U.S. NAVY CWO INFORMATION SYSTEMS TECHNICIAN (IT) SOFT EPAULETS

Sailors wishing to serve in the Information Systems Technician (IT) rating must undergo stringent background checks because of the highly sensitive nature of the information and communications they deal with on a regular basis. The need for the highest levels of communications security becomes even more clear for IT Sailors serving as Communication Technicians because they understand the critical role Naval communications play in the overall national defense picture as part of the National Communications System.

The organization of the Navy’s communications system has undergone numerous changes reflecting advances in technology and new understandings of the roles of information and communications in warfighting. The Naval Telecommunications System (NTS), which consists of all the equipment used in the transmission, encryption/decryption, and processing of information, is the primary conduit for command-and-control processes operational units at sea. To communicate with shore-based installations, a Naval Communications Processing and Routing System is employed that meets the requirements of both the Defense Communications System and the National Communications System (NCS). Created to enable a method of maintaining a cohesive governmental system in the event of war, the NCS provides for communications links between Federal agencies, and all segments of the Federal government—civilian and military—are part of the NCS.

In 1986, the Naval Telecommunication Command was designated as the service’s primary communications unit. Seven years later, reflecting advances in network connectivity and the emergence of the World Wide Web, it was renamed the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Command. 2001 saw the merger of two different Naval departments—Naval Space Command and Naval Network Operations Command—to create the Naval Network and Space Operations Command, or NNSOC, which itself was a subsidiary of the newly created Naval Network Warfare Command. This emphasis on information and communications as a key component of warfighting is reflected in the creation of the Information Warfare Community, which was originally called the Information Dominance Corps; IT Sailors are currently only one of four ratings enable to achieve qualification in Information Warfare.

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