What to Expect
As an Intelligence Specialist (IS), you will be a critical part of the operational decision-making process. Working with potentially classified material, your duties may include:
- Analyzing intelligence information
- Preparing and presenting briefings and reports
- Preparing graphics and overlays
- Plotting imagery data using maps and charts
- Planning photographic reconnaissance missions
- Providing input to and receiving data from computerized networks ashore and afloat
- Using intelligence databases, libraries and files
- Gathering information for pre-strike threat analysis and post-strike battle damage assessment
As an Intelligence Specialist, you will work under the oversight of Intelligence Officers (four-year degree required) who serve as managers of intelligence-related activities.
Intelligence Specialists serve on large ships, with aircraft squadrons and at various intelligence production centers located in the U.S. or overseas, generally dividing time equally between assignments ashore and afloat. The work is mostly analytical, as it supports the Navy's intelligence mission on all fronts. Typically, duties are performed in an office or watch environment and involve working closely with others, though the capability to operate without supervision is also required.
Training & Advancement
Upon completion of the initial 7-9 week training at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes (known as Boot Camp), you’ll report for specialized training, including:
Class “A” Technical School (13 weeks) in Dam Neck, VA, for training in fundamentals of intelligence administration, maps and charts, operational intelligence, briefing, basic computer software operating skills to include typing tests and other basic skills required for the rating.
After you’ve completed training, you may be assigned to all large ships, aircraft squadrons, staffs, intelligence facilities and Joint Commands in the United States and overseas. As an IS, you can expect approximately 50% of your assignments to take place at sea.
Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance.
Advanced training as an Intelligence Specialist may also be available during later stages of your career. For those with further leadership aspirations and a college degree, Officer roles may be available, providing opportunities to lead and train others.
Specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields in the civilian sector.
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.
Qualifications & Requirements
A high school diploma or equivalent is required to become an Enlisted Sailor in the Navy. Those seeking an Intelligence Specialist position, including all family members, must be U.S. citizens who can meet eligibility requirements for a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance. Vision correctable to 20/20 and normal color perception are also required.
You should have good speaking, writing and record-keeping skills, a good working aptitude of math and the capability to do highly detail-oriented work. Other helpful characteristics are resourcefulness, curiosity, an interest in ideas and information and the ability to make analytical decisions.
There are part-time opportunities available as an Intelligence Specialist.
Serving part-time as a Navy Reserve Sailor, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Intelligence Specialists in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes.
For annual training, Intelligence Specialists may serve anywhere in the world, whether on a ship at sea or at bases and installations on shore.
Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Navy Reserve Sailors.
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 of that.
Intelligence Specialists 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, IL. This training course will prepare you for service in the Navy Reserve and count as your first Annual Training.