Everyday Duties of the Navy's Cryptologic Technician - Maintenance

These sailors keep the crypto equipment in ship shape

Fleet Week in Elliott Bay, Seattle
Views aboard USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) Guided Missile cruiser, Seafair Celebration Parade of Ships, Fleet Week, Elliott Bay, Seattle, WA, USA. Stuart Westmorland / Getty Images

The Cryptologic Technician Maintenance branch offers a career in the installation, configuration, diagnosis, and repair of state-of-the-art electronic, computer, and network hardware and software systems.

There are several different types of cryptologic technicians in the Navy. CTMs maintain the equipment and hardware used in Navy spying efforts. 

Duties of Navy CTMs

These sailors have a long list of duties focused on keeping the Navy's intelligence operations up to date. They perform hardware and software isolation and repair of state-of-the-art electronic, computer and network equipment and related systems using complex test and analysis equipment, diagnostic software, hand tools and technical publications.

They perform computer and electronic system hardware and software installation, configuration and modifications, and analyze the configuration and monitor the operation of computer telecommunications and networking systems.

Their responsibilities include calibrating and repairing a wide variety of precision electronic test equipment, performing information security and computer network defense functions for secure networks and communication systems, and maintaining fleet cryptologic permanent and carry-on direct support systems required in special land, sea surface and subsurface operations.

Working Environment for Navy CTMs

CTMs are assigned to equipment installation activities, electronic maintenance, and computer networking system departments and divisions. They may be assigned to either day work or shift work in a large facility or one of the individual or two-person independent duty assignments at sea or ashore.

Departments and divisions are usually divided into specialized maintenance shops and are normally air-conditioned, well-lighted, and completely equipped.

A-School for Navy CTMs

After completing boot camp at Great Lakes in Illinois, you'll head to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida for ten weeks of technical training, what the Navy refers to as "A-school."

Qualifying as a Navy CTM

You'll need a combined score of 156 on the mathematics knowledge (MK), electronics (EL) and general science (GS) segments of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests. You'll need a minimum score of 57 on both the mathematical knowledge (MK) and arithmetic (AR) portions. 

Since you'll be handling highly sensitive information in this rating (which is what the Navy calls its jobs), you'll need a top secret security clearance from the Department of Defense. This includes a single scope background investigation and a personal security screening interview.

Offenses of "moral turpitude" are generally disqualifying for this job, and you and your immediate family members must be U.S. citizens. You'll also need a high school diploma or its equivalent.

If you've ever served in the Peace Corps, you're not eligible for ratings in the security and crypto fields. This is to protect the integrity of the Peace Corps and its personnel; since its volunteers may go into countries which are in conflict with the United States, if there was any perception that Peace Corps personnel were collecting intelligence information, it could put them in jeopardy. 

 In addition, you need normal hearing and color perception and must enlist for 72 months. 

Sea/Shore Rotation for Navy CTMs

  • First Sea Tour: 48 months
  • First Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Second Sea Tour: 36 months
  • Second Shore Tour: 36 months
  • Third Sea Tour: 36 months
  • Third Shore Tour: 48 months
  • Fourth Sea Tour: 36 months
  • Forth Shore Tour: 48 months