Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI)
Cryptologic Technicians Interpretive are the Navy's linguists. CTIs attend language training at the Defense Language Institute (DLI), in Monterey, California. They specialize in the analysis of foreign language materials and the preparation of statistical studies and technical reports.
Language training is open to men and women in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian-Farsi, Russian, and Spanish. Additional languages are available to CTIs that qualify for an additional language. New recruits cannot get a guaranteed language in their enlistment contract. Language assignment is determined at DLI based on aptitude, school quotas, and Navy requirements.
The Duties Performed by CTIs Include
- operating sophisticated state-of-the-art electronic radio receivers, magnetic recording devices, computer terminals and associated peripherals in the communications signals environment;
- operating sophisticated, computer-assisted information systems;
- working with classified material;
- translating, interpreting and transcribing foreign language communications data;
- analyzing and reporting highly technical information of strategic and tactical importance to fleet commanders and national intelligence agencies;
- performing temporary duty aboard a variety of naval surface and subsurface vessels and aircraft.
CTIs normally work in clean, comfortable office-type or small technical laboratory-type environments while on shore duty. Sea duty is performed on a variety of air, surface and subsurface platforms. At times they are closely supervised but often work independently or in small, coordinated teams.
Their work is of high interest to command and decision-making levels. It is mostly mental, involving foreign language materials. CTIs may be assigned to temporary duty aboard Navy aircraft. Additionally, male CTI members may be assigned to duties aboard a Navy submarine.
A-School (Job School) Information
- Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA -- 173 to 439 calendar days, depending on language
- Goodfellow AFB, TX -- 92 to 173 calendar days, depending on language
- ASVAB Score Requirement: VE + MK + GS = 165
- Security Clearance Requirement: Top Secret (Single Scope Background Investigation Required)
- Must score 100 or more on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB)
- Must be world-wide assignable
- Must have normal hearing
- Must be a U.S. Citizen
- Immediate family members must be U.S. Citizens
- Moral turpitude offense(s) are generally disqualifying
- Personal security screening interview required
- Former members of the Peace Corps are not eligible
- Candidates must be a high school graduate or equivalent (GED, CPT, home study or other equivalency). If not a diploma graduate, the applicant must provide a high school transcript verifying successful completion of the 10th grade.
Sub-Specialties Available for This Rating: Navy Enlisted Classification Codes for CTI Current Manning Levels for This Rating: CREO Listing
Note: Advancement (promotion) opportunity and career progression are directly linked to a rating's manning level (i.e., personnel in undermanned ratings have greater promotion opportunity than those in overmanned ratings).
Sea/Shore Rotation for This Rating
- First Sea Tour: N/A months
- First Shore Tour: N/A months
- Second Sea Tour: N/A months
- Second Shore Tour: N/A months
- Third Sea Tour: N/A months
- Third Shore Tour: N/A months
- Fourth Sea Tour: N/A months
- Forth Shore Tour: N/A months
Due to the unique nature and specific skill sets required by sailors in the various CT communities, career paths are defined by INCONUS (inside the U.S.) and OUTCONUS (outside the U.S.) tours, instead of sea/shore rotations. Sailors can expect to serve on various tours outside the continental United States and/or overseas tours which count as sea duty, during their career.
CTIs can expect a rotation of one INCONUS tour, followed by one OUTCONUS tour, ect., during their careers.
Much of the above information courtesy of the Navy Personnel Command
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In layman’s terms, a Navy Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI) is simply a linguist for the Navy.
CTIs are normally trained in one of six languages:
The language a CTI is assigned is dependent on Navy requirements, aptitude, and school quotas.
Additional languages are available to those CTIs that qualify.
Related Article – Air Force Airborne Cryptologic Linguist (1A8X1): Career Details
CTIs are charged with providing regional and cultural guidance in support of our nation’s needs by collecting, analyzing, and exploiting foreign language communications of interest.
CTIs also transcribe, translate, and interpret foreign language materials.
A Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI) normally works under the direction of a Cryptologic Warfare Officer or a Cyber Warfare Engineer along with their fellow sailors in Cryptologic Technician ratings:
- Cryptologic Technician Technical (CTT)
- Cryptologic Technician Networks (CTN)
- Cryptologic Technician Maintenance (CTM)
- Cryptologic Technician Collection (CTR)
Related Article – Navy Jobs List: A List Of All 71 Ratings In The Navy
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Requirements and Qualifications
To serve as a Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI) in the United States Navy, you must meet these requirements:
- US citizenship is required
- All immediate family members must be US Citizens or citizens of countries listed in ICD-704 as low-risk countries.
