|Its about the people – even the weird ones.|
Naval Cryptology provides decision makers with information about the adversary, while denying similar information to the adversary. Cryptologists have always conducted our business in the dark, windowless places of the world without complaint. We are quirky, in part because of the nature of our work, in part because of the types of people who are drawn to Cryptology. In the Navy today, with the exception of nuclear ratings, cryptologists are required to have the highest ASVAB scores. More often than not, we have strong computer backgrounds, or an interest in computers. We are smart and we are weird.
We are a diverse community. Traditionally, the officer ranks are filled with members from other warfare communities. Only recently has the Navy begun assessing officers directly from initial commissioning programs. In the enlisted communities, the reverse has been true. During the drawdown from Iraq and Perform to Serve, many enlisted ratings were forced to convert into the cryptologic community. The diversity and breadth of knowledge of the Navy is a strength of the cryptologic community. The reason is, to be an effective cryptologist, we have to think like the commanders we are advising. We also have to think like the adversary commanders we are up against. We have to be technically proficient, and yet culturally aware.
More so than any community in the Navy, it is the talent of the cryptologic community that is the real power of the community. As such the future of the cryptologic community lies in matching and developing talent to the task at hand.
What do you think of when you think of Talent Management in the cryptologic community?
How might we better use the diverse skillsets inherent in the cryptologic community?