Gathering data from a multitude of sources. Filtering out what’s important. Getting that information into the hands of military leadership and decision makers. Intelligence Specialists play a hands-on role in the process of transforming raw data into actionable intelligence.
The development of useful intelligence starts with the diligent efforts of skilled professionals who break seemingly limitless data down into relevant and manageable pieces. Those in the Intelligence Specialist (IS) role collect, process, analyze, organize and disseminate information. Prepare materials that communicate their findings in detail. And ultimately, help generate insight that has strategic and tactical implications all over the world.
Serving as Enlisted Sailors (high school diploma or equivalent required), Navy Intelligence Specialists are part of the Information Dominance Corps (IDC) – a group of highly specialized information experts fully integrated across surface, subsurface, air, space and cyberspace domains. With shared functions, capabilities and resources, IDC members leverage their skills to optimize decision making and to maximize the use of sensors, weapons, network communications and control systems for purposes of national security and warfighting.
A critical part of the operational decision-making process, Intelligence Specialists provide multi-source intelligence data that supports combat operations along with national and strategic objectives. As an IS professional, you will work with potentially classified material and perform duties that may include:
- Analyzing intelligence information
- Preparing and presenting briefings and reports
- Preparing graphics and overlays
- Plotting imagery data using maps and charts
- Planning photographic reconnaissance missions
- Providing input to and receiving data from computerized networks ashore and afloat
- Utilizing intelligence databases, libraries and files
- Working under the oversight of Intelligence Officers (four-year degree required) who serve as managers of intelligence-related activities
Intelligence Specialists serve on large ships, with aircraft squadrons and at various intelligence production centers located in the U.S. or overseas – generally dividing time equally between assignments ashore and afloat. The work – which supports the intelligence mission of the Navy on land, at sea, under the sea and in the air – is mostly analytical. Typically, duties are performed in an office or watch environment and involve working closely with others – though the capability to operate without supervision is also required.
Training & Advancement
Upon completion of initial 7–9 week Recruit Training (known as Boot Camp), those pursuing an Intelligence Specialist role report to Dam Neck, Va., where they receive formal Navy technical training at “A” School for approximately 13 weeks followed by advanced training at “C” School for 5–13 weeks. Through this schooling, they develop the working knowledge it takes to be Navy IS professionals in preparation for their first assignment.
Starting with extensive technical preparation in everything from intelligence administration to operational intelligence, skills continue to be enhanced through on-the-job training and experience. Advanced training in intelligence procedures and equipment go along with career progression. In the course of service, specialized training received could lead to credentialing, certification, licensure and/or apprenticeship opportunities from a number of national boards and organizations. Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance.
Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy technical and operational training in the field of intelligence can translate to credit hours toward a bachelor’s or associate degree through the American Council on Education. You may also continue your education through opportunities like the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Navy (SOCNAV) Degree Program, Navy College Program and Tuition Assistance, and the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Intelligence Specialists are rewarded with excellent benefits – including competitive pay that’s dependent upon rank or rate and years in service. Like most positions, your increase in rate and rank is earned. Promotions depend upon your performance and time in service.
A high-school diploma or equivalent is required to become an Enlisted Sailor in the intelligence field in the Navy. Those seeking an Intelligence Specialist position must be U.S. citizens who can meet eligibility requirements for a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance. They should have good speaking, writing and record-keeping skills, a good working aptitude of math, and the capability to do highly detail-oriented work.
After the Navy
The specialized training and expertise you gain as an Intelligence Specialist, coupled with your security clearance, may prepare you for a wide range of job opportunities available within the U.S. Intelligence Community, including future employment with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or National Security Agency (NSA).
Other career opportunities in the civilian sector include work as Computer Systems Analysts, Intelligence Analysts, Management Analysts, Software Developers and Geographers.
Consider Your Service Options.
There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America’s Navy. Besides full-time opportunities in Active Duty, part-time Reserve positions are also available in this career area.