As part of the Information Warfare Community, candidates for the Intelligence Specialist (IS) rating must pass stringent background requirements before their careers even begin. Because IS Sailors require continuous access to sensitive compartmentalized information, they must pass an extremely thorough security clearance investigation known as a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI). All pertinent aspects of a candidate’s past—birthplace, education, employment, friends and family, credit ratings, and much more—are scoured for signs of any possible impropriety that could compromise an IS in the performance of his or her duty. Once cleared, the investigation recurs every five years.

IS candidates and all their immediate family members must be U.S. citizens, and a minimum score of 108 on the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) is required. At some point in the training period a typing test is required, but this is generally a minor hurdle for incoming recruits who have been raged in a digital age and are quite familiar with keyboard usage.

With the completion of recruit training, passing the SSBI, and meeting minimum ASVAB scores, future Intelligence Specialists are sent to the Class “A” Technical School for their rating, in their case the Navy Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center (NMITC) held at the Training Support Center Hampton Roads in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The 13-week course provides an introduction to all the foundational skills and equipment employed in the rating: how to read maps and charts, understand and create operational intelligence, perform briefings and undergo debriefings, and basic computer software skills.

While all “A” School graduates will also attend a more advanced “C” School, just when that takes places depends upon the Sailor. Some graduates will be sent directly into an assignment where they can begin receiving advanced tutelage in intelligence equipment, procedures, and techniques. The remainder will continue on to “C” School—also held at the NMITC—for continued training, both in classroom and individualized settings.


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