Job Facts About Army Cryptologic Linguist (35P)

Foreign Language Fluency Is Just One of the Requirements

Afghan interpreter with the U.S. Army's 4th squadron 2d Cavalry Regiment helps to question a villager

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A cryptologic analyst (MOS 35P) in the U.S. Army identifies foreign language communications using signals equipment. The importance of this job is crucial, especially important in combat situations in foreign countries, where the ability to understand communications in other languages. But it involves a lot more than just translating and communicating foreign languages.

Cryptologic analyst is an entry-level, enlisted job. Duties performed by Soldiers in this MOS (military occupational specialty) include: 

  • Identifying foreign communications from an assigned geographic area and categorizing signals by activity type
  • Analyzing foreign communication for information to support mission reporting requirements
  • Recognizing changes in transmission modes and tipping the appropriate analytical or intercept authority
  • Providing translation expertise to analysts
  • Operating systems as needed to support signals Intelligence tasking, reporting, and coordination
  • Providing gist, transcription, or translation of foreign communications


Cryptologic analyst job training consists of 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and three to 52 weeks of Advanced Individual Training with on-the-job instruction. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and in the field.

Training for an Army cryptologic analyst job takes place at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC), Presidio of Monterey in Monterey, California, and lasts between six and 18 months. The DLIFLC is a joint service school run by the Army, making it the primary foreign language training facility for the entire U.S. Department of Defense. Recruits who fluently speak a needed foreign language may be allowed to skip DLIFLC training. 

DLIFLC training is followed by advanced individual training. 


To qualify for a job as a cryptologic analyst, recruits must score a 91 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB) in the Skilled Techincal (ST) area. The Army also evaluates recruits on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB), to determine how well a native English speaker will be able to learn a new language. The DLAB score indicates the level of difficulty for language training. A DLAB qualifying score of 100 or above is required for this job. 

Security Clearance: Top Secret

Strength Requirement: Heavy

Physical Profile Requirement: 222221

Cryptologic analysts in the Army must be free of color blindness, be U.S. citizens and have a qualifying score on the English Comprehension Level Test. Anyone who has served in the U.S. Peace Corps is not qualified. Recruits must have good voice quality and be able to speak English and an additional language fluently and idiomatically, without accent or impediment. It's not enough just to be able to speak the language, in other words.

A record of conviction by court-martial or civil court for any offense other than minor traffic violations removes a recruit from eligibility for the position of cryptologic analyst.

Similar civilian occupations to cryptologic analysts are interpreters and translators, radio operators, database administrators, computer operators, business operations specialists, and training and development specialists.