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Intel: Day in the Life

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I've been reading a few things on this site and feel kinda close to pin pointing what I want to shoot for in the Navy. First of all, I am in the process of applying and have been talking to an officer recruiter in my area (STL). There are a few things I am intrigued about. First, this statement:
"Our other spy was an athelete and ran with us on the flight deck, boomed with us on the beach and tuned into the Ready Room from the get-go. He later went to Naval Special Warfare and deployed with Task Units fitting in with SEALs as part of the team there."
This was taken from heyjoe in the same thread...does this mean that an Intel guy has the opportunity to not sit behind a desk all day? I would much rather do some hands on work "in the field" than sit in a room going over papers. Sorry to sound so amateur, but there is quite a lot of information. Also, how I do I communicate this to my recruiter?
One more...any advice on how to get some interviews with Navy Intel officers in the STL region?
Despite what D_Rob says, you're not going to be doing any "field" work. Chances are, you'll be assigned to a squadron or a CVW staff where you'll be doing little else except desk work. These stories of Intel guys running around with Teams guys that some of you are perpetuating are misleading those prospective Intel Officers into thinking that that's what their lot in life will be. If you believe that, then stand by to be disappointed.

Brett
 

LET73

Well-Known Member
Seconding what Brett said, if you have a real antipathy to sitting behind a desk, don't be an intel officer. Are there excellent opportunities to do some cool stuff? Absolutely, there are. It depends on whether you think that getting the chance to have a couple awesome tours makes up for the reality of having some senior staff intel officer nitpick the fonts you use on a powerpoint slide. Your first assignment will almost certainly not be anything exciting and/or sexy, although it may well be rewarding.
 

LFCFan

*Insert nerd wings here*
Despite what D_Rob says, you're not going to be doing any "field" work. Chances are, you'll be assigned to a squadron or a CVW staff where you'll be doing little else except desk work. These stories of Intel guys running around with Teams guys that some of you are perpetuating are misleading those prospective Intel Officers into thinking that that's what their lot in life will be. If you believe that, then stand by to be disappointed.

Brett
I'm going to resurrect this thread after a few discussions with other intel officers lately for the benefit of those reading. Do "running around with the teams" and "sexy humint" tours exist? Yes. But they are few and far between, almost everyone wants them, and in some cases the courses you have to go through to get some of them are absolutely grueling. If you want to run with the teams, join the teams, go EOD, or do something like that. If you want to do that kind of intel, then you might want to look at the Army or Marine Corps. If you want to do poli sci work with classified material, you'll probably like certain jobs at three letter agencies (which are also another option for said sexy humint opportunities).

If you think that talking about ranges of SLBMs, threat fighter radars, looking at enemy orders of battle (inventory of aircraft, ships, etc etc) is boring, this probably isn't the job for you. It is such a tough job to get, and I think that a lot of the folks going through NIOBC don't realize that this job is not about the stuff in the above paragraph. More senior folks like @LET73 will hopefully agree with this.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
I'm going to resurrect this thread after a few discussions with other intel officers lately for the benefit of those reading. Do "running around with the teams" and "sexy humint" tours exist? Yes. But they are few and far between, almost everyone wants them, and in some cases the courses you have to go through to get some of them are absolutely grueling. If you want to run with the teams, join the teams, go EOD, or do something like that. If you want to do that kind of intel, then you might want to look at the Army or Marine Corps. If you want to do poli sci work with classified material, you'll probably like certain jobs at three letter agencies (which are also another option for said sexy humint opportunities).

If you think that talking about ranges of SLBMs, threat fighter radars, looking at enemy orders of battle (inventory of aircraft, ships, etc etc) is boring, this probably isn't the job for you. It is such a tough job to get, and I think that a lot of the folks going through NIOBC don't realize that this job is not about the stuff in the above paragraph. More senior folks like @LET73 will hopefully agree with this.
I can't tell you how many people I talked to that wanted to go Intel thinking they would be going around on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan thinking they would be collecting info from locals and such, and then I had them talk to an actual Intel officer and their bubble burst.
 

