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Going for Information Warfare. Have an idea of how to do it, am I correct?

Toastrules

New Member
Hello all!

New to the forum, got my account approved and I want to start asking questions ASAP because I'm graduating in about 2 weeks.

I was finally able to contact a recruiter the other week and get him to get my phone number down and send me some paperwork. I told him what my objective was that I wanted to join the Navy since my dad is in, and I'm a Computer Science major with a 3.5ish GPA.

So far he's directed me to study and take the OAR, (apparently I don't have to do the entire ASTB since I'm not going for Pilot or anything), and contact him back when I feel ready. I've been looking for gouge for the OAR all around this forum, but a lot of it seems directed to the entire ASTB rather than specifically the smaller OAR section.

My recruiter also directed me towards this website to ask questions and look for tips for the OAR, which is why I'm here in the first place. I'm still searching for a good study guide, and I think I have an idea of what the best one is so far- the "Arco book"? I looked on the first sticky on the ASTB forum. I'm pretty good at Math (back in my prime I got an 800 on the SAT but i promise you I've lost a lot of that since then) but my Reading is SHIT (and has always been shit), so that's the part I'm most nervous about.

Once I do the OAR, get my grades, I've already sent out my recommendation forms for my professors and employers to fill out. I'm assuming my recruiter will guide me after that. I suppose my questions are: Am I doing this right? I've heard the Navy Officer Programs are EXTREMELY competitive right now with the sequester, as well as me going in as a civilian through OCS rather than ROTC, Cadet corps, or Naval Academy. Do I stand a chance? Thanks for any and all future answers!
 

BPeterson93

Soon to be Naval Aviator
A lot of the gouge here actually directly influences your OAR score. Theories and problems in regards to physics, mechanical engineering, and math. If you download the gouge off the site, feel free to ditch anything regarding navigation, service history of different aircraft, etc. Keep the rest and that'll be a big help for the OAR. You won't find much help in regards to reading in the gouge posted on these forums, and I've heard the books aren't all that helpful either.

My advice on the reading: Take your time, re-read, read the answers, re-read section again, and choose the best fitting answer. A lot of times they will not give you a throwaway answer out of the choices, so you'll have to really apply every bit of info from the section to help answer the questions to the best of your ability. Unless you're an atrociously slow reader, you'll have the time to do the problems. They get more dull, and drag on as you start to do better on each question. But it's really not as difficult as a lot of people want you to believe. My issues were with math, so I understand that stress of not knowing a particular section all that well.
 

exNavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
Hello all!

I've heard the Navy Officer Programs are EXTREMELY competitive right now with the sequester, as well as me going in as a civilian through OCS rather than ROTC, Cadet corps, or Naval Academy. Do I stand a chance? Thanks for any and all future answers!
It sounds like you are on the right track.

Sequester has nothing to do with how competitive programs are, neither does going through OCS vice ROTC or USNA, each gets a cut of about 1/3 sometimes OCS gets more, sometimes less, generally depending on how many people don't make it through ROTC/USNA

IDC is always competitive, about 10% selection give or take.
 

Toastrules

New Member
Thanks for the tips. I'll stay alert and not let my guard down in terms of the test and the reqs.

Now, in terms of the test, I'm reading stuff about it changing in December 2013? If that is so, then does that mean that all the study material prior to December 2013 is outdated, including the main study guide in the 3rd sticky? If thats the case, then the arco test is outdated too, isn't it...

Where would I find new tips for the test? Just wandering around.. I'm getting varied reports but I'll keep studying the stuff that I can find as much as possible.
 

zippy

Freedom!
pilot
Contributor
How old are you, and what would your alternate choices be besides IW?

Having a backup plan or 3 might determine whether or not you should be looking to take the full ATSB to keep options open.
 

Toastrules

New Member
I'm graduating one semester early, and I'm 21. I'd like to commission early, it just seems like the logical and only thing to do. Really this is my only target right now I don't really have any civilian backup plan other than get some salary job at some company and be a codemonkey because that's how life works for my major. That is why I'd like to join the military, so I feel like I have a chance to have respect without having to deal with all the business and politics of being in the corporate world.

Now, in terms of a backup plan within the Navy. I was thinking of possibly taking the full ASTB, however is that worth it? For example, if I don't make Info Warfare, I HIGHLY HIGHLY doubt I'd be able to make it in as a pilot. I mean, it would be extremely cool if I was a pilot, and something no one would ever expect from me, but I try to keep my goals realistic and my entire college career has me specialized for problem solving, so pilot may not be my line-of-best-fit.

Two other backup plans I would then go for would be Information Professional or Cyber Warfare Engineer (if they'd let me or pay for me to go back to school). I haven't actually had the chance to meet with my recruiter face to face, and they say it's not necessary until I get my OAR scores in, so I thought they might be able to help me if the Information Warfare field was not available.

