• Please take a moment and update your account profile. If you have an updated account profile with basic information on why you are on Air Warriors it will help other people respond to your posts. How do you update your profile you ask?

    Go here:

    Edit Account Details and Profile

Life of IP officer

Jmanstar

Active Member
I am a civilian was recently selected to attend OCS for IP. I will be leaving in the beginning of August. My real problem is though I don’t have a full grasp of what IP officer is or what they do on a day to day basis. I know IP officers are pretty much known for handling much of the IT aspects of the Navy but other than that I’m kind of lost. i asked my recruiter and even with that it was a broad response.I was browsing around to see if I can find answers on here about the IP community but couldn’t find that much about, I also checked online but unfortunately I couldn’t find that much either. I was hoping someone can give me more of a in depth description on what I should expect being a IP officer if you don’t mind.Thanks
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Officer
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Well, congrats on your selection. Can't help you with your question. We didn't have IP officers in my Navy. We did have RADM Grace Hopper. Better know who she is.
 

AllAmerican75

Back to School!
None
Well, your day typically starts with quarters and is then followed by explaining to the every commanding officer and the admiral why things are broken and their email doesn't work. Somewhere in there is some professional development time. At least that's what my buddies who are IPs tell me.
 

Hair Warrior

New Member
Congrats on your selection. Caveat, I am not an 182X, so take this with a grain of salt:

Focus on being the best at OCS for now. A naval officer is an officer first, and their job second. Rest assured that the Navy will teach you your job in due time, though it’s good to see you take initiative to learn more/sooner.

The IWC is responsible for:
  • Assured C2
  • Integrated Fires
  • Battlespace Awareness
While IP have a part in all of those, their focus is the Assured C2 side of the triangle. That means building and maintaining Navy and Joint comms that are reliable, resilient, and secure. Some of these comms are wireless (radio, satcom, etc). Some are wired computer networks. Some people think IP is all computer certs and hands-on-keyboard — and for some that may be a whole career — but IPs can actually work in a lot of the RF spectrum, too. Think of IPs as networking blue forces, or being defensive and integrative of networks and other comms. CWs and Intel Os together provide the collection, exploitation, and analysis on red forces, and are generally more offensive minded.

If you can, seek out JO opportunities at sea. Anyone can go to C10F but there may be some COMMO billets on CRUDES or other haze gray floaty things that (I believe) an 1820 ENS/LTJG can hold. Although historically I think these have been SWO or SWO-IP option billets. Anyway, figure out a way to get time at sea early in your career, because it will be a foundational experience that will benefit you later on.
 

DanMa1156

Land of the rising sun. Literally. There's no DST!
pilot
Contributor
I think part of why you're getting broad brush strokes from people outside the community is that we often see IP officers in fairly specialized but widely-varying-by-tour roles. @Hair Warrior hit on some things I had no idea about which I think explains it - you may do one tour on wireless networks, another on computer hard-wired networks, and other tours managing the frequency spectrums of different satellites, UAVs, or engaging with your foreign counterparts to gain permission to use their spectrum. To those of us on the outside of IP, there's just too many widely varying roles for someone trying to tell you what your day-to-day will be like.
 

Jmanstar

Active Member
Congrats on your selection. Caveat, I am not an 182X, so take this with a grain of salt:

Focus on being the best at OCS for now. A naval officer is an officer first, and their job second. Rest assured that the Navy will teach you your job in due time, though it’s good to see you take initiative to learn more/sooner.

The IWC is responsible for:
  • Assured C2
  • Integrated Fires
  • Battlespace Awareness
While IP have a part in all of those, their focus is the Assured C2 side of the triangle. That means building and maintaining Navy and Joint comms that are reliable, resilient, and secure. Some of these comms are wireless (radio, satcom, etc). Some are wired computer networks. Some people think IP is all computer certs and hands-on-keyboard — and for some that may be a whole career — but IPs can actually work in a lot of the RF spectrum, too. Think of IPs as networking blue forces, or being defensive and integrative of networks and other comms. CWs and Intel Os together provide the collection, exploitation, and analysis on red forces, and are generally more offensive minded.

If you can, seek out JO opportunities at sea. Anyone can go to C10F but there may be some COMMO billets on CRUDES or other haze gray floaty things that (I believe) an 1820 ENS/LTJG can hold. Although historically I think these have been SWO or SWO-IP option billets. Anyway, figure out a way to get time at sea early in your career, because it will be a foundational experience that will benefit you later on.
I appreciate the response thanks
 

senatesnob

Nothing worse than the House of Represenatives
If nothing else, IP school sounds pretty great. Apparently they're having a grand ol'time compared to CWIOBC/NIOBC/METOC school and, if you take it seriously, you'll get through just fine.
 

nathhaw

Member
I understand you may have already gone to OCS, but you could still read this from there. Maybe someone else will seek out this info as well.

Here's what I understand as an enlisted Sailor who has been recently selected for OCS as an IP and heading there later this month:

In general

Go to OCS.

Go to Dam Neck, VA, for information warfare school.

Follow that up at Dam Neck with a 20-week IP-basic course.

You may also at some point there go to divisional officer school.

Go to first command at shore, where you have three years to get your qualifications. Most officers take about 18 months to get them. It depends on how easily your command is set up to allow this to happen. Keep that in mind when you are thinking about taking those "awesome" orders to the edge of the earth. It will be hard getting your quals at a little base without a lot of mentorship.

Next you will go two years to a sea billet usually on a "small boy," which if you don't know, means a smaller-sized ship, like a cruiser. There you may be given the role of the comms officer or whatever they may need you to be, but probably something like that -- doing comms stuff or IT stuff.

Following that, you will be a lieutenant before leaving that command, and you should at this time begin to think about where you want the Navy to send you to school for your master's. This can be in computer science, space operations, modelling and simulations, etc. You can pick the school of your choice that you get accepted to, and the Navy will pay for it as long as there is funding for the education. This includes private schools like Harvard. IP's for the last few years, as I understand it, have not even taken advantage of all these billets. Some were left unused. Most IP's go to the Naval Postgraduate School, which is pretty awesome too.

Starting here you might go to a carrier and work in the ADP division, which is the IT division basically. You will probably be like a lieutenant divisional officer, who works with a higher-ranking dept. head. You may be assigned to things like performing maintenance "spot checks," where you inspect enlisted Sailors' maintenance duties. Maybe you will run for a position in the officers' wardroom. You might have other additional collateral duties such as the Information System Security Officer (ISSO), which is pretty important. There's a lot you can do.

As your career goes on, you will be expected -- especially utilizing your master's -- to specialize, being sent to a command that takes advantage of your skill set. Probably you'll still be a lieutenant at this point, but you might make LCDR while there. This is part of the reason the IP's can do so many different things after a few years. For example, I want to be in the Navy Space Cadre. Other IP's will want to develop computer programs used Navy-wide. Their advanced computer science degree will help them do something like it. One of my OCS package appraisals was done by the IP captain (now a chief of staff at USINDOPACOM) who created/coded the CANES network system used on many ships today.

Like any officers though, you may have a lot of duties involving sitting at a desk doing paperwork, talking on a phone, managing funding aspects, and so on.

One of the first things you will want to do is get a Milsuite account after you get a common access card (military ID card) and join the IP group. Milsuite is like a military Facebook. All kinds of things are posted there that will help you, including the list of billets and their locations where we can choose to go. The detailers are there, and tons of people are willing to help. Want to get your quals remotely because you went to Antarctica and can somehow still connect through Zoom? Somebody will board you that way. The higher ranking officers answer the call in that group. Officers are also posting documents that have helped me learn a lot of this stuff I've just posted. Plus I met the detailer on there, and he told me this stuff as well. Maybe more. The detailer will reach out to you after so many weeks at OCS asking you what your wishes are for a first command from the list of available. Keep in mind, you get what the Navy needs, but the detailer will take your wishes into consideration when possible.
 

Jmanstar

Active Member
I understand you may have already gone to OCS, but you could still read this from there. Maybe someone else will seek out this info as well.

Here's what I understand as an enlisted Sailor who has been recently selected for OCS as an IP and heading there later this month:

In general

Go to OCS.

Go to Dam Neck, VA, for information warfare school.

Follow that up at Dam Neck with a 20-week IP-basic course.

You may also at some point there go to divisional officer school.

