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Cyber Forces tightens rules for IDW qual

Nov. 25, 2012 - 09:41AM   |   Last Updated: Nov. 25, 2012 - 09:41AM  |  
There are new rules for commands offering the Enlisted Information Dominance Warfare pin.
There are new rules for commands offering the Enlisted Information Dominance Warfare pin. (NAVY)
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Navy Cyber Forces Command is tightening rules on which commands can offer an Enlisted Information Dominance Warfare Specialist qualification.

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Navy Cyber Forces Command is tightening rules on which commands can offer an Enlisted Information Dominance Warfare Specialist qualification.

Just over two years old, the IDW qual is aimed primarily, but not exclusively, at the following ratings: aerographer's mate; intelligence specialist; cryptologic technician; and information systems technician.

When first created, any command with at least one sailor of these ratings could establish an IDW qual program. Under new rules, announced Nov. 12 in NAVADMIN 343/12, commands must be made up of 65 percent or more of the IDW ratings to establish a program.

It amounts to fewer non-cyber sailors being able to compete for the IDW pin.

"We decided that we needed that 65 percent cyber rating threshold to maintain the standards of quality and expertise we need in this program," