Jayson L. Sanford
12 September 2012
U.S. Navy: CTI (Cryptologic Technician Interpretive)
The United States Navy is home to some of the most respected commando forces in the military today. Although most people see the military as a place of warfare and combat, it can be a very rewarding and life changing experience. The U.S. Navy is becoming an increasingly attractive career for both men and women throughout America.
In the Navy, every enlistee is given a rating. This is your ‘job’ as an enlisted sailor. Ratings range from an Air Traffic Controlman to a Master at Arms (Enlisted Rating Descriptions and Qualification Factors). Every rating requires specific ASVAB scores and other necessities. There is a fairly high barrier of entry to be a Cryptologic Technician Interpretive. Requirements include an ASVAB score of VE + MK + GS = 165 and a DLAB score of a 100 at the very least. Other qualifications for the CTI rating are above average writing and speaking skills, orientation toward ideas and information, and the ability to keep accurate records and work with detail. As an applicant, you must be eligible for a ‘top secret clearance’ and a citizen of the United States. A Single Scope Background Check will determine eligibility for this clearance along with a reinvestigation every five years.
As a CTI in the Navy, expectations are the analyzing of foreign materials and preparation of statistical studies and technical reports, translating, interpreting, and transcribing foreign language communications data, working with classified material, and reporting highly technical information of strategic and tactical importance to fleet commanders and national intelligence agencies. Training for this rating will be provided through boot camp, A school, C school, F school, and the DLI (Cryptologic Technician – Interpretive). The DLI is the Defense Language Institute, located in Monterey, California. This is where the enlistee learns the language that he or she will specialize in. Depending on the language being learned, schooling can take from 173 to 439 calendar days. Languages offered at the DLI include Arabic, Persian-Farsi, German, Russian, Spanish, Pashto, Chinese, and Korean. In order to learn a certain language, a specific DLAB score is required. The Defense Language Aptitude Battery is a test given to determine the level at which an enlistee can potentially learn a language. There is no way to study for it because it’s simply a test over a made up language. The test can be taken only three times and each time must be six months apart. Higher scores make the grade for more advanced languages.
The working environment of a CTI varies throughout the Navy. One may be ashore, afloat, and in some instances airborne. (Cryptologic Technician) Their workspace is usually in clean, comfortable office type or small technical laboratory type environments while on shore duty. Sea duty is somewhat different. There is close supervision but work is done mostly independently or in small teams. Their work is of great importance in decision making and mostly pertains to language materials. All three working environments have different insignias. For ashore CTIs, the insignia is swords. For afloat, it is a dolphin and for airborne it is wings. Although the location of a CTI is diverse, the job description is ultimately the same.
The history of the United States Navy goes back to the 1700s, when Americans debated on what role a navy would play within a national scheme of defense and what missions naval forces would be called upon to conduct in support of American interests. Because the nature of the American national security policy has changed since 1775 it is easily understood why the roles and missions assigned to the U.S. Navy has change accordingly over the course of two centuries. Written in the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings in 1954, Samuel P. Huntington stated that the history of the nation's defense...
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