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Gathering top secret intelligence starts with those who know how to find it – using their intellectual abilities and the latest technology to collect, decipher and translate enemy communications.
Analyzing encrypted electronic communications. Jamming enemy radar signals. Deciphering information in foreign languages. Maintaining the state-of-the-art equipment and networks used to generate top secret intel. This is the highly specialized work of the Enlisted Sailors in the Navy Cryptology community.
Their responsibilities include:
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:
Cryptologic Technician Technical (CTT) – CTTs serve as experts in airborne, shipborne and land-based radar signals. Their responsibilities include:
Cryptologic Technician Networks (CTN) – CTNs serve as experts in communication network defense and forensics. Their responsibilities include:
Cryptologic Technician Maintenance (CTM) – CTMs serve as experts in the preventive and corrective maintenance of sophisticated cryptologic equipment, networks and systems. Their responsibilities include:
Cryptologic Technician Collection (CTR) – CTRs serve as experts in intercepting signals. Their responsibilities include:
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 Cryptologic Warfare Officers (four-year degree required) or Cyber Warfare Engineers (four-year degree required).
Learn more about the different disciplines that make up the Information Dominance Corps and how their expertise affects every part of the Navy, including the Department of Defense, and more.
Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent.
CTs in the Navy Reserve serve in an Enlisted role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with the job, initial training requirements must be met.
For current or former military Enlisted servicemembers: Prior experience satisfies the initial Recruit Training requirement – so you will not need to go through Boot Camp again.
For those without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial Recruit Training requirement by attending Boot Camp for 7-9 weeks in Great Lakes, Ill. This training course will prepare you for service in the Navy Reserve and count as your first Annual Training.
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:
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.