*Guest post by Commander James W. Adkisson III.

Although it may have been mandated to help our community achieve greater relevance in line with the CNO’s new priorities, the opportunity to name one’s self and have that name widely accepted is a rare opportunity indeed. Change is good.

Although I joined the Navy as a Cryptologist (CTI) and was commissioned as the same, we have grown beyond that description. My initial sense is to strictly follow the naming convention of the unrestricted line—the Surface Warfare Community has Surface Warfare Officers, so why can the Information Warfare Community NOT have Information Warfare Officers? Although it does a much better job at addressing the nature of our profession than Cryptology Officer, Information Warfare Officer may not completely encompass that which we actually do. So what do we do and what name shall we select that keeps the 1810 community recognizable, relevant, and distinguishable from the other designators within the newly named, Information Warfare Community?
Information Operations has been our focus for at least the past 16 years. Though it has been largely misunderstood and poorly defined, Joint Publication 1-02 (15 Jan 2016) now defines IO as The integrated employment, during military operations, of information-related capabilities in concert with other lines of operation to influence, disrupt, corrupt, or usurp the decision-making of adversaries and potential adversaries while protecting our own. We are challenged to execute IO elements and the associated Information Related Capabilities (IRC) that involve non-kinetic fires because we do not own the systems/equipment that are installed in various combatant platforms. Also, authorities to employ non-kinetic fires, resides at levels well above the tactical and operational level and has implications to the joint electromagnetic spectrum. Few of us really understand IO and the related elements; and the planning and execution functions are not replicated in Maritime Operations Centers (MOC).

Cyber is the newest and shiniest toy, everywhere. Everybody wants to do it, everybody wants the effects, and everybody wants the tools at the lowest tactical levels. The Navy Cyber Mission Force build-out, which involves a large percentage of the 1810 community, is a clear indication that Information Warfare Officers/1810 are indeed doing Cyber. DCO, with the exception of DCO-RA is achievable at the tactical level, but OCO and Cyber ISR suffers the same restrictions as non-kinetic electronic warfare. Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare (EMW) has emerged over the past two years, but the Information Warfare Community has not embraced EMW as appreciably different from IO. Yet, Fleet Forces Command and Pacific Fleet have integrated EMW into the Optimized Fleet Response Plan cycle and the culminating Composite Warfare and Joint Tactical Force exercises. The duty has fallen to the Carrier Strike Group Deputy Information Warfare Commander / 1810 community.

Certainly we do cryptology and the fusion analysis that helps us create order from the chaos of millions of bytes of information. Cryptology is indisputable and passed on by the great Captain Joseph J. Rochefort. Additionally cryptology remains the core title of our enlisted community with whom 1810 Officers are aligned; despite the fact that SSES is part of the N2 organization in a Carrier Strike Group (another topic for discussion). So, in addition to defining the 1810 community in terms that attribute recognizable relevancy, and distinguishability from the other IWC designators, we must also devise a name for ourselves that is inclusive of the different character of what we do, this way, we may find our nature and finally a lasting solution for our name.

Ultimately we provide operational commanders with an advantage in the Information Environment, which Joint Publication 1-02 (15Jan2016) defines as “The aggregate of individuals, organizations, and systems that collect, process, disseminate, or act on information”. This has not changed. We are, after all, war fighters in the Information Warfare Community. Our battleground is the electromagnetic spectrum and the technical weapons we bring to it enable unique effects. But what do operational commanders do with the advantage we provide in the information environment? Frankly, the basic requirements for gaining an advantage in the Information Environment have not changed since the dawn of warfare. Mahan, Clausewitz, San Tzu, and of course the father of Cryptology, Rochefort understood this. Even as the CNO’s priorities “adopt new practices” such as cyber and EMW, modern warfare still expects 1810 Officers to provide an advantage in the information environment. The change now is that our adversaries embrace these same requirements and the technology gap is decreasing, making it much more difficult to gain and maintain that advantage. Will changing our name change the reality of that ever closing technology gap and 1810 Officer’s requirement to provide an advantage? Not likely. But, perhaps a name change that is inclusive of all our capabilities and the effect those collective capabilities provide will help our unrestricted line and joint brethren gain a better appreciation of what the 1810 community, within the Information Warfare Community, can bring to the fight.

As war fighters among the maritime domain, the effects we provide in the information environment should have direct implications for maneuver, kinetic / non-kinetic fires, assured C2, mission assurance, and situational awareness. To achieve these effects, 1810 Officers must project power throughout the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) “The range of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation from zero to infinity. It is divided into 26 alphabetically designated bands” (Joint Publication 1-02, 15 Jan 2015). 1810 Officers must project power in the EMS in a manner that keeps operational commanders informed, exploits adversary vulnerabilities, and provides technical options that deliberately counter adversary situational awareness, decision making, and action. All warriors, regardless of the domain in which we operate know Sun Tzu’s tenet of the decision cycle “If you can operate inside your enemy’s decision cycle you will ensure victory.” Clausewitz is more direct “apply your strength against your enemy’s weakness.” Antoine Bousquet provides a modern spin:

“The forces that have succeeded in remaining organized while precipitating their adversaries into disarray have almost invariably prevailed.” The Scientific Way of Warfare: Order and Chaos of the Battlefields of Modernity, 2009.

1810 Officers create order from chaos by drawing information from the EMS while participating in operations with surface, subsurface, air, land forces and in joint community; among which all warfare communities must ultimately participate. In fact, within the Information Warfare Community, 1810s exclusively operate in all platforms and are even embedded with SEALs. This is unique within the Information Warfare Community and better defines our requirement, capabilities, responsibility, relevance, and distinguishability at the nexus of the EMS as participants in all facets of Naval and joint warfare. This should be reflected in our name.