- Must have no adversely adjudicated drug abuse offenses.
- Must be between the ages of 18 and 39.
- Must have normal hearing.
- High school diploma or equivalent.
- Must be world-wide assignable.
- Must volunteer for duty involving aerial flight and duty onboard submarines.
- Must be eligible for a Top Secret / Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) clearance based on a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI).
- Must have an Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) score of VE (Verbal Expression) + MK (Mathematics Knowledge) + GS (General Science) = 162.
- Must have a Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) score of 100, or 110 for Arabic, Chinese and Korean Languages.
- Former Peace Corps members are not eligible.
Related Article:Navy Height And Weight Standards
Training and Career Path
Like all other sailors, CTIs must successfully complete eight weeks of Navy Recruit Training, at the Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes (RTC Great Lakes).
Training for a Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI) takes place in two phases:
- Class “A” School Phase I
- Phase II Class “F” School
Navy A School Phase I is anywhere from 27-64 weeks long depending on the language the CTI is assigned (Spanish is nine months long, Persian-Farsi, Russian, and Hebrew are twelve months long, and Arabic, Chinese Mandarin, and Korean are eighteen months long).
Training is conducted at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Monterey, California.
Phase I training teaches the CTI the comprehensive fundamentals of the language they have been assigned.
Credits are awarded that the sailor may apply towards earning their Associate’s Degree from the Defense Language Institute (DLI).
Related Article – USMC Cryptologic Linguist (MOS 2671-2676): 2020 Career Details
After graduation for “A” school, Cryptologic Technician Interpretive report for training at a Center of Excellence based on their assigned language in either Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, or Texas. They are also automatically advanced to E-4
This is the CTIs Phase II Class “F” School. Again, school length varies depending on the language the CTI is assigned. Training can be anywhere from six to twelve weeks in length.
Here, the CTI learns the technical application of the language that they learned in “A” school.
After successful completion of their training, CTIs are often assigned to the Center of Excellence location where they attended “F” school.
What’s Life Like for a Navy Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI)?
A Cryptologic Technician Interpretive specializes in the analysis of radiotelephone communications and adversary developments.
Related Article – Army Psychological Operations Specialist (MOS 37F): Career Details
Additionally, CTIs prepare technical reports and statistical studies utilizing their knowledge of a foreign language for review and analysis at a command level.
On a day-to-day basis, the Cryptologic Technician Interpretive has a variety of duties, including:
- Operate sophisticated, computer-assisted information systems.
- work with classified material.
- Temporarily deploy aboard a variety of naval aircraft and naval subsurface and surface vessels.
- Operate sophisticated state-of-the-art electronic recording devices, radio receivers, computer terminals and associated peripherals related to the communications signals arena.
- Report and analyze technical information of tactical and strategic importance to national intelligence agencies and fleet commanders.
- Translate, interpret, and transcribe foreign-language communications data.
- Analyzing and reporting highly technical information of strategic and tactical importance to fleet commanders and national intelligence agencies.
While ashore, CTIs normally work in a small technical lab-like or clean, comfortable office type environments.
Related Article – Army Human Intelligence Collector (MOS 35M): Career Details
Sea duty for the CTI is defined as the performance of their duties on a variety of subsurface, air, and surface platforms.
The data they glean is of utmost importance and interest at the command and decision-making level.
On the social news website Reddit, a newly-enlisted CTI inquired in the subreddit, r/newtothenavy as to what life as a CTI is like.
A 10-year CTI veteran answered him:
“I’ve been a CTI for about ten years now. I’ve deployed on subs which absolutely did mean spending 12 hours in a dark room either translating or listening to white noise. That’s also the job that got me to see Japan, Singapore, Philippines, etc.”
“I’ve also spent years as essentially a CTR composing reports, living a life barely different than a civilian. I’ve had a couple other jobs where language was useful but my primary duty was to be a subject matter expert on my region.”
“CTIs on the watch floor do spend a ton of time just translating, but there’s room to move up to more supervisory roles for those that want to.”
“I’ve also seen some go straight into being pseudo-CTNs, usually if they have a lot of network and coding experience.”
CTIs are required to prove their language proficiency yearly by taking the Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT).
Navy Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI) Sea/Shore Rotation
Cryptologic Technician Interpretive is one of the few rates in the US Navy that does not have a Sea/Shore Rotation. CTIs are normally assigned to a Center of Excellence in Texas, Hawaii, Maryland, or Georgia.
