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Intel Career Question

#1
My package is complete and will be submitted to both the SWO and Intel board - 05Mar and 06Mar. In the event I am chosen for both, I put my chances at 42%, I am looking for more information regarding Intel. SWO offers plenty of information that I have read, videos I have watched and SWOs I have talked to. Intel offers little in comparison.

The main theme for Intel I have read is becoming proficient at Powerpoint. As my signature states, I am a data scientist, so I understand the analysis which goes into making the Powerpoints - the work people don't see when they are being presented to. My team has presented to universities, national conferences, the Federal Reserve, Brookings Institute etc... That aspect of Intel is not new for me - aside from the research being more life and death related.

My questions:
1) How is intel analysis completed? Qualitative? Reading, connecting pieces, knowledge gained from experience?
2) Are quantitative skills useful? Econometric analysis, spatial analysis, natural language processing...?
3) Are technical skills sought after? For example - over the last six months I have written machine learning algorithms to analyze all job postings and resumes in the United States, labor market data which is half a terabyte of text based, JSON formatted data. Is the field open to providing new methodology in seeking reliable intelligence? Would being able to write algorithms from scratch to analyze intelligence data be useful?

I don't want to come off as trying to change or do the work differently as it is a field I know little about. I am aware the Navy will train me to conduct intelligence work the Navy way. However, I want to ensure the decision, if there is a decision, as I said 42%, is the correct decision. I also want to offer the best skill-set I can to the Navy. Lastly, where can I have best career given my interests, skills and long-term goals.
 

ea6bflyr

Working Class Bum
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#4
My package is complete and will be submitted to both the SWO and Intel board - 05Mar and 06Mar. In the event I am chosen for both, I put my chances at 42%, I am looking for more information regarding Intel. SWO offers plenty of information that I have read, videos I have watched and SWOs I have talked to. Intel offers little in comparison.

The main theme for Intel I have read is becoming proficient at Powerpoint. As my signature states, I am a data scientist, so I understand the analysis which goes into making the Powerpoints - the work people don't see when they are being presented to. My team has presented to universities, national conferences, the Federal Reserve, Brookings Institute etc... That aspect of Intel is not new for me - aside from the research being more life and death related.
Wrong, PowerPoint is a tool to tell your story. The real work is the study you do as an Intel Officer; understanding the threat, when and how they employ those weapons, leadership decision making, etc. When it boils down to it, you will use PowerPoint as a tool to brief your audience, but there's a lot that isn't on the PP slide, and that comes from knowing your threat.


My questions:
1) How is intel analysis completed? Qualitative? Reading, connecting pieces, knowledge gained from experience?
2) Are quantitative skills useful? Econometric analysis, spatial analysis, natural language processing...?
3) Are technical skills sought after? For example - over the last six months I have written machine learning algorithms to analyze all job postings and resumes in the United States, labor market data which is half a terabyte of text based, JSON formatted data. Is the field open to providing new methodology in seeking reliable intelligence? Would being able to write algorithms from scratch to analyze intelligence data be useful?

I don't want to come off as trying to change or do the work differently as it is a field I know little about. I am aware the Navy will train me to conduct intelligence work the Navy way. However, I want to ensure the decision, if there is a decision, as I said 42%, is the correct decision. I also want to offer the best skill-set I can to the Navy. Lastly, where can I have best career given my interests, skills and long-term goals.
Don't worry about the mechanics of the analysis. If selected, you will be taught how to analyze data presented. Your previous training, and experience will help you to become a better Intel Officer, but it takes time through the ranks.
 
#5
Wrong, PowerPoint is a tool to tell your story. The real work is the study you do as an Intel Officer; understanding the threat, when and how they employ those weapons, leadership decision making, etc. When it boils down to it, you will use PowerPoint as a tool to brief your audience, but there's a lot that isn't on the PP slide, and that comes from knowing your threat.
We actually agree here. I possibly wrote it incorrectly, or the sarcasm/sentiment that Intel officers only make Powerpoints came across poorly. I'm aware from my work as a data scientist and briefing others on our research, that Powerpoint is only a tool that allows us to tell the story. C-level executives don't care about the fancy mathematics we used to get our results, only what the results tell us and how we can use those results - Powerpoint is used to convey that message.

