(BPT) - In today's technically advanced world, radical groups and rogue states don't just use guns and bombs to attack our country and allies; they use technology and information too. The need to defend against these cyber attacks has spurred an evolution in the field of Information Warfare - and generated exciting, meaningful career opportunities for a new generation of men and women who want to serve their country.
From the Civil War period, when specially trained U.S. Naval personnel intercepted and deciphered enemy signals and employed cryptology to secure domestic and international communications, protecting our nation's communication infrastructure has been a priority. Sailors and Marines assumed cryptologic duties as early as 1889, when the first radio transmission was sent from a U.S. Navy ship. During World War II, nearly 10,000 Naval cryptologic personnel worked worldwide to support every major campaign in the war.
Since that time, cryptologists have played a direct role in every United States conflict and have evolved to meet the dynamic challenges of modern cyberwarfare. Today's Information Warfare community consists of more than 11,000 members. Their efforts have played a critical role in missions ranging from the Osama bin Laden raid in Pakistan to the capture of the Maersk Alabama, a cargo ship held hostage by pirates off the coast of Somalia. As cyber security grows in importance to national security, the demand for people who can help keep our country protected has never been greater.
In an era of Information Warfare, enemy groups are able to plan their attacks more effectively. Therefore, people with the skills to protect our country's communication and technological systems are critical to capitalize on vulnerabilities in our enemies' information environments. The responsibility of the Information Warfare community involves attacking, defending and exploiting rival communications networks at sea, in the air or on land. The field of Information Warfare offers opportunities for those who excel at computing, foreign languages or other technical fields. The Navy can provide jobs and training opportunities for high school and college graduates as well as those with professional experience. Assignments place Sailors in a variety of locations, from aircraft carriers to amphibious command ships to Naval air stations, at home and abroad.
Here are a few of the chief Information Warfare career opportunities that are most in demand now and will be in the future:
An array of cyber threats, vulnerabilities and the growing military dependence on cyberspace mean the military needs Cryptologic Linguists for every mission during peace and war. A Navy Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI) is an expert who uses knowledge of a region's language, culture, history and current political landscape to advise decision makers on real world situations. CTIs work daily with aural and written foreign language material. These professionals support security missions both domestically and internationally.
The United States depends on an information advantage to keep its people safe from harm. Navy Intelligence operatives filter and analyze raw data, turning it into knowledge that helps inform international policy and military strategy. The Intelligence community is one of the largest and most important networks in the world, supplying real-time information for every mission the Navy conducts. Tasks may include coding classified information, using state-of-the-art computer equipment aboard aircraft carriers or amphibious command ships. Specialty training is provided for all Intelligence candidates regardless of experience.
Maintaining communication channels takes on a whole new level of importance when the security of a nation is at risk. Information Technology (IT) is a growing career field in both the civilian and military worlds. Experienced IT professionals, such as computer programmers, data analysts and technicians, help protect the Navy's networks from threats. Navy IT Specialists are in charge of the needs of ships, aircraft and personnel. In this field, Sailors work with a variety of virtual channels and may operate mainframe computer systems that handle classified material, set up video surveillance to help U.S. forces keep watch and provide technical support to deployed units.
Cyber Warfare Engineering
Protecting against electronic warfare is a never-ending task, since thieves are relentless in developing new ways to attack. Cyber Warfare Engineers develop computer network operations capabilities in order to protect our country from cyber threats, which could potentially destroy entire infrastructures, such as railroad systems, gas pipelines and even financial markets. The best and brightest Computer Scientists and Computer Engineers lead teams that protect against espionage, ensuring the United States never loses the information advantage. Because of their intelligence, leadership and specialized skills, Cyber Warfare Engineers are in high demand while in the Navy and also upon returning to civilian life.
Because of the way our world has had to evolve to protect our communications infrastructures from existing, developing and future threats, Information Warfare careers will continue to be in high demand in the years ahead. The specific responsibilities of America's Navy are carried out by the hundreds of thousands of Sailors who work tirelessly to achieve the highest standards of excellence in hundreds of diverse career fields. Visit www.navy.com to learn more about the career opportunities and the background that is required to answer this call to serve.