Languages are more than just communication-they're cultural
codes that need to be analyzed and in some cases, broken. As a
Cryptologic Technician Interpretive (CTI) you're more than a
linguist-you're a cultural expert, able to translate and interpret
foreign communications. The Defense Language School in Monterey,
California will fully immerse you in the language for your
choice-from Mandarin, to Spanish, to Arabic to Russian. After,
you'll travel the world collecting intelligence in support of the
Navy. Ignorance can be a threat, but our CTIs defend by making sure
we're always in the know.
What to Expect
Cryptologic Technician Interpretive
Cryptologic Technicians Interpretive (CTIs), serve as the Navy's
experts in linguistics (including Arabic, Chinese, Korean,
Persian-Farsi, Russian and Spanish) and deciphering information in
other languages. Their responsibilities include:
* Collecting and analyzing foreign language communications of
interest * Transcribing, translating and interpreting foreign
language materials * Reporting highly technical information of
strategic and tactical importance to fleet commanders and national
intelligence agencies * Providing cultural and regional guidance in
support of Navy, Joint Force, national and multinational needs *
Operating sophisticated state-of-the-art electronic radio
receivers, recording devices, computer terminals and associated
peripherals in the communications signals environment
Cryptologic Technicians perform a variety of duties worldwide,
at numerous overseas and stateside shore commands, aboard surface
ships, aircraft and submarines and with Naval Special Warfare. They
generally divide time between assignments ashore and afloat.
Cryptologic Technicians Interpretive can expect a clean,
comfortable office-type or small technical laboratory-type
environment while on shore duty and a variety of air, surface and
subsurface platforms while on sea duty. Their work is of high
interest to command and decision-making levels. It is mostly
mental, involving foreign language materials.
As a CTI, you may work independently or as part of small,
coordinated teams - ultimately under the supervision of Cryptologic
Warfare Officers (four-year degree required) or Cyber Warfare
Engineers (four-year degree required).
Training & Advancement
Upon completion of the initial 7-9 week training at Recruit
Training Command Great Lakes (known as Boot Camp), you'll report
for specialized training, including:
Class "A" School Phase I Defense Language Institute (27-64
weeks) in Monterey, CA, for comprehensive foreign language
After "A" school, CTIs are usually assigned to their respective
Center of Excellence shore station. While assigned to these shore
stations, CTIs are often required to perform temporary assignments
aboard aircraft, surface ships and craft and submarines in support
of unit commanders.
To learn more about the specific training path for Cryptologic
Technicians Interpretive, locate a recruiter .
Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive
and based on performance.
Advanced training as a Cryptologic Technician Interpretive may
also be available during later stages of your career. CTIs will
have the opportunity to attend annual training for language
maintenance and to take intermediate and advanced foreign language
training. For those with further leadership aspirations and a
college degree, Officer roles may be available, providing
opportunities to lead and train others.
Specialized training received and work experience gained in the
course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and
occupational opportunities in related fields in the civilian
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
You may also continue your education through undergraduate
degree opportunities like the Navy College Program and Tuition
Assistance and the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Qualifications & Requirements
A high school diploma or equivalent is required to become an
Enlisted Sailor in the Navy. Those seeking a Cryptologic Technician
Interpretive position, including all family members, must be U.S.
citizens. Applicants must also meet eligibility requirements for a
Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance.
Normal hearing is also required.
They should have exceptionally good character, the ability to
learn foreign languages, above average writing and speaking skills,
a good memory, curiosity, resourcefulness, an orientation toward
ideas and information and the ability to keep accurate records and
work with details. Adaptability to a wide range of work activities
and environments and an interest in technology and willingness to
acquire computerized skills are also important.
Applicants for this rating should be aware that the duties of a
Cryptologic Technician Interpretive sometimes require assignment
aboard surface vessels, submarines and aircraft. If otherwise
physically qualified for submarine or aerial flight duty,
applicants must affirm their willingness to serve aboard any such
unit if assigned upon completion of language training.
General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you're
currently serving , whether you've served before or whether you've
never served before .
There are part-time opportunities available as a Cryptologic
Serving part-time as a Navy Reserve Sailor, your duties will be
carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods.
During monthly drilling, Cryptologic Technicians Interpretive in
the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their
For annual training, Cryptologic Technicians Interpretive may
serve anywhere in the world, whether on a ship at sea or at bases
and installations on shore.
Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and
responsibilities of Navy Reserve Sailors
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.
Cryptologic Technicians Interpretive 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 service members: 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 7-9 weeks in Great Lakes, IL. This training course will
prepare you for service in the Navy Reserve and count as your first
Have a question or just want to learn more? We're here to
Find a Recruiter