The rating of Cryptologic Technician (CT) came about as a recognition of changing technologies and subsequent modifications in rating duties. In 1948, the Communications Technician (CT) rating was established from several Specialist ratings: Cryptographers, Radio Intelligence, Technicians, and Radioman. With it came a host of Service Ratings, such as CT Administration (CTA), CT Interpretive (CTI), and CT Maintenance (CTM), to name a few.
In 1976, the rating’s name was changed to the current designation of Cryptologic Technician, but nearly all the Service Ratings were retained. In 2003, the rating was augmented when the Electronic Warfare (EW) rating was merged into it. As of 2016, the CT rating features five Service Ratings: Interpretive, Maintenance, Collection, Networks, and Technical.
Similar to the Information Systems Technician (IT) rating, Sailors wishing to pursue a career path in the Cryptologic Technician (CT) rating must meet stringent security requirements due to the highly sensitive nature of the information and data with which they are entrusted. CT sailors, as well as their immediate family members, must be United States citizens. Because they must have continuous access to sensitive compartmentalized information, potential CTs are the subject of Single Scope Background Investigations, a process that is repeated every five years.
Sailors considering apply for the CT Interpretive service rating need to be aware that duties could involve assignment aboard submarines, aircraft, and surface vessels, and applicants must affirm their willingness to serve in those capacities once they complete language-training school. (Note: Women are not assigned to submarines.)