The intelligence community is at the heart of strategy and operations in America’s Navy. Leaders here are armed with analyzed, processed and integrated information related to international policy and military strategy. And given the country’s continued vigilance about national security, it’s a challenging area that’s in high demand.
Intelligence is knowledge based on the collection and analysis of an adversary’s strengths, weaknesses, capabilities and intentions. Supervising the collection, analysis and dissemination of such critical knowledge are Naval Intelligence (INTEL) Officers. They work with classified data generated from sources ranging from satellite images to Internet chatter to military and spy reports. And they use it to help protect our nation's interests.
Serving as Officers (four-year degree required), Intelligence Officers are leaders in 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.
Intelligence Officers serve at the forefront of challenges to national security – providing tactical, operational and strategic intelligence support to U.S. Naval forces and joint and multinational military forces as well as executive-level decision makers in our national government. As an INTEL Officer, you will lead Sailors and manage information key to carrying out missions. This role may include:
- Leading the planning, development, testing and deployment of information systems crucial to the intelligence process
- Monitoring and analyzing maritime activities that pose a threat to national security, such as drug smuggling, illegal immigration, arms transfers, environmental mishaps and violations of UN sanctions
- Delivering near-real-time operational intelligence assessment to high-level decision makers
- Developing plans for intelligence operations, managing intelligence programs and producing supporting documents
- Enabling the collection of human intelligence
- Providing intelligence that drives carrier air wing and battle group operations or that supports Special Operations
- Managing the prioritization of requirements and the tasking of resources to collect information
- Conducting long-term analysis of the technical strengths and weaknesses of foreign weapons systems
- Becoming qualified as a Foreign Area Officer or serving abroad as a Defense or Naval Attaché assigned to an embassy
- Leading teams of Enlisted experts who identify enemy targets for subsequent prosecution by U.S. or coalition forces
- Overseeing the work of Intelligence Specialists – Enlisted Sailors (no degree required) who help convert information into intelligence
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.
Navy Intelligence leaders serve in Officer roles. Before ongoing professional training that is part of being a Reservist, initial training requirements must be met.
For current or former Navy Officers (NAVET): Prior experience satisfies the initial training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.
For current or former Officers of military branches other than the Navy (OSVET), as well as for Officer candidates without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial leadership training requirement by attending the 12-day Direct Commission Officer (DCO) School in Newport, R.I. This will count as your first Annual Training.
In the course of service, specialized training received could lead to credentialing and/or certification 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 Intelligence Officer, 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 Intelligence Analysts, Management Analysts, General and Operations Managers, and Public Relations Specialists.
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 professional credentials and certifications, Intelligence Officers can advance their education through the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Navy (SOCNAV) Degree Program, by pursuing opportunities at institutions such as Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) or Navy War College (NWC), and by completing Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) at one of the various service colleges.
A four-year degree is required to work as an Intelligence Officer. Candidates seeking an Officer position in this community must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, preferably in areas of study such as international relations, political science, government, engineering, physical science, natural science, computer science or other academic fields related to intelligence. Additionally, expertise in foreign-area studies, international relations and/or languages is desired.
All candidates must also be U.S. citizens, willing to serve worldwide and eligible for a special intelligence security clearance.
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.