They are, however, frequently deployed for temporary duty with Navy Special Operations, or a variety of air, surface, and subsurface platforms.
How Much Are Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI) Paid?
Like the other Armed Services, the Navy bases a sailor’s pay on their rank and length of service.
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||2021 Minimum Monthly Pay|
|E-4||Petty Officer Third Class||PO3||$2,330.40|
|E-5||Petty Officer Second Class||PO2||$2,541.60|
|E-6||Petty Officer First Class||PO1||$2,774.40|
|E-7||Chief Petty Officer||CPO||$3,207.60|
|E-8||Senior Chief Petty Officer||SCPO||$4,614.60|
|E-9||Master Chief Petty Officer||MCPO||$5,637.00|
|E-9||Command Master Chief Petty Officer||CMDCM||$5,637.00|
|E-9||Master Chief Petty Officer Of The Navy||MCPON||$5,637.00|
Like all sailors, CTIs may be entitled to other forms of compensation including base allowance for housing (BAH), base allowance for subsistence (BAS).
However, unlike other ratings, sailors in the Cryptologic Technician Interpretive rating receive a Foreign Langauge Proficiency Bonus for maintaining proficiency which can be upwards of $1,000 monthly depending on the number of languages they are proficient in, as well as their proficiency level.
In addition, CTIs are eligible for a $25,000 Enlistment Bonus after successful completion of Phase I and Phase II training.
Related Article – Army Interpreter (MOS 09L): Career Details
Reviews from current and former CTIs on indeed.com vary, but the vast majority are positive:
More than 2,100 sailors serve in the Cryptologic Technician Interpretive rating in today’s Navy.
Related Article:10 Best Jobs In The Navy For Civilian Life
Civilian Career Opportunities
Civilian career opportunities for former CTIs are plentiful and include such jobs as:
- Interpreter and Translator
- Radio Operator
- Immigration and Customs Inspector
- Audio/Video Equipment Technician
- Foreign Language Teacher
In addition, CTIs should take advantage of their TS/SCI security clearance to use their skills in the National Defense/Intelligence community.
Sailors in the Cryptologic Technician Interpretive rating are encouraged to take full advantage of on-the-job training (OJT) opportunities, and educational opportunities offered and afforded to them during their naval service.
The Navy also strongly encourages CTIs to obtain a Defense Language Institute (DLI) Associate of Arts Degree in their target language while serving.
The United States Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP) also allows CTIs to complete several of their civilian apprenticeship requirements while on active duty.
Several national certifications, federal licenses, and state licenses are obtainable by sailors in the Cryptologic Technician Interpretive rating.
Related Article – Rosetta Stone Military Discount
If you are considering the US Navy, possess the ability to learn a foreign language, have above average speaking and writing skills, a good memory, and an interest in technology, give some consideration to the Cryptologic Technician Interactive (CTI) rating.
Find A Navy Recruiter
Official Navy Cryptologic Technician Careers Description
Navy Personnel Command Cryptologic Technician – Interpretive (CTI) Overview
Navy Personnel Command Cryptologic Technician – Interpretive (CTI) Overview – Addendum
Navy COOL Summary For Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI)
Navy COOL Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI) Rating Card
Navy Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI) Reviews
A St. Louis, Missouri native, Travis served eight years in the United States Navy. Duty stations include Air Test and Evaluation Squadron One (AIRTEVRON ONE), NAS Patuxent River, MD, the USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20), Commander Second Fleet (COMSECONDFLT), and US Transportation Command, (USTRANSCOM) Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.
After the Navy, Travis worked in the Information Technology sector for twenty-five years.
Connect with Travis @MichaelTRose.
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What is a Cryptologic Technician Interpretive in the Navy?
A Navy Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI) is the Navy’s position for linguists, trained in a second or third language in order to interpret intelligence information.
How much does a cryptologic technician make in the Navy?
Navy personnel are paid based on their rank and time in service. However, CTIs receive a Proficiency Bonus for each language they qualified for, up to $1,000 a month. They also receive generous reenlistment bonuses.
How long is Navy CTI A school?
Like all language training for the Armed Forces, Cryptologic Technician Interpretives attend the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. The length of training depends on the complexity of the language, from 9 to 18 months long.
How do I study for the DLAB?
The Defense Language Aptitude Battery tests your aptitude to learn a new language and recognize patterns in speech and writing. However, if you have an aptitude for English or another language, it will probably translate well.