Our founding name—Cryptology—depends on the EMS. When CAPT Rochefort seduced the Japanese Navy into revealing their ability to monitor and reliance on US communications, he used the EMS to intercept Japanese communications and transmit false data in that same medium. By decrypting the information (breaking the JN25 code) he created order from chaos and turned information into intelligence. He then used that order and understanding of Japanese Communications to transmit a message that ultimately caused the Japanese Navy to reveal their combat intentions. Rochefort created conditions that allowed U.S. Operational Commanders to operate inside the Japanese Navy’s decision cycle, apply Nimitz’s strength against Yamamoto’s weakness, and ultimately precipitate the Japanese Navy Midway Island Invasion Force into disarray.


The U.S. Navy prevailed at Midway and changed the course of the war. It could be argued that the planning effort to transmit false information is based in Information Operations. Indeed MISO and ELINT (EW) is present. If the electro-mechanical decipher machines used to break the JN25 and Enigma codes of WWII can be excluded as computers, cyber warfare was not identifiably present in Rochefort’s time, but that does not exclude cyber as a chief function of 1810 Officer’s today. In his continuum of the four phases of warfare Antoine Bousquet defined cyber in the third phase as the cybernetic phase. And yes, 1810s are heavily invested in DCO, OCO, and Cyber ISR. But even as cyber becomes more important to everyone, it too has a growing reliance on the EMS. WiFi is not only for commercial use.

Antoine Bousquet’s fourth phase of warfare is Chaoplexic Warfare, otherwise defined as net-centric warfare. This form of warfare defines heavy reliance on the electromagnetic spectrum for the purpose of creating effects that provide operational commanders with an advantage and precipitate adversary forces into disarray. It has its problems and the concept is now seven years old. But that does not invalidate the fact that, in Cryptology, Cyber, IO, and EMW, the 1810 community has always depended on the EMS. We have the charge to change our name with one constraint—Do not use Cyber Warfare Officer. The only restraint is to be inclusive of everything the 1810 community does. I have added recognizability, relevancy, and distinguishability to draw us closer to a name that reflects the nature of what we do rather than the character, which changes as we adopt new capabilities that rely on the EMS. I propose that unless we are able to retain our name as Information Warfare Officer (IWO), the name of the 1810 community should be Electromagnetic Spectrum Warfare Officer (EMSWO).

EMSWO embraces the future, respects our past, and addresses current COMTENTHFLT strategic goals. Most fortuitously, It is in line with the developing Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare strategy being developed by OPNAV N2N6. In her article “Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare”, Margaret Palmieri, Director, Integrated Fires, N2N6, defined EMW as “the Navy’s war fighting approach to gain decisive military advantage in the EMS, to enable freedom of action across all Navy mission areas.” As described earlier, 1810 Officer’s operate in all Navy mission areas above, on, and under the sea; and with Special Forces. She spelled out five objectives: Battlespace Awareness (Sense, discriminate, understand all emissions), Assured Command & Control (Baseline of secure, reliable communications paths), Maneuver (Agilely use EMS), and Integrated Fires (Use of kinetic and non-kinetic weapons to create lethal and non-lethal effects). Although cryptology is not specifically spelled out in the objectives, it is clearly an enabler in battlespace awareness—1810 Officers bring COMINT, ELINT, and Cyber. Palmieri added that new capabilities will make EMW a reality. 1810 Officers’ ability to have greater influence in the EMS is coming with the advent of upgraded systems such as SSEE INC F & G (INC F is already here), SEWIP Blocks 2 & 3, Next Generation Jammer, Solid State Laser, and Distributed EW & Battle Management. Not mentioned in the article are the host of cyber tools for DCO, OCO, and Cyber ISR. Most exciting is the development of Navy Integrated Fires Control – Electronic Warfare (NIFC-EW). If you have observed or participated in the Navy Integrated Fires Control – Counter Air effort, then you have a good idea what NIFC-EW and associated equipment may bring to the fight.

I mentioned earlier that the 1810 community has not accepted EMW as appreciably different from Information Operations. But the reality is that few of us have formal training in IO and really do not understand how to employ the related elements and associated Information Related Capabilities. 1810 Officers have a clear and sustaining role in the new concept of EMW to, as Palmieri put it, “Understand and control signatures, command the EMS as critical maneuver space, and use the EMS to deliver integrated fires”. Although we do not fly in their aircraft, 1810 Officers have always enjoyed a close relationship with the 1320 community now operating in the EA-18G GROWLER and E-2D HAWKEYE. This relationship must continue and aligning our art with theirs; that is bringing our collective weapons to the fight, has a better chance of achieving the objectives of Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare.

If we understand EMW correctly and employ everyone involved, then the change in the name of the 1810 community to EMSWO need not affect the name of our enlisted corps, specifically CTs. CTs perform a very specific and important function and we cannot risk compromising that with something so simple as a name change—Fleet Commanders understand what CTs do. EMW requires integration with anyone having an effect on the EMS, and that is a lot of rates above, on, and below the sea. We dare not entertain changes their names. The EMSWO / 1810 community will maneuver in and through the EMS and conduct cryptology, cyber warfare, and Electromagnetic Maneuver warfare to provide a decisive advantage to operational commanders in the electromagnetic spectrum. In effect, our relevance will be defined by what we do on our battlefield, the EMS. Nothing really changes, but the name and our courage to embrace it. However, if we are to go full bore with this name change, we should also look more closely at our organizational structure, especially in Strike Group operations and others. For example, will NIOC become EMSOC? These are concerns for another article, yet to be written.

Commander Adkisson is an active duty, Information Warfare Officer / 1810.