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Cryptologic Technician Interpretive
CTI's are the Navy's linguists. They specialize in analysis of foreign naval developments, radio-telephone communications and preparation of statistical studies and technical reports requiring the knowledge of a foreign language.



Cryptologic Technicians Interpretive are the Navy's linguists. They specialize in analysis of adversary developments, radiotelephone communications and preparation of statistical studies and technical reports requiring knowledge of a foreign language.

Language training is open to men and women in Arabic, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Hebrew and Persian. A Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) test must be taken at MEPS or wherever available; a minimum score of 100 is required. Based on the DLAB score. Students will then be assigned to a language based on school quotas and requirements as follows: DLAB score of 100-109 qualifies personnel for Spanish, Hebrew, Persian-Farsi and Russian. A DLAB score of 110 or above is required for the Arabic, Chinese and Korean languages.


The duties performed by CTIs include:

  • operating sophisticated state-of-the-art electronic radio receivers, magnetic recording devices, computer terminals and associated peripherals in the communications signals environment;
  • operating sophisticated, computer-assisted information systems;
  • working with classified material;
  • translating, interpreting and transcribing foreign language communications data;
  • analyzing and reporting highly technical information of strategic and tactical importance to fleet commanders and national intelligence agencies;
  • performing temporary duty aboard a variety of naval surface and subsurface vessels and aircraft.

Credit Recommendations

The American Council on Education recommends that semester hour credits be awarded for DLPT score results in the lower-division bachelor's/associate's degree category ranging from 5 to 15 credit hours and upwards of 21 semester hours in the upper division baccalaureate category depending on the language studies. Additionally, the Defense Language Institute is an accredited institution and is authorized to confer an Associate of Arts degree on graduates who meet all requirements for that degree which requires the student have previously completed 5 lower division courses plus successful completion of DLI.
Further, Phase II training awards credit hours in the vocational certificate or lower-division bachelor's/associate's degree categories for courses taken in typing, and written and oral communication skills.


Working Environment

CTI's normally work in clean, comfortable office-type or small technical laboratory-type environments while on shore duty. Sea duty is performed on a variety of air, surface and subsurface platforms. At times they are closely supervised but often work independently or in small, coordinated teams. Their work is of high interest to command and decision-making levels. It is mostly mental, involving foreign language materials.


Qualifications and Interests

Among the most important qualifications are exceptionally good character, ability to learn foreign languages, above-average writing and speaking skills, a good memory, curiosity, and resourcefulness, an orientation toward ideas and information, and ability to keep accurate records and work with details.

Also important is adaptability to a wide range of work activities and environments. Interest in technology and willingness to acquire computerized information processing skills are also helpful.

Applicants, including all immediate family members, must be U.S. citizens and meet eligibility requirements for continuous access to sensitive compartmented information (SCI). Eligibility for a top-secret clearance is determined by the results of a Single Scope Background Investigation followed by a reinvestigation every five years.
Normal hearing is required.

CTI - Cryptolinguist Operator

Operate signals collection equipment, systems, and antennas to search for, collect, geolocate, and record target signals of interest. Gist, transliterate, and transcribe target foreign language communications for analysis to identify essential elements of information. Draft basic SIGINT reports. Maintain cryptologic databases to gather additional target information and operating characteristics while protecting sensitive methods and sources.

CTI - Cryptolinguist Supervisor

Exploit and analyze intermediate to advanced cryptologic language materials. Supervise analysis, processing, and reporting of target foreign language communications. Supervise collection management operations, SIGINT requirements process and tasking of collection assets. Analyze target telecommunications infrastructure. Draft and release cryptologic mission reports. Draft emergency action plans. Develop solutions for training shortfalls. Provide strategic planning for CTI rating. Manage classified information security procedures.

CTI - Defense Threat Reduction Agency Linguist

Consecutively interpret between spoken Russian and English technical conversations. Translate written correspondence between Russian and English. Audit and examine or inspect items, structures, equipment or services according to treaty or agreement guidelines. Escort foreign delegates while performing weapons inspections, meetings, or negotiations. Meet and process foreign delegates through U.S. customs and passport control. Conduct daily Embassy operations. Conduct imagery sensor mission system operations in accordance with Treaty on Open Skies.

Security Clearance Requirement: Top Secret (Single Scope Background Investigation Required)


Other Requirements

  • Must score 100 or more on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB)
  • Must be world-wide assignable
  • Must have normal hearing
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen
  • Immediate family members must be U.S. Citizens
  • Moral turpitude offense(s) are generally disqualifying
  • Personal security screening interview required
  • Former members of the Peace Corps are not eligible
  • Candidates must be a high school graduate or equivalent (GED, CPT, home study or other equivalency). If not a diploma graduate, applicant must provide a high school transcript verifying successful completion of the 10th grade.


Sea/Shore Rotation for This Rating

  • First Sea Tour: N/A months
  • First Shore Tour: N/A months
  • Second Sea Tour: N/A months
  • Second Shore Tour: N/A months
  • Third Sea Tour: N/A months
  • Third Shore Tour: N/A months
  • Fourth Sea Tour: N/A months
  • Forth Shore Tour: N/A months

Due to the unique nature and specific skill sets required by sailors in the various CT communities, career paths are defined by INCONUS (inside the U.S.) and OUTCONUS (outside the U.S.) tours, instead of sea/shore rotations. Sailors can expect to serve on various tours outside the continental United States and/or overseas tours which count as sea duty, during their career.

CTI's can expect a rotation of one INCONUS tour, followed by one OUTCONUS tour, ect., during their careers.



101204-N-2893B-021 SAKHIR, Bahrain (Dec. 4, 2010) Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) 1st Class Anthony Anderson, left, assists visually-impaired runner Mohamed Alboori during the Cherry Tree Trot 2K for challenged racers at the Bahrain International Circuit. More than 200 U.S. service members serving in Bahrain volunteered to help more than 400 disabled competitors at the largest charity sporting event in the country. The event raised more than $125,000. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Eric Brown/Released)






101204-N-4780J-024 SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia (Dec. 4, 2010) Cyptologic Technician 3rd Class Michael Jeffress shows local children the ship's helm during a tour aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89). Mustin is on a port visit promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 2nd Class Christopher Jaus/Released)

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