Here’s a little history of the of the Cryptologic Warfare Officer, designator.
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) — Those in the Navy Cryptology officer community were designated ‘Information Warfare Officers’ in May  to reflect their roles in managing, moving and protecting information.
The name change affects officers with 161X, 164x, 644x and 744x designators. Currently, there are more than 860 officers with this designator. This move marks a new era, acknowledging the expanded skill sets and responsibilities the Navy has vested in these officers.
“We are transforming along with the rest of the Navy to make sure that the right person is in the right job at the right time,” said Cmdr. Jim Hagy, Information Warfare Assignments and Community manager, Navy Personnel Command, Millington, Tenn. “By shedding our Cold War era title, we are changing not only our name, but transforming the community in order to align ourselves with the Navy’s total force strategy.”
With the name change also comes the transition to a new chain of command. Cryptology officers were under the Naval Security Group (NSG) Command at Fort Meade, Md., which was disestablished Sept. 30. Now, the Information Warfare community has joined the Naval Network Warfare Command (NNWC) in Norfolk, Va.
NNWC was created in 2002 by the Secretary of the Navy as the operational authority that coordinates all information technology, information operations and space requirements for the Navy. The command’s establishment recognizes that networks, as warfare enablers, are becoming increasingly important.
At that same time, the Chief of Naval Operations established Information Operations (IO) as a primary warfare area on par with other warfare specialties and directed development of the Navy’s IO career force.
The Information Warfare community has a long history of furnishing signals intelligence to strategic, operational and tactical commanders. The Navy has been concerned with protecting its signals against unauthorized use since the Civil War, but dramatic cryptologic developments didn’t arrive until after radio communications came into use around the start of the 20th century.
The first wireless transmission from a Navy ship was in 1899, and with it came assignments in communications security and intelligence.
In 1917, the Code and Signal section of the Naval Communications Service undertook cryptologic duties during World War I. By 1935, the Naval Security Group was born. At the height of World War II, more than 10,000 Navy specialists participated in the worldwide activities of NSG.
After 1945, its size was reduced, and a few years later officer and enlisted designators were formed. These forces proved themselves during the Korean conflict and throughout the ’50s and ’60s. In 1968, the Naval Secruity Group was established under a flag officer, and by 1971, it was reorganized, marking the separation of cryptology from communications for the first time.
Over the next decades, the community continued to show its worth during war and peace.
Source: Navy Personnel Command