Information Systems Technician

B460 / K200

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CWO2 Andrew Gardiner

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Information Systems Technician is a rating for United States Navy and United States Coast Guard enlisted personnel, specializing in communications technology. Information Systems Technician Submarines (ITS) is a rating for U.S. Navy submariners.

The Information Systems Technician of the 21st century operates and maintains the Navy's global satellite telecommunications systems, mainframe computers, local and wide area networks, and micro-computer systems used in the fleet. Administrative support is also provided with the operation of automated equipment that keeps records of personnel training, disbursement, health, assignments and promotions within the Navy. They ensure the all-important communications link between units at sea and stations ashore.

The IT rating is one of the most diverse ratings in the US Navy. The IT rating was created in 1997 from a combination of two previous Navy ratings - radioman (RM) and data processing technician (DP). A third rating, cryptologic technician communications (CTO) merged with IT in October, 2005. In February 2010, the IT rating was incorporated into the Information Warfare Community formerly known as the Information Dominance Corps.
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History of this career field

The combing of rating in the Navy has been in place since 1990. There were many combinations of both engineering and operation ratings to best fit the class of ship. Many duties of the IT rating are still evolving. The radioman (RM) and data processing technician (DP) ratings were merged in November 1998, keeping the radioman name. In November 1999 the rating was re-designated information systems technician. Both radiomen and data processing technicians in the Navy had to undergo general rate training and take a computer-based exam in order to be designated under the new IT rating (the data processing technicians found themselves bound to a serious learning curve because they had to learn every single aspect from the radioman rating) whereas to the radiomen, most of them already had a general knowledge in basic computer fundamentals and maintenance. In 1996 the submarine force merged radioman with electronics technicians and electronic warfare specialist.
The ITS rating for submarines was created in December 2010.
The Coast Guard radioman (RM) rating was renamed telecommunications specialist (TC) in 1995, which split in 2003 to make up the information system technician (IT) and operations specialist (OS) ratings. The Coast Guard telephone technician (TT) rating was also merged into the IT rating in 2003; the TT rating device of a telephone handset over the globe became the rating device for the Coast Guard IT rating.
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Qualifications for this career field

What They Do
The duties performed by ITs include:
  • designing, installing, operating and maintaining state-of-the-art information systems technology including local and wide area networks, mainframe, mini and microcomputer systems and associated peripheral devices
  • writing programs to handle the collection, manipulation and distribution of data for a wide variety of applications and requirements
  • performing the functions of a computer system analyst
  • operating and coordinating telecommunications systems including automated networks and the full spectrum of data links and circuits
  • transmitting, receiving, operating, monitoring, controlling and processing all forms of telecommunications through various transmission media including global networks
  • applying diagnostic, corrective and recovery techniques to all facets of the integrated information systems
  • maintaining all necessary logs, files and publications at the communications center
  • providing telecommunications and computer-related training and assistance to a wide variety of personnel
Working Environment
     Information Systems Technicians usually work in a clean, air-conditioned electronic equipment space or computer room, and frequently perform their work as part of a team, but may work on individual projects. Their work is mostly mental analysis and problem solving. USN ITs are stationed primarily aboard USN deploying ships, FTS ITs are stationed aboard Naval Reserve Force (NRF) ships that deploy or conduct local operations.
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"You can talk about us but you can't talk without us!"

What are the best parts of having this specialty?

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Special Considerations

While there is a community-specific Information Warfare Community (IWC) warfare qualification for ITs, the IT rating is one of the few ratings that can qualify in all aspects of naval warfare, such as:
-Aircrew - responsible for the operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of the radios, computers, antennas, networking, and cryptographic equipment on TACAMO and AWACS missions.
-Surface warfare - responsible for maintaining communication links, troubleshooting radio and computer equipment, satellite communications, cryptographic equipment, and is responsible for the administration of the shipboard LAN, WAN links, and servers/networking equipment.
-Small boat warfare
-Fleet Marine Force - responsible for landing after the Marines have secured an area to set up fleet communications, networking, and cryptographic equipment to support joint communications within a battlefield environment. This includes configuring JWICS, Defense Message System, and AUTODIN communications in order for combatants to maintain command communications and control superiority.
-Special warfare combatant-craft crewmen
-Submarines (ITS usually)
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Qualifications for MEPS selection.

  • ASVAB: AR + 2MK + GS = 222 OR AR + MK + EI + GS = 222
  • Must have normal color perception
  • Must have normal hearing
  • Must have no speech impediment
  • SSBI required
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen
Notes Normal hearing required. Frequencies: 3000hz 4000hz 5000hz 6000hz Average hearing threshold level in these four frequencies must be less than 30db, with no level greater than 45db in any one frequency. If hearing level exceeds these limits, the applicant is enlistment ineligible for the rating.

Most recent contributors: CWO2 Andrew Gardiner ENS George Martin

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