Interpret and translate critical information in foreign languages. Advise top-level authority figures. Develop immediate strategic data about enemy forces. As a Navy Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI), your ability to speak and understand world languages will take center stage. You will be part of an elite community made up of fellow top-notch linguists. Whether via radio, telephone or computer, you will be specially trained to decipher and analyze pertinent foreign information in every form of communication imaginable.
Navy Linguists are highly skilled, detail-oriented men and women. As a CTI, you will go through intense language training in Arabic, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Korean or Persian. You will also receive advanced technical training that can be used on any communications system aboard aircraft, surface ships and craft, and submarines in support of your unit’s commander.
As an Enlisted linguist, you may also:
- Act as an interpreter during regional disasters to help provide relief efforts
- Operate sophisticated electronic radio receivers, recording devices and computer terminals
- Protect U.S. interests by providing up-to-the-minute tactical information on foreign adversaries
Your thirst for detail, interest in culture and aptitude in technology will make this an ideal career path.
Undergoing demanding comprehensive foreign language instruction. Operating sophisticated, computer-assisted information systems. Working with sensitive, highly classified materials. Making important decisions while aiding important decision makers.
Your duties as a CTI will include:
- Translating, interpreting and transcribing foreign language communications data
- Analyzing and reporting highly technical information of strategic and tactical importance to Fleet Commanders and national intelligence agencies
- Performing temporary duty aboard a variety of naval surface and subsurface vessels and aircraft
As a CTI, you will often work independently or in small, coordinated teams under the supervision of Information Warfare Officers. While on shore duty, you could be in either a clean, comfortable office-type or small, technical laboratory-type setting. Sea duty is performed in a variety of environments – from aircraft to surface ships to submarines and more.
Training & Advancement
Language training in Arabic, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Persian is open to men and women. A Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) test must be taken at Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) or wherever available and a minimum score of 100 is required.
Based on the DLAB score, students will then be assigned to a language based on school quotas and requirements as follows:
- DLAB score of 100–109 qualifies personnel for Spanish, Persian-Farsi and Russian
- DLAB score of 110 or above is required for the Arabic, Chinese and Korean languages
Once a language path has been determined, enlistees are trained in the fundamentals of the CTI rating through extensive two-phase formal Navy schools. Phase I, also known as “A” School, teaches the enlistees their specific foreign languages and cultural backgrounds through comprehensive individualized and group instruction. Phase II, or “F” School, teaches the technical application of this linguistic skill.
Upon completion of “A” school, CTIs are assigned to their respective Center of Excellence shore station. While assigned to these shore stations, CTIs have the opportunity to perform temporary assignments aboard aircraft, surface ships and craft, and submarines. CTIs are given annual training for language maintenance, and very often are provided an opportunity to take intermediate and advanced foreign language training.
“A” School teaches CTI candidates specific foreign languages and cultural backgrounds that are recognized by most universities, and for which credit is obtained that can count toward a degree. A number of Sailors can also earn their associate’s degree from the Defense Language Institute during this time. Furthermore, additional credit toward a degree can be obtained in “F” School.
Like most positions, your increase in rate and rank is earned. Promotions depend upon your performance and time in service.
Along with an interest and ability to learn foreign languages, CTIs have exceptionally good character, as well as above-average writing and speaking skills, a good memory, an orientation toward ideas and information, and ability to keep accurate records and work with details.
Also important is adaptability to a wide range of work activities and environments. Interest in technology and willingness to acquire computerized information processing skills are also helpful.
As an applicant, you must be a U.S. citizen and meet eligibility requirements for continuous access to sensitive compartmented information (SCI), commonly known as “top secret clearance.” Eligibility for such clearance is determined by the results of a Single Scope Background Investigation, followed by a reinvestigation every five years.
After the Navy
Placement opportunities for qualified Navy CTI applicants are outstanding. With more than 1,800 men and women now working in the CTI rating, a wide variety of opportunities for further language education and training exist, as well as assignments to challenging and rewarding jobs.
Consider Your Service Options.
There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America's Navy. Besides full-time opportunities in Active Duty, part-time Reserve positions are also available in this career area.