Cryptologic technician

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Cryptologic Technician
Rating Badge CT.jpg
Rating insignia
Issued by: United States Navy
Type Enlisted rating
Abbreviation CT
Specialty Technical

Cryptologic Technician (CT) is a United States Navy enlisted 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, 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. (It is rare, but some have earned all three, i.e. dolphins, wings and swords over the course of a career.) A CT can expect overseas assignments of lengthy duration.


  • 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 (No longer active.)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) – Foreign language radio/telephone communications translation and transcription
  • Maintenance (CTM) – The installation, servicing and repair of electronic and electromechanical equipment
  • Networks (CTN) – CTNs plan and execute computer network operations (CNO) actions/counter-actions in support of defending and exploiting computer network systems.
  • Collection (CTR) – Voice/morse communications and operation of radio direction finding equipment
    • Synonymous with US Army job specialty 35S (Signals Collector/Analyst) and US Marine MOS 2621
  • Technical (CTT) – 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.

Rating changes

  • 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.
  • 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, this has been set on hold for further planning.

See also