I don't plan at all on touching nukes or subs. I can probably not stand being in a oversized sardine can at the bottom of the ocean and I also have developed a smooth easy-going hatred for schooling so I would not want to waste another 18 months of my life training for nukes. I'd be ok with a few months here and there in OCS or if they need me to get a certification, but the amount of money I get for nukes is not worth it. I'm not in this for the money, if I was in this for the money I'd join some random civ or gs job and make tens of thousands more than I would in the military. I chose the navy specifically cause my dad was in it, the people in it seem cool, and i like to travel. Maybe that's why I don't really have a true backup plan...
 

zippy

Freedom!
pilot
Contributor
I only suggested backup communities because while you think you wouldn't be a good fit for something like aviation, or subs, you may stand a better chance applying to a large influx designator vs a smaller one.

I know a dude who was a SWO/IW option and they ordmoded at OCS to drop the SWO portion of the job. I also know a SWO/IP option that just did 4 years in Hawaii as a swo and is now moving to the beltway to begin his career as an IP.

There's some real interesting opportunities for computer guys in the GS world. Pay is initially better, but after 10 years in you get paid significantly well as an Officer.

I was looking at taking a GS-13 position and while it was a 10% or so on paper, it came along with a 250% increase in taxes, and would require me to max my tax deferred account with TSP just to bring me within $500 less take home pay each month than I get now.

Do yourself a favor and start looking at some of the 3 ans 4 letter agencies and apply to them for the jobs you find interesting. The FBI occasionally runs agent classes specifically for computer guys, NCIS loves hiring them (and is rumored to be putting 5 classes through FLETC in 2016) and there's a couple others that specifically target computer guys that I'm sure you can think of on your own if you've watched movies ever. If you get picked up by a government gig first you can always go in military leave for upto 5 years and have a job waiting for you when you get out. It's also a resume builder for your Navy application package.
 

exNavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
I'm graduating one semester early, and I'm 21. I'd like to commission early, it just seems like the logical and only thing to do. Really this is my only target right now I don't really have any civilian backup plan other than get some salary job at some company and be a codemonkey because that's how life works for my major. That is why I'd like to join the military, so I feel like I have a chance to have respect without having to deal with all the business and politics of being in the corporate world.

Now, in terms of a backup plan within the Navy. I was thinking of possibly taking the full ASTB, however is that worth it? For example, if I don't make Info Warfare, I HIGHLY HIGHLY doubt I'd be able to make it in as a pilot. I mean, it would be extremely cool if I was a pilot, and something no one would ever expect from me, but I try to keep my goals realistic and my entire college career has me specialized for problem solving, so pilot may not be my line-of-best-fit.

Two other backup plans I would then go for would be Information Professional or Cyber Warfare Engineer (if they'd let me or pay for me to go back to school). I haven't actually had the chance to meet with my recruiter face to face, and they say it's not necessary until I get my OAR scores in, so I thought they might be able to help me if the Information Warfare field was not available.

I don't plan at all on touching nukes or subs. I can probably not stand being in a oversized sardine can at the bottom of the ocean and I also have developed a smooth easy-going hatred for schooling so I would not want to waste another 18 months of my life training for nukes. I'd be ok with a few months here and there in OCS or if they need me to get a certification, but the amount of money I get for nukes is not worth it. I'm not in this for the money, if I was in this for the money I'd join some random civ or gs job and make tens of thousands more than I would in the military. I chose the navy specifically cause my dad was in it, the people in it seem cool, and i like to travel. Maybe that's why I don't really have a true backup plan...
I think why he is asking if you have a backup due to the extremely low selection rate for IDC, I do think you are going for the right designator in IW given you degree/GPA and the number of spots they have, besides Intel the other often are in single digits for billets each year.

CWE has to be an approved school, and the USN won't pay you to go to school to become eligible.

Have you looked to see what an IW does and where they are stationed?
 

Toastrules

New Member
Alright so ever since you both brought that up I've been looking at my options, I even asked my dad too. My recruiter's been out for the week but he texted and said I could call and chat with him monday to see his opinion..

With SWO, that's the classic "Naval Officer" that everybody thinks about, right? The one managing people on a ship, leading platoons in formation, etc... And apparently there is an SWO-IW specialization that may be possible down the line.

With IW, I go straight into Intelligence and go straight into support and behind a desk, something like that? I've always dreamed of becoming a "big guy" in the military, but I don't really have the political "mingling" personality that it takes to become up there, so I felt Intel was more for me. Being an SWO does sound exciting, though a lot more work and a lot more out of my comfort zone than probably IW.

