In 2009, Sailors in the Information Systems Technician (IT) rating were given entrée into an entirely new field of Naval service: The Information Dominance Corps, or IDC. Created to exploit the expertise and knowledge of enlisted Sailors, officers, and civilian professionals working in information-intensive fields, the IDC was a major part of the U.S. Navy’s initiative toward merging intelligence with four other systems: computers, communications, command, and control.

The IDC was divided into four distinct categories: Information, Cryptologic, Intelligence, and Environmental. Enlisted sailors from four ratings—Information Systems Technician (IT), Cryptologic Technician (CT), Intelligence Specialist (IS), Aerographer’s Mate (AG)—could become members of the IDC by earning the Enlisted Information Dominance Warfare Specialist (EIDWS) qualification. (CTs with service ratings of CTI, CTM, CTN, CTR, CTT were also able to qualify.) Each category was headed by officers in analogous fields—Information Professionals (IP), Cryptologic Warfare (CW), Intelligence (INTEL), and Meteorology/Oceanography (METOC).

Unfortunately for IT Sailors wishing to become part of the IDC, a 2012 review by Navy Cyber Forces Command, which oversees the EIDWS program, revealed that only half of the personnel eligible for qualification served in command under IDC administrative control. In response, the regulations were changed so that Sailors in the four IDC ratings could enroll in existing EIDWS qualifying programs even if it was not offered by their commands.

The move bolstered the ranks of the IDC, and its growth led to a new phase in the evolution of the initiative. In January, 2016, the IDC underwent a change in designation to the “Information Warfare Community,” which U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Ted Branch explained in a written announcement reflected the Chief of Naval Operation’s “emphasis on information in warfare and information as warfare.”

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