LFCFan

*Insert nerd wings here*
I can't tell you how many people I talked to that wanted to go Intel thinking they would be going around on the ground in Iraq or Afghanistan thinking they would be collecting info from locals and such, and then I had them talk to an actual Intel officer and their bubble burst.
Part of the problem is that we have been at war for the last decade plus in a landlocked country and one that might as well be. Aviation will always be a huge part of Navy intel, but the regular old naval stuff hasn't been a huge part of those two wars. I think this has skewed public perception quite a bit about what the Navy does.
 

LET73

Well-Known Member
I'm going to resurrect this thread after a few discussions with other intel officers lately for the benefit of those reading. Do "running around with the teams" and "sexy humint" tours exist? Yes. But they are few and far between, almost everyone wants them, and in some cases the courses you have to go through to get some of them are absolutely grueling. If you want to run with the teams, join the teams, go EOD, or do something like that. If you want to do that kind of intel, then you might want to look at the Army or Marine Corps. If you want to do poli sci work with classified material, you'll probably like certain jobs at three letter agencies (which are also another option for said sexy humint opportunities).

If you think that talking about ranges of SLBMs, threat fighter radars, looking at enemy orders of battle (inventory of aircraft, ships, etc etc) is boring, this probably isn't the job for you. It is such a tough job to get, and I think that a lot of the folks going through NIOBC don't realize that this job is not about the stuff in the above paragraph. More senior folks like @LET73 will hopefully agree with this.
Yes to all (except about Army intel. The conventional Army isn't any sexier, and there's going to be a lot less conventional Army HUMINT with the drawdown in Afghanistan, so you'd run into the same issue with getting the chance to do cool kid stuff). Here's the thing: Every single type of job LFCFan mentions exists in Navy intel, but you don't get to spend your career doing it. You might get a tour or two, or you might not. A career in intel probably isn't going to be one long string of awesomeness. I mean, sure, it could be, but don't apply expecting that it will be.
 

LFCFan

*Insert nerd wings here*
Yes to all (except about Army intel. The conventional Army isn't any sexier, and there's going to be a lot less conventional Army HUMINT with the drawdown in Afghanistan, so you'd run into the same issue with getting the chance to do cool kid stuff). Here's the thing: Every single type of job LFCFan mentions exists in Navy intel, but you don't get to spend your career doing it. You might get a tour or two, or you might not. A career in intel probably isn't going to be one long string of awesomeness. I mean, sure, it could be, but don't apply expecting that it will be.
And if anything, this whole "Information Dominance Corps" thing is going to pull us away from the awesome and towards exciting things like cyber and weather....
 

HM3 San

Active Member
I was reading the Officer Accession page for Intel. My question is, at what point do we choose our focus? Is during the Intel Training at Damneck, VA? First or second tour? I have high interest in Attache and Scientific and Technical, but open to all focuses. As a future Intel Ensign, I would like to develop my career plan as early as after OCS.

http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/officer/Detailing/IDC/intelligence/Pages/OfficerAccession.aspx

Typical areas of assignment focus include:


-Tactical Support to Naval Strike Forces – Provide intelligence that drives operations at the tactical level.



-Operational Intelligence – Deliver near-real-time intelligence assessments to decision makers and commanders. -Targeting – Identify and appropriately prosecute enemy targets. -Intelligence Support to Special Ops – Support special warfare through all levels of war.



-Human Intelligence – Face-to-face interaction in a challenging collection discipline. -Collection Management – Manage the prioritization of requirements and the tasking of intelligence resources.



-Scientific and Technical – Participate in analysis of foreign weapons systems. -Regional Expertise – Complete an academic course of study of a geographic area of interest to naval and military operations.



-Civil Maritime Intelligence – Monitor and analyze maritime activities that threaten national security.



-Information Systems – Lead the planning, development, testing, and deployment of info systems crucial to the intelligence process.



-Combatant Command Staff Officer – Develop plans, manage programs, produce supporting documents.



-Attaché – Support theater engagement and cultivate regional and language expertise.
 

HH-60H

Manager
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
I was reading the Officer Accession page for Intel. My question is, at what point do we choose our focus? Is during the Intel Training at Damneck, VA? First or second tour? I have high interest in Attache and Scientific and Technical, but open to all focuses. As a future Intel Ensign, I would like to develop my career plan as early as after OCS.

http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/officer/Detailing/IDC/intelligence/Pages/OfficerAccession.aspx

Typical areas of assignment focus include:


-Tactical Support to Naval Strike Forces – Provide intelligence that drives operations at the tactical level.