Go to first command at shore, where you have three years to get your qualifications. Most officers take about 18 months to get them. It depends on how easily your command is set up to allow this to happen. Keep that in mind when you are thinking about taking those "awesome" orders to the edge of the earth. It will be hard getting your quals at a little base without a lot of mentorship.

Next you will go two years to a sea billet usually on a "small boy," which if you don't know, means a smaller-sized ship, like a cruiser. There you may be given the role of the comms officer or whatever they may need you to be, but probably something like that -- doing comms stuff or IT stuff.

Following that, you will be a lieutenant before leaving that command, and you should at this time begin to think about where you want the Navy to send you to school for your master's. This can be in computer science, space operations, modelling and simulations, etc. You can pick the school of your choice that you get accepted to, and the Navy will pay for it as long as there is funding for the education. This includes private schools like Harvard. IP's for the last few years, as I understand it, have not even taken advantage of all these billets. Some were left unused. Most IP's go to the Naval Postgraduate School, which is pretty awesome too.

Starting here you might go to a carrier and work in the ADP division, which is the IT division basically. You will probably be like a lieutenant divisional officer, who works with a higher-ranking dept. head. You may be assigned to things like performing maintenance "spot checks," where you inspect enlisted Sailors' maintenance duties. Maybe you will run for a position in the officers' wardroom. You might have other additional collateral duties such as the Information System Security Officer (ISSO), which is pretty important. There's a lot you can do.

As your career goes on, you will be expected -- especially utilizing your master's -- to specialize, being sent to a command that takes advantage of your skill set. Probably you'll still be a lieutenant at this point, but you might make LCDR while there. This is part of the reason the IP's can do so many different things after a few years. For example, I want to be in the Navy Space Cadre. Other IP's will want to develop computer programs used Navy-wide. Their advanced computer science degree will help them do something like it. One of my OCS package appraisals was done by the IP captain (now a chief of staff at USINDOPACOM) who created/coded the CANES network system used on many ships today.

Like any officers though, you may have a lot of duties involving sitting at a desk doing paperwork, talking on a phone, managing funding aspects, and so on.

One of the first things you will want to do is get a Milsuite account after you get a common access card (military ID card) and join the IP group. Milsuite is like a military Facebook. All kinds of things are posted there that will help you, including the list of billets and their locations where we can choose to go. The detailers are there, and tons of people are willing to help. Want to get your quals remotely because you went to Antarctica and can somehow still connect through Zoom? Somebody will board you that way. The higher ranking officers answer the call in that group. Officers are also posting documents that have helped me learn a lot of this stuff I've just posted. Plus I met the detailer on there, and he told me this stuff as well. Maybe more. The detailer will reach out to you after so many weeks at OCS asking you what your wishes are for a first command from the list of available. Keep in mind, you get what the Navy needs, but the detailer will take your wishes into consideration when possible.
Thank you for the response I’m here at OCS currently and now have a better idea of what to expect thanks to you as far as command list go are the options abundant for the first one or are pretty limited?
 

nathhaw

Member
Thank you for the response I’m here at OCS currently and now have a better idea of what to expect thanks to you as far as command list go are the options abundant for the first one or are pretty limited?
Limited to the billets for ENS rank. In general, these will be a NCTAMS, NCTS, or C4ISR commands where you can get your quals. As I understand it, the best, most beneficial to pick to get quals are are going to probably be NCTAMS or but maybe sometimes NCTS as well. It somewhat depends on the size of the commands. The bigger, maybe the better for to mentorship opportunities.
 

Jmanstar

Active Member
Limited to the billets for ENS rank. In general, these will be a NCTAMS, NCTS, or C4ISR commands where you can get your quals. As I understand it, the best, most beneficial to pick to get quals are are going to probably be NCTAMS or but maybe sometimes NCTS as well. It somewhat depends on the size of the commands. The bigger, maybe the better for to mentorship opportunities.
I appreciate that thanks I guess I could look these up but I was wondering more as far as location for some of these.
 

nathhaw

Member
I appreciate that thanks I guess I could look these up but I was wondering more as far as location for some of these.
Several locations are CONUS, but these command types also include locations like Pearl Harbor, Bahrain, and South Korea. You can Google these types of commands and see some locations.
 
Top