Thank you for the other information.
 

Hair Warrior

New Member
Contributor
#6
There are tons of materials (even graduate level academic textbooks) on the tradecraft of intelligence analysis. Much of it is free. Search. CIA publishes a lot.

Naval intelligence is more than just analysis, though. It is the end-to-end intelligence cycle. (Some cryppie functions are part of this cycle.) You can read DoD Joint Publication 2-0 for the joint doctrine, and NDP-2 for service-specific doctrine.

You won’t really need to know any of this until after OCS. But if you are curious, search. Tons out there. For example, the Int’l Spy Museum podcast interviewed ONI Dep. Director last month.
 
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bubblehead

Registered Member
Contributor
#7
IMHO... Honestly, you can come in as a basket weaver and succeed as a Navy Intel officer. You will learn the process at NMITC. It ain't hard. When you get to the fleet, or wherever you go, you'll learn your command's specific process and way of doing things.

The Navy, in general, does not care about your special talents, especially as a greenhorn O1. Now then, they will like to tell you that these skillz are "in demand" in an effort to recruit smart people, but honestly, the only place special skillz and qualifications matter are during the application process. Why? Competition. Special differentiators (languages, degrees, etc.) help you stand out during the application process but don't mean much when you actually get in. Especially as an O1 and O2.

On the Reserve side, and when I was an intel officer (I'm now an IP) I had to provide advice and comfort to many a JO who came in with delusions of grandeur who thought they were going to revolutionize Navy intelligence because they (examples of different folks): spoke 5 languages, was prior enlisted special forces, was a prior enlisted Navy SEAL, was an investment banker for a very large bank, etc., etc. The list goes on.

Bottom line: you do not need to have any special skills or talents to succeed as an Intel officer.

BT

The technical skillz you mentioned having would be very helpful if you were able to get over to niche places like the NSA (i.e., TAO), or to DEVGRU, or to one of the National Mission Teams (NMT), etc. Based on my experiences, these destinations place value on technical skills and aptitudes in areas.

Keep in mind, you want to be an intel officer. The technical stuff is, with some exceptions, done by CW's and IP's. Intel support to cyber fires is interesting and your technical background will be useful, but again, you'll be in an Intel role, and not in technical, hands-on role.

There are Cyber Warfare Engineering (CWE) Officers, but I've never seen or met one, nor heard of how that program is progressing.
 
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#8
The technical skillz you mentioned having would be very helpful if you were able to get over to niche places like the NSA (i.e., TAO), or to DEVGRU, or to one of the National Mission Teams (NMT), etc. Based on my experiences, these destinations place value on technical skills and aptitudes in areas.

Keep in mind, you want to be an intel officer. The technical stuff is, with some exceptions, done by CW's and IP's. Intel support to cyber fires is interesting and your technical background will be useful, but again, you'll be in an Intel role, and not in technical, hands-on role.

There are Cyber Warfare Engineering (CWE) Officers, but I've never seen or met one, nor heard of how that program is progressing.
Thank you for the response! That certainly answered my question and provides prospective on the career field. I knew the three letter agencies looked for technical skill-sets, wasn't sure if Intel in the Navy would utilize them or they would go be wayside.
 

HH-60H

Manager
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Super Moderator
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#9
You won’t really need to know any of this until after OCS. But if you are curious, search. Tons out there. For example, the Int’l Spy Museum podcast interviewed ONI Dep. Director last month.
Ms. Wright is the Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence. ONI is one part (the single largest part) of Naval Intelligence.
 

bubblehead

Registered Member
Contributor
#14
probably true, but what the board will pick are those with high GPA's and for IP and CW nearly always tech degrees.
What the board pics is directly relational to the number of applicants applying. When you have thousands applying, or whatever the number is, you have to "raise the selection criteria."