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In the Navy, information technology (IT) plays an important role in everything from electronic mail systems, to shipboard control systems, to Special Intelligence (SI) systems. Navy Information System Technicians (IT specialists) are Enlisted Sailors who engage in a broad range of responsibilities, including network administration, database management and computer hardware and software implementation. Their responsibilities include:
As an Information Technology professional, you will help ensure the viability of essential communications links. You’ll provide administrative support for the equipment that keeps records on everything from personnel training to healthcare to promotions, to offering technical support and training to fellow personnel. Your role may also include:
Information Systems Technicians serve in versatile roles both afloat and ashore – on ships or at communications stations in the United States or overseas. Typical work involves mental analysis and problem solving and takes place in clean, air-conditioned electronic equipment space or computer rooms. Duties may be performed individually or as part of a team.
Serving part-time as a Reservist, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Information Systems Technicians in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes.
For annual training, Information Systems Technicians may serve anywhere in the world, whether on a ship at sea or bases and installations on shore.
Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists.
Upon completion of initial 7–9 week Recruit Training (known as Boot Camp), those pursuing an Information Systems Technician position receive formal Navy schooling at “A” School in Pensacola, Fla. For approximately 24 weeks, they develop the working knowledge it takes to be Navy IT specialists in preparation for their first assignment on a ship or at a shore station.
Starting with extensive technical preparation in everything from database design to computer networking to communications systems, skills continue to be enhanced through on-the-job training and experience. 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.
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.
Information Systems Technicians 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 seven to nine weeks in Great Lakes, Ill. This training course will prepare you for service in the Navy Reserve and count as your first Annual Training.
Jobs in Navy Information Technology involve a high level of responsibility and maturity in dealing with highly technical systems and classified information. Often, the extensive Navy Reserve training in this area converts directly to college credit. Advanced technical training may be available for qualified individuals.
Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy technical and operational training in the field of information technology 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 high school diploma or equivalent is required to become an Enlisted Sailor in the IT field in the Navy. Those seeking an Information Systems Technician position must be U.S. citizens who can meet eligibility requirements for a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance. You should have a good working aptitude of math, an understanding of modern computing devices and the capability to do highly detail-oriented work.
General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.