What percentage of people pass the DLAB?
The DLAB measures aptitude and getting a low score will prevent you from qualifying for a military linguist job. Only potentially qualifying personnel take the taste, but even with pre-screening, about 50 percent fail to qualify.
Related Articles You Might Be Interested In:Affiliate Disclosure:This post may contain affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I have personally vetted. Learn more.
Navy linguist killed in Syria to be honored on memorial to code-makers and code-breakers
Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon M. Kent. (U.S. Navy)
Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon M. Kent. (U.S. Navy)
The National Security Agency's Central Security Service Cryptologic Memorial Wall honors and remembers military and civilian cryptologists who were killed in the line of duty since World War II. (Courtesy NSA)
A black granite wall inside the National Security Agency lists 176 military and civilian cryptologists — the code-makers and code-breakers that protect U.S. communications and crack adversaries’ systems — who’ve been killed in the line of duty since World War II.
Of those, 174 have been publicly named. Only two of them are women.
Next week, Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent will become the third, when her name is unveiled as the 177th entry on the National Cryptologic Memorial.
A ceremony honoring her at the spy agency’s headquarters complex at Fort Meade, Md., is slated for Feb. 28 and is expected to include family members, an NSA spokesman said this week. She will be the sixth sailor and the first Navy linguist named on the wall since the Cold War.
An Arabic linguist with Fort Meade’s Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66, Kent was among the four Americans and more than a dozen others killed in a suicide bombing in the Syrian town of Manbij on Jan. 16. Her death has brought attention to the work female servicemembers have been doing alongside elite front line units, and has prompted changes to a flawed Navy commissioning and waiver process that led to her deployment in lieu of attending a doctoral program.
Typically, NSA unveils newly added names in a wreath-laying ceremony at the 8-by-12 monument around Memorial Day weekend each year. The names of 23 servicemembers have been added to the wall since the 2001 ceremony, when NSA began a tradition of declassifying and sharing their stories. Kent’s name will be the first etched into the polished stone wall since May 2015.
The wall is housed inside a secure area not generally open to the media or the public, but a replica is displayed at the National Cryptologic Museum, located near the NSA headquarters complex at the Maryland base.
Along with the names and the NSA seal, engraved into polished stone are the words, “They served in silence,” reflecting their secretive duties. But Kent’s death, less than two months into her fifth combat deployment, has highlighted the role of women like her supporting elite outfits on hushed front line missions against insurgents and terrorists.
Kent was killed while doing intelligence legwork to aid larger efforts to track remnants of ISIS, her husband, a retired Green Beret warrant officer, told Stars and Stripes. The 35-year-old mother of two and cancer survivor, who spoke seven languages and was considered a “badass” by many of her peers, spent much of her career working alongside special operations troops, family and friends have said.
Like her, at least four of the five Navy cryptologic technicians named on the NSA’s memorial wall since 2001 — all men — were killed while supporting Navy SEALs and other elite units.
In May 2006, the spy agency added the first female servicemember’s name, Sgt. Amanda N. Pinson, 21, of Lemay, Mo., who was one of two soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) killed in Tikrit, Iraq, when a mortar round exploded near the division’s headquarters in March of that year. She was the first female signals intelligence analyst killed in combat, according to the Army.
In May 2008, South Plainfield, N.J.-native Sgt. Trista L. Moretti, 27, an Army signals intelligence analyst with the 25th Infantry Division who was killed in a June 2007 mortar attack in Nasir Lafitah, Iraq, became the second woman named on the wall.
A native of Pine Plains, N.Y., whose state police officer father and firefighter uncle had responded to the World Trade Center attack in New York City, Kent was motivated to join the Navy in late 2003 in part by the 9/11 attacks. She’d studied Arabic at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., graduating in 2005.
“She is remembered fondly by her teachers,” said Natela Cutter, a spokeswoman for the language school, in an emailed statement last month. “She will be greatly missed.”
Prior to Kent, the last Navy linguists to have their names inscribed on the wall were third class petty officers Patrick R. Price and Craig R. Rudolf, who died in the Mediterranean Sea when the EA-3B Skywarrior they were aboard crashed while trying make a night landing on the USS Nimitz on Jan. 25, 1987, killing all seven crew members aboard. They were the last Cold War fatalities in the Navy’s aerial reconnaissance program, according to the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation.
Kent became the first female U.S. servicemember killed in Syria since U.S. forces began fighting there as part of the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State group that began in late 2014. She is slated to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery next week.
