Working side by side with other Officers, ensuring the success of the Fleet

Job Description

Navy Information Warfare combines two related skills: cryptography, or disguising communications to protect them, and cryptanalysis, or deciphering the coded communications of others.

Navy Information Warfare Officers specialize in disguising communications to protect them. Focus on the art of deciphering the coded communications of others. Work with highly sophisticated electronic surveillance equipment, and supervise the investigative efforts of others.

Whatever the specifics, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists. And know this: The impact of your work and your service will go far beyond the time that you put in.

Specific Responsibilities

As an Information Warfare Officer, your duties may include:

  • Qualifying as an Operations Watch Officer, responsible for real-time signal intelligence collection, processing, analysis and reporting
  • Computer network operations
  • Developing and acquiring cutting-edge exploitation and defense systems
  • Leading Information Dominance personnel across the spectrum of military operations
  • Processing real-time signal intelligence
  • Planning and delivering information warfare effects during exercises and operations



Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent of that.

Individuals in the field of Information Warfare in the Navy Reserve serve in an Officer role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with this job, initial training requirements must be met.

For current or former Navy Officers (NAVET): Prior experience satisfies the initial leadership training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.

For current or former Officers of military branches other than the Navy (OSVET), as well as for Officer candidates without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial leadership training requirement by attending the twelve-day Direct Commission Officer School (DCO) in Newport, RI. This will count as your first Annual Training.

The Information Warfare field is a highly competitive area offering advanced expertise and highly sought-after security clearance. You’ll be trained in the Navy Security Group to operate and maintain specialized electronic equipment, such as radio receivers, antennae, recorders and computers. Annual Training assignments may be at Naval Security Group sites in this country or overseas.

Career Advantages

The specialized knowledge and expertise you gain as an Information Warfare Officer, coupled with your security clearance, will make you highly valuable in the civilian sector. It may even prepare you for future employment with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or National Security Agency (NSA).

Some training may be counted toward semester credit hours for a vocational certificate as well as an associate or bachelor’s degree. What’s more, you could potentially get full tuition for college – plus money for books and living expenses – through the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Your specialized training in the Navy Reserve could prepare you for credentialing, certification and/or licensure opportunities from a number of national boards and organizations. Allowing you to become even more competitive in your challenging field.

And the more tangible benefits? Competitive pay. Points earned toward retirement benefits. Outstanding insurance options. And much more. Read about the benefits of serving in the Navy Reserve.


General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.

To become an Information Warfare Officer, you must have a degree from an accredited four-year U.S. college or university. However, for those with a high school diploma or equivalent, you may qualify for a similar career in Intelligence.

Due to the classified nature of the Information Warfare field, you (and your immediate family) must be U.S. citizens. Additionally, you must undergo a special background investigation to receive Top Secret security clearance.

More Information

Want to explore further? Learn what you need to know about joining the Navy Reserve. Find us on Facebook to interact with actual Navy Reservists. Or, if you need more information, contact a Navy Reserve Recruiter.


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