That was another thing. I looked at some of these threads and they said that they knew some people who came in wanting to become SWO and then came out hating it. I don't want to be that way, mostly because if the Navy fails then I literally have no idea what else to do with my life. So becoming an SWO then hating it and wanting to get out of the Navy is a scary concept to me. However, if I would have a more stable path to go from SWO then to SWO-IW than straight to IW, then I may choose that.

I just want to make sure I have all my facts here straight. I haven't really done much research in terms of what IW exactly does and where they station, although that would be a deal-killer for me. I join the Navy so I can go out and travel. If I wanted to stay in one location for years at a time, I would apply for Air Force who I know is looking for CS majors (due to the fact that 2 of my friends in my program are Lieutenants that the AF said to go back to school and get a Masters in CS, so they come to classes in uniform and everything). I believe I know what I'm signing up for, but I would definitely like it if someone told me my view is too much candyland or whatever, I would be perfectly ok with a wakeup call. Or even if some of the facts I have about the jobs are wrong too.

Thanks for all ya'lls help!
 

Hair Warrior

Well-Known Member
Contributor
However, if I would have a more stable path to go from SWO then to SWO-IW than straight to IW, then I may choose that.
SWO-IW isn't a hybrid career field. You do a SWO tour as a SWO, and then you redesignate as IW and remain IW.
http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/reference/milpersman/1000/1200Classification/Documents/1212-050.pdf

However, if you just go in as a SWO, you can still apply for lat transfer later (although it's much tougher than having the -IDC option already agreed upon). A buddy of mine who is an O-4 1835 went in as a SWO and finally got over to Intel after 3 applications. I think he redesignated when he was an O-3.

It's never a bad thing to be fully warfare qualified as an Unrestricted Line Officer in any career field.
 
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exNavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
Alright so ever since you both brought that up I've been looking at my options, I even asked my dad too. My recruiter's been out for the week but he texted and said I could call and chat with him monday to see his opinion..

With SWO, that's the classic "Naval Officer" that everybody thinks about, right? The one managing people on a ship, leading platoons in formation, etc... And apparently there is an SWO-IW specialization that may be possible down the line.

With IW, I go straight into Intelligence and go straight into support and behind a desk, something like that? I've always dreamed of becoming a "big guy" in the military, but I don't really have the political "mingling" personality that it takes to become up there, so I felt Intel was more for me. Being an SWO does sound exciting, though a lot more work and a lot more out of my comfort zone than probably IW.

That was another thing. I looked at some of these threads and they said that they knew some people who came in wanting to become SWO and then came out hating it. I don't want to be that way, mostly because if the Navy fails then I literally have no idea what else to do with my life. So becoming an SWO then hating it and wanting to get out of the Navy is a scary concept to me. However, if I would have a more stable path to go from SWO then to SWO-IW than straight to IW, then I may choose that.

I just want to make sure I have all my facts here straight. I haven't really done much research in terms of what IW exactly does and where they station, although that would be a deal-killer for me. I join the Navy so I can go out and travel. If I wanted to stay in one location for years at a time, I would apply for Air Force who I know is looking for CS majors (due to the fact that 2 of my friends in my program are Lieutenants that the AF said to go back to school and get a Masters in CS, so they come to classes in uniform and everything). I believe I know what I'm signing up for, but I would definitely like it if someone told me my view is too much candyland or whatever, I would be perfectly ok with a wakeup call. Or even if some of the facts I have about the jobs are wrong too.

Thanks for all ya'lls help!
If you have walked into my office looking at your degree and GPA and you said you wanted to go for IW I would say you probably have a chance, now the selection rate is low so the next question would be "is your ultimate goal to be an officer?" if so I would say look at putting SWO as #2, realistically the boards only take a hard look at those who put selections 1 and 2.
 

MIDNJAC

is clara ship
pilot
I think you are both underestimating the "officer" portion of the IW job, as well as overestimating the same in other URL communities. As an IW guy, you will not be doing heroic behind the scenes technical IW things so much as you will be managing a division of young (and old) sailors. The navy doesn't need you to crunch code all day behind a computer, but they do need someone to write evals/awards, deliver a good brief to a room of much more senior officers, and of course stand duty. Much beyond that, and you are confusing fiction for reality, at least at the entry level ENS/LTJG realm
 

ChuckMK23

FERS and TSP contributor!
pilot
I think you are both underestimating the "officer" portion of the IW job, as well as overestimating the same in other URL communities. As an IW guy, you will not be doing heroic behind the scenes technical IW things so much as you will be managing a division of young (and old) sailors. The navy doesn't need you to crunch code all day behind a computer, but they do need someone to write evals/awards, deliver a good brief to a room of much more senior officers, and of course stand duty. Much beyond that, and you are confusing fiction for reality, at least at the entry level ENS/LTJG realm
This is a brilliant advertisement for being in Aviation. The above activities seem so horrific and mind numbing :)
 
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