[email protected] Twitter: @chadgarland
Chad is a Marine Corps veteran who covers the U.S. military in the Middle East, Afghanistan and sometimes elsewhere for Stars and Stripes. An Illinois native who’s reported for news outlets in Washington, D.C., Arizona, Oregon and California, he’s an alumnus of the Defense Language Institute, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Arizona State University.
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Linguist officer navy
|Issued by||United States Navy|
Cryptologic Technician (CT) is a United States Navyenlisted rating or job specialty. The CT community performs a wide range of tasks in support of the national intelligence-gathering effort, with an emphasis on cryptology and signal intelligence related products.
Most CT personnel are required to obtain and maintain security clearances. Due to the highly classified and secure work environment requiring very restricted access, it is not always possible to share resources with other commands, leading to their shipboard nickname, "spooks". Almost every detail surrounding the CT world from administration to operations to repair requires dedicated technicians with appropriate security clearances (this accounts for the many branches of the CT rating, i.e. CTI, CTM, CTN, CTO, CTR, CTT). The contribution of an individual CT will depend upon the branch or career area.
Members of the CT community enjoy a wide range of career and training options. Once trained, a CT might serve ashore, afloat, or in an airborne capacity. Some CT sailors can expect overseas assignments of lengthy duration and some may never travel overseas.
- Administration (CTA) - Administrative and clerical duties that control access to classified material such as Special Security Officer (SSO) or Defense Courier Service (DCS). (No longer active.)
- Interpretive (CTI) - Interpretive are the Navy's linguists. They specialize in analysis of adversary developments, radiotelephone communications, and preparation of statistical studies and technical reports requiring knowledge of a foreign language.
- Maintenance (CTM) - the installation, configuration, diagnosis, and repair of state-of-the-art electronic, computer, and network hardware and software systems.
- Networks (CTN) - perform a variety of duties associated with computer network operations across global networks. A combination of technical and analytical computer network skills provides the situational awareness required to plan and execute information operations (IO) actions/ counteractions. (Rating was established from NEC Codes: 9301, 9302, 9303)
- Collection (CTR) – perform a variety of duties worldwide at numerous overseas and stateside shore commands, aboard surface ships, aircraft, submarines, and Naval Special Warfare. Duties include performing collection, analysis, and reporting on communication signals using computers, specialized computer-assisted communications equipment, video display terminals, and electronic/magnetic tape recorders.
- Synonymous with US Army job specialty 35S (Signals Collection Analyst) and US Marine MOS 2621 (Special Communications Signals Collection Operator)
- Technical (CTT) - perform a variety of specialized duties associated with the collection and processing of airborne, shipborne, and land-based radar signals. They operate electronic intelligence receiving and direction finding systems, digital recording devices, analysis terminals, and associated computer equipment. Systems they operate produce high-power jamming signals used to deceive electronic sensors and defeat radar guided weapons systems. Additionally, intelligence derived from collection and processing update national databases which are crucial to tactical and strategic units throughout the world.Non-communications signals intelligence (ELINT), Electronic Warfare Support (ES), Electronic Attack (EA), Electronic Protect (EP), Anti-Ship Missile Defense (ASMD), while a portion perform servicing and maintenance of various related electronic countermeasures systems (i.e., AN/SLQ-32) They can hold Navy Enlisted Classification such as 1702, 1733, 1734, 1736, 1737 which are primarily for the AN/SLQ-32, 8201, 8295, 8296 which are for Naval Aircrewman, 9135 for Subsurface, 1781 advanced apps, and also the 9141,9102 NEC's.
- 1942-43 Specialists (Q) (CR) Cryptographers - Established 1942-1943 changed to CT in 1948
- 1948 Communications Technician - Established 1948 from the ratings of Specialist (Q) (Cryptographers), Specialist (Q) (Radio Intelligence), Specialist (Q) (Technicians), and Radioman
- 1976 Communications Technician renamed to Cryptologic Technician (name alignment w/officer community).
- On October 1, 2003, Electronic Warfare Technicians (EW) were merged with CTT.
- On October 1, 2007, CTA merged with Yeoman (YN), and Legalman.
- Cryptologic Technician Communications (CTO) cross-rated to CTN and the legacy CTOs merged with Information Systems Technician (IT).
- CTM were scheduled to be disestablished in 2008, with certain skill sets converting to Electronics Technician (ET) and Information Systems Technician (IT) billets, but this has been set on hold for further planning.
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