Leaders in the Cryptologic Technician (Collection) (CTR) rating from around the world gathered at Corry Station to discuss the way-ahead and future of their rating, from Nov. 1 – 5, 2021.
Every two years subject matter experts from within the Navy’s varied ratings come together to validate and build the occupational standards that are trained to in order to meet the needs of the rating throughout the fleet.
Due to COVID-19, this is the first time in four years the CTRs have been able to conduct their review and update of their standards. This year they had a wide turn-out with representatives from around the globe including, the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR), Navy Personnel Command, Navy Manpower Analysis Center, Information Warfare Training Center (IWTC) Corry Station, several Navy Information Operational Commands, Naval Special Warfare Command, U.S. Third Fleet and U.S. 10th Fleet.
CTRs serve as experts in intercepting signals and gathering information, and as technology advances the CTRs must adapt and evolve in order to continue to meet the Navy’s information requirements. Master Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Chris Motley, CTR Training Lead for NAVIFOR, explained that the goal of the occupational standards review and update is to capture all the tasks that the rating performs to meet the operational mission. With the tasks accurately captured, adjustments can be made to training, advancement and promotion opportunities to ensure the direction the rating is evolving reflects what the Navy calls for in its CTRs.
“Cyber is a growing work role for our rating,” said Motley. “We have billets that are assigned to cyber teams, so we want to capture the work standards we do to support the cyber mission
Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Marshall Shortman, a cryptologic fleet operating instructor at IWTC Corry Station, said, “For my contribution to the occupational standards, I am trying to ensure that the Sailors, both currently in and on their way to the fleet are being trained to the most up-to-date and appropriate standards. We want to make sure as we evolve as an organization that we are not providing training or evaluating knowledge based on outdated information or standards.”
One of the major takeaways from this year’s review and update, said Shortman, was addition of a cyber job to the rating. The three jobs prior to this were: signals analysis; collections; and analysis and reporting. The group determined with the added cyber support role that the rating was providing there needed to be a cyber job added to the rating, tentatively called a cyber analyst. This will allow CTR Sailors working in the cyber realm to continue working there rather than serving short term in the field based on the billet they are currently filling.
“Our people have the opportunity to work in unique fields, and special warfare is one of those communities,” said Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Brody Giger, Naval Special Warfare TAC-EW. “Though we represent a small part of the force, we bring a different perspective to the occupational standards that serves to broaden aperture. This serves to help make sure training standards meet the needs of both communities.”
Master Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Robert J. Butler, CIWT CTR Rating Training Lead explained that CIWT is the hub of cryptologic training and is charged with ensuring that all Navy training requirements are met.
“We have not updated our occupational standards in four years, and as we gear training towards our near-peer adversaries we have to update our training standards to ensure we are ready for the next fight,” said Butler. “We have to be able to provide timely and accurate information to our commanders. The next war isn’t about missiles, it’s about information warfare – that is where it will start.”
Butler concluded by stating, “CIWT is committed to providing up-to-date and in-depth training to Sailors both ashore and afloat in support of our Navy requirements and national strategy.”
The Center for Information Warfare Training delivers trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services, enabling optimal performance of information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.
Story by Kurt Van Slooten
Center for Information Warfare Training