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.
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 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?
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.