Navy Intelligence Officer Job Description - Intelligence


Navy intelligence officer standing near a plane.
U.S. Navy / Getty Images

The Naval Officer who specializes in sensitive information is called an Intelligence Officer. The Intelligence Officer monitors and analyzes activities that pose a threat to national security—everything from drug smuggling, illegal immigration, arms transfers, and enemy allied movement of warships in real-time from various sources (human, satellite, photo/video).

A career as a Naval Intelligence officer is exciting, challenging, and rewarding. You'll join hard-working professionals ready to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing strategic landscape. You'll also reap a deeper reward—the sense of satisfaction and pride you'll gain as a member of the team that is quietly and competently protecting your nation's security.

Intelligence Officer Duties

Following graduation from basic intelligence training and receipt of a special intelligence security clearance, you'll go to an operational ship or shore tour. Your first assignment usually is 30 months in length and is typically at an aviation squadron, air wing staff, or onboard an aircraft carrier or amphibious command ship.

If you go to a shore command, you will also spend 24 months at a Joint Intelligence Center located at home or abroad. From the start, you'll be in an essential position of responsibility, supervising the collection, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence information critical in carrying out your command's mission. You will develop leadership, management, analysis, and communication skills that will enhance your personal and professional growth.

Depending on your interests, background, and performance, you will have opportunities to serve in various sea and shore assignments worldwide. You can expect a wide variety of assignments in the United States and overseas, including three sea duty tours at different points in your career. Promotion opportunities are comparable with other Navy warfare communities and are dependent upon sustained superior performance.

Naval Intelligence Officer Requirements

Age: At least 19 and less than 35 at the time of commission. No waivers.

Education: BA/BS in International Relations, Political Science, Gov’t, Engineering, Physical or Natural Science, and Comp. Science preferred.

Vision/Med: Depth perception not required. Color vision is not required.
- PRK and LASIK only eye surgeries waivable.

Service Obligation: Four years active from commissioning or de-enrollment (from flight program). Total of eight years active & inactive.

If you're considering a career as an intelligence officer, there are several factors the Navy considers when appointing candidates to this position:

  • Whole person concept
  • Consistent superior performance
  • Significant extracurricular involvement
  • Strong motivation statement
  • Strong recommendation letters
  • Good character; no financial/legal/drug issues
  • Strong analytical capability
  • Good leadership and communication skills
  • Amenable to sea duty
  • Interview with an Intel Officer enhances your application
  • Applications will only be considered if you're available for Officer Candidate School (OCS) within 24 months (unless you're applying for Baccalaureate Degree Completion Program).

Intelligence Officer Training

Navy Intelligence Officers are made in many ways. One can obtain the Naval Intelligence Officer career path from ROTC, U.S. Naval Academy, and OCS. You can also already be in the Navy as an enlisted member or officer in a different career path and lateral transfer into the Intelligence field.

Once commissioned, you'll attend the Naval Intelligence School that lasts five months in Virginia Beach, Virginia. You will be given a good foundation in ​ electronics, anti-submarine, anti-surface, anti-air, amphibious and strike warfare; counter-intelligence; strategic intelligence, air defense analysis, and combat mission planning.

Intelligence Pathways

Intelligence officers can specialize in several different areas, depending upon their abilities and the needs of the Navy. Some of the different paths your career might take are:

  • Operational Intelligence: Provide day-to-day intelligence analysis and support to naval, joint and multinational military operations afloat and ashore.
  • Scientific and Technical: Analyze the technical strengths and weaknesses of foreign weapons systems.
  • Intelligence Collection: Manage the prioritization of requirements and the tasking of resources to collect intelligence information from various imagery, electronic, communications, acoustic, human, and other sources.
  • Staff Support: Manage intelligence programs, analyze intelligence, produce support documents and develop plans for intelligence operations.
  • Political/Military Affairs: Serve as a regional area expert on a headquarters station or as a naval attaché in an embassy.
  • Civil Maritime Intelligence: Monitor and analyze maritime activities that threaten national security, such as drug smuggling, illegal immigration, arms transfers, environmental mishaps and violations of UN sanctions.
  • Information Systems and Telecommunications: Assist in developing, testing and maintaining hardware and software, ensuring real-time, secure dissemination of intelligence information to combat forces worldwide.