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New Cryptology Rating Defends Information Threats
Story Number: NNS041007-02
10/7/2004

From Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- To face the new threat of cyberspace and warfighting through information operations, the Navy established the new Cryptologic Technician (Networks), or CTN rating Oct. 1.

The new rating will focus not only on protecting the Navy computer networks from attacks, but also helping develop networks and systems that improve mission accomplishment.

"The rating is targeted specifically against new threats that we have - cyber threats," said Senior Chief (SW/AW) Cryptologic Technician (Networks) Noah Smith, U.S. Pacific Fleet Special Intelligence communicator. "Our job as CTNs is to develop the various aspects of computer network operations, to protect our national interests and to protect our tactical warfighter. Specifically, we're engaged to diminish the will for our adversaries to fight, as well as putting precision weapons on a particular target."

Before being selected for CTN, the 242 new CTNs went through an application process which included an endorsement from their chain of command. In June, a board convened in Millington, Tenn., to decide who would be in the new rating. Those selected require a vast array of computer networking knowledge.

"I am very excited about becoming a CTN," said Cryptologic Technician (Networks) 3rd Class Mechelle Krecota, a global network analyst at Naval Security Group Activity, Hawaii. "The CTN rating is like the way of the future. There will be many opportunities in this rating."

Besides having the knowledge and experience of their current CT rate, candidates for CTN must be sustained superior performers.

"From a senior-enlisted perspective, the CTN rating will be primary advisors to the information warfare officers on how to conduct and mesh information operations together," said Smith, a native of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Over the next three years, about 600 CTNs will be selected for service in the new rating through a selection process aimed at an applicant's ability to serve and perform in a technically sophisticated and demanding rating. They will use defensive and offensive computer network operations tools and techniques in support of the information-operation-warfare area.

"This rating is very computer-network-operation focused and is a rating with career progression," said Krecota, from Rural Valley, Pa. "I think CTNs will improve the Navy, because it's the key to strengthening the integration of information operations into naval operations."

Now that the CTN rating has been established, after more than 10 years of debate and study, the new rating is looking for interested, qualified CTs to submit conversion request packages. The CTN rating will be open to all Navy ratings in FY-07.

Interested and eligible applicants should see their command career counselor for eligibility requirements and application instructions.