Navy and Department of Defense missions
Cryptologic Technician Maintenance (CTM) – CTMs serve as experts in the preventive and corrective maintenance of sophisticated cryptologic equipment, networks and systems. Their responsibilities include:
- Installing, testing, troubleshooting, repairing or replacing cryptologic networks, physical security systems, electronic equipment, antennas, personal computers, auxiliary equipment, digital and optical interfaces, and data systems
- Configuring, monitoring and evaluating Information Operations (IO), Information Warfare (IW) systems and Information Assurance (IA) operations
Cryptologic Technician Collection (CTR) – CTRs serve as experts in intercepting signals. Their responsibilities include:
- Analyzing and reporting on communication signals using computers, specialized computer-assisted communications equipment, video display terminals and electronic/magnetic tape recorders
- Exploiting signals of interest to identify, locate and report worldwide threats
- Providing tactical and strategic signals intelligence, technical guidance, and information warfare support to surface, subsurface, air and special warfare units.
Cryptologic Technicians perform a variety of duties worldwide, at numerous overseas and stateside shore commands; aboard surface ships, aircraft and submarines; and with Naval Special Warfare – generally dividing time between assignments ashore and afloat. Duties could be performed in an office setting, lab-type setting, specialized maintenance shop, secure space or watch environment.
As a CT, you may work independently or as part of small, coordinated teams – ultimately under the supervision of Information Warfare Officers (four-year degree required) or Cyber Warfare Engineers (four-year degree required).
TRAINING & ADVANCEMENT
Upon completion of initial 7–9 week Recruit Training (known as Boot Camp), those pursuing a Cryptologic Technician role report to either Pensacola, Fla., or Monterey, Calif., to receive formal Navy schooling in their specialty area within the field of cryptology. This consists of technical “A” School and possibly advanced “C” School or “F” School.
CTI training – Class “A" School is broken into two phases. Phase One takes place at the Defense Language Institute, Monterey, Calif., and is anywhere from 27 to 64 weeks long. Phase Two is 12 weeks long. Class “F” School is conducted at the Regional Center for Excellence in Monterey, Calif.
CTT training – Class “A” School is approximately 17 weeks long. After “A” school, some CTTs will attend a Class “C” School that is approximately 26 weeks in duration. The schools are located in Pensacola, Fla.
CTN training – Class “A” School is 26 weeks long and located in Pensacola, Fla.
CTM training – Class “A” School is approximately 10 weeks in duration and located in Pensacola, Fla.
CTR training – Class “A” School is approximately 22 weeks long. The school is located in Pensacola, Fla.
Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance. It’s also important to note that specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields.
To learn more about the specific training path for any of the focus areas within the field of cryptology, locate a recruiter.
Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy technical and operational training in the field of intelligence can translate to credit hours toward a bachelor's or associate degree through the American Council on Education. You may also continue your education through opportunities like the following:
- Navy College Program and Tuition Assistance
- Post-9/11 GI Bill
QUALIFICATIONS & REQUIREMENTS
A four-year degree is not required to become a member of the Navy electronics community. There are some specific requirements that apply to electronics jobs in advanced programs such as SECF and NF. Contact a recruiter for details.
A high school diploma or equivalent is required to become an Enlisted Sailor in the cryptology field in the Navy. Those seeking a Cryptologic Technician position must be U.S. citizens who can meet eligibility requirements for a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance. They should have an interest in advanced electronics and technology; exceptionally good character; good speaking, writing and record-keeping skills; a good working aptitude of math; and the capability to do highly detail-oriented, highly classified work.
Specific qualifications vary depending upon specialization area within the field of cryptology. Contact a recruiter for details.
General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.
- Attention To Detail
- Computer Equipment
- Computer Network Operations
- Computer Terminals