-Operational Intelligence – Deliver near-real-time intelligence assessments to decision makers and commanders. -Targeting – Identify and appropriately prosecute enemy targets. -Intelligence Support to Special Ops – Support special warfare through all levels of war.



-Human Intelligence – Face-to-face interaction in a challenging collection discipline. -Collection Management – Manage the prioritization of requirements and the tasking of intelligence resources.



-Scientific and Technical – Participate in analysis of foreign weapons systems. -Regional Expertise – Complete an academic course of study of a geographic area of interest to naval and military operations.



-Civil Maritime Intelligence – Monitor and analyze maritime activities that threaten national security.



-Information Systems – Lead the planning, development, testing, and deployment of info systems crucial to the intelligence process.



-Combatant Command Staff Officer – Develop plans, manage programs, produce supporting documents.



-Attaché – Support theater engagement and cultivate regional and language expertise.
I think you are misinterpreting. The list provided is a list of available assignments, not a list focuses. FYI, there aren't many 1830s doing S&TI. In fact, I bet there are more 1830 attachés than there are doing S&TI.
 

Hair Warrior

New Member
I am not in the Navy, but from everything I've heard, Navy intel officers are generalists - much more so than Army, Air Force, or Marine intel officers, who often specialize in one of the -INT areas early on. Navy intel officers are officers first and intel professionals second.
 

JLew

Member
I've been searching around for various perspectives to help manage my own brand new Intel career expectations. Having read many subjective posts on AW, Reddit and other random sources on the endless web (plus hours of running/Audible listening to a couple Navy "must reads"), I found this brief US Naval Institute blog resonated with me the loudest in our current environment.

https://blog.usni.org/posts/2018/10/24/letters-to-a-young-intelligence-officer

The scary thing is that so many leaders of the intelligence community seem to be leaving the building at a critical time...and candidates with almost zero experience are being nominated by our Commander in Chief. What is going on? Plus, you have "a good order and discipline problem" within the SEAL teams... Big Navy needs to batten down the hatches, immediately.

Would anyone care to expand on any major points in the article? Thanks!
 

JLew

Member
I've been searching around for various perspectives to help manage my own brand new Intel career expectations. Having read many subjective posts on AW, Reddit and other random sources on the endless web (plus hours of running/Audible listening to a couple Navy "must reads"), I found this brief US Naval Institute blog resonated with me the loudest in our current environment.

https://blog.usni.org/posts/2018/10/24/letters-to-a-young-intelligence-officer

The scary thing is that so many leaders of the intelligence community seem to be leaving the building at a critical time...and candidates with almost zero experience are being nominated by our Commander in Chief. What is going on? Plus, you have "a good order and discipline problem" within the SEAL teams... Big Navy needs to batten down the hatches, immediately.

Would anyone care to expand on any major points in the article? Thanks!
I found another great Intel JO article to add more perspective on here...preparing for NIOBC in February...

https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2019/january/reimagine-intelligence-officer-training
 

bubblehead

Registered Member
Contributor
I've been searching around for various perspectives to help manage my own brand new Intel career expectations. Having read many subjective posts on AW, Reddit and other random sources on the endless web (plus hours of running/Audible listening to a couple Navy "must reads"), I found this brief US Naval Institute blog resonated with me the loudest in our current environment.

https://blog.usni.org/posts/2018/10/24/letters-to-a-young-intelligence-officer

The scary thing is that so many leaders of the intelligence community seem to be leaving the building at a critical time...and candidates with almost zero experience are being nominated by our Commander in Chief. What is going on? Plus, you have "a good order and discipline problem" within the SEAL teams... Big Navy needs to batten down the hatches, immediately.

Would anyone care to expand on any major points in the article? Thanks!
I can speak from the Reserve side and can tell you it was a f*cking joke for the most part. My experiences in the IP community has not been any better.

If you want to do no sh*t cool stuff go Cryptologic Warfare.
 
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