I would like to share with you my thoughts and recommendations concerning a fundamental shift in how we define ourselves, as Officers, as enlisted Sailors, and as an Information Warfare Community.

During my service, I have seen our community evolve and change many times, with attendant name and organization changes. Recently, we have begun another stage in our evolution with the re-designation of the Information Dominance Corps to the Information Warfare Community. And our TYCOM, as a result of this change, will very soon be announcing a name change for the cadre of Officers known currently as Information Warfare Officers. It is clear that this change must happen, as it is not inclusive of the community as a whole if only one portion of the Officer community is named in this way. But I submit to you that we as a community should not stop there. There are organizational changes that we can make concurrent with these changes that, In my opinion, will serve to better streamline our organization and more accurately describe us; as individuals, as groups, and finally, as a community.

 Let us first start with the IWC as a whole. I feel that there are specific skill sets that, while part of the IWC, are separate and distinct from one another by virtue of their specific duties. It serves us well to identify as members of the IWC, but we should be more refined in our descriptions. To satisfy this, I recommend that the Officers and enlisted Sailors of the IWC be grouped by skills and duties into specific cadres within the IWC. The cadres should be named according to their skills, missions, and other attributes as the community sees fit. I recommend the following cadres be established:
Spectrum Operations Cadre (Officers: 1810/681X/781X and CTR,CTT, CTI, CTM (see rating change recommendations))  This is the name I recommended to replace IWO
Information Technology Cadre (Officers: 1820/682X/782X and IT)
Computer Network Operations Cadre (Officers: 1840/684X/784X and CTN (see rating change recommendations))
Intelligence Cadre(Officers: 1830/683X/783X and IS)
METOC Cadre(Officers: 1800/680X/780X and AG (see rating change recommendations))
For Officers of the IWC, this change would not involve a great deal of change, with the following exceptions. First, I recommend that Information Warfare Officers be designation as Spectrum Operations Officers. I feel that this fully encompasses what we do while providing for some measure of OPSEC, in that we are not out and out advertising that we are in the business of cryptology, something that I feel we should do. Second, I would re-designate Information Professionals as Information Technology Officers. I think it is redundant to label any Officer as a “professional”. This is a given.  All other Officers would retain their previous names.
 Where the Officers would not experience a great deal of change, such is not the case for recommendations involving our enlisted Sailors. First, I will address my recommendations for what should not change. I recommend that Intelligence Specialist (IS) and Information Systems Technician (IT) retain their names and rating badges, as they already accurately describe their mission set and skills.

For the rest of the ratings, I recommend that rating names and, in most cases, rating badges be changed to reflect both the historical and current contributions to the Navy and the community. In the case of the CT ratings (CTR, CTT, CTI, CTM, and CTN), there is much in the way of shared history. These Sailors come from a long and proud heritage that got its start with the first spectrum warriors. These men and women pioneered the use of the RF spectrum to enhance our capabilities while reducing those of the enemy. In the beginning these professionals were labeled Communications Technicians, or CTs. Later, that name was changed to reflect an emphasis in Cryptology, changing to Cryptologic Technician. While these Sailors did, as our Sailors do now, forms of cryptology, it by no means covers the full breadth of the skills possessed by these professionals. It is for this reason that I feel the name Cryptologic Technician should be replaced, and a new rating name for each current CT rating be devised. I recommend the following changes, although I will note that my opinion is certainly not the only one to be considered. I feel that if these changes are approved, fleet input should be gathered to ensure buy-in.

Cryptologic Technician Collection (CTR): Communications Intelligence Technician (CT) – Retain current CT rating badge
Cryptologic Technician Technical (CTT): Electronic Intelligence Technician (EW) – Revert to prior EW rating badge?
Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI): Language Communications Specialist (LC) – Rating badge TBD
Cryptologic Technician Maintenance (CTM): Systems Maintenance Technician (SM) – Rating badge TBD

Cryptologic Technician Networks (CTN): Computer Network Operations Technician (CN) – Rating badge TBD

In the case of Aerographer’s Mates (AG), I recommend a change as well. This will reflect their total contribution to the IW mission and their place in the larger IW community:

 Aerographer’s Mate (AG): Meteorology and Oceanography Technician (MO) –  Keep AG rating badge?


Very Respectfully,

CWO2 Jason H Tillman

CWO2 Jason Tillman (former CTTCS) is currently attending IWBC in Pensacola, FL.   He has served over 16 years as a EW/CT.  Shipboard commands include: Spruance-class destroyer, Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, an Oliver Hazard Perry-class-frigate, and a Ticonderoga-class-cruiser.   His shore commands include NIOC Colorado and Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division.