Network administration. Database management. Computer hardware and software implementation. Whether maintaining the integrity of everyday communications or safeguarding top secret data flow, the highly sophisticated networks and systems at use in today’s Navy call for individuals capable of serving at the forefront of the information technology field.
In the Navy, information technology (IT) plays an important role in everything from electronic mail systems to shipboard control systems to Special Intelligence (SI) systems. With a broad range of responsibilities, Navy Information System Technicians (IT specialists) operate and maintain Navy global satellite telecommunications systems, mainframe computers, local and wide area networks, and micro-computer systems throughout the Fleet.
Serving as Enlisted Sailors (high school diploma or equivalent required), Navy IT 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.
Serving part-time as a Reservist, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists. And know this: The impact of your work and your service will go far beyond the time that you put in.
Information Technology professionals help ensure the viability of essential communications links. They provide administrative support for the equipment that keeps records on everything from personnel training to health care to promotions. And they offer technical support and training to fellow personnel. As an IT specialist, your role may also include:
- Writing programs to handle data for a wide variety of applications
- Operating and coordinating automated networks, datalinks and circuits
- Applying diagnostic, corrective and recovery techniques to information systems
- Analyzing communication signals
- Providing telecommunications and computer-related training and assistance
- Performing preventive and corrective maintenance on state-of-the-art equipment
- Operating and maintaining global satellite telecommunications systems
- Working under the oversight of Information Professionals – Officers (four-year degree required) who serve as managers of information networks
Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent of that.
Information Systems Technicians in the Navy Reserve serve in an Enlisted role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with the job, initial training requirements must be met.
For current or former military Enlisted servicemembers: Prior experience satisfies the initial Recruit Training requirement – so you will not need to go through Boot Camp again.
For those without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial Recruit Training requirement by attending Boot Camp for seven to nine weeks in Great Lakes, Ill. This training course will prepare you for service in the Navy Reserve and count as your first Annual Training.
Jobs in Navy Information Technology involve a high level of responsibility and maturity in dealing with highly technical systems and classified information. Often, the extensive Navy Reserve training in this area converts directly to college credit. Training that will range from technical preparation in database design to computer networking to working closely with operating communications systems. Advanced technical training may be available for qualified individuals.
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 – allowing you to become even more competitive in your challenging field.
Plus, the expertise you gain as an Information Systems Technician, coupled with your security clearance, may prepare you for a wide range of job opportunities available within the federal government, including future employment in areas such as Intelligence and Information Technology Management; or performing technical and clerical work involving computers, electronics and communications. Other career opportunities in the civilian sector include work as Computer and Information Systems Managers; Computer Systems Analysts; Database Administrators; Network and Computer Systems Administrators; and Radio, Cellular, and Tower Equipment Installers and Repairers.
And the more tangible benefits? Competitive pay. Points earned toward retirement benefits. Outstanding insurance options. And much more. Read about the benefits of serving in the Navy Reserve.
Beyond offering access to professional credentials and certifications, Navy technical and operational training in the field of information technology 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 such as the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Navy (SOCNAV) Degree Program, Navy College Program and Tuition Assistance, and the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
A high school diploma or equivalent is required to become an Enlisted Sailor in the IT field in the Navy. Those seeking an Information Systems Technician position must be U.S. citizens who can meet eligibility requirements for a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance. They should have a good working aptitude of math, an understanding of modern computing devices and the capability to do highly detail-oriented work.
Want to explore further? Learn what you need to know about joining the Navy Reserve. Find us on Facebook to interact with actual Navy Reservists. Or, if you need more information, contact a Navy Reserve Recruiter.
Consider Your Service Options.
There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America’s Navy. Besides part-time opportunities in the Navy Reserve, full-time Active Duty positions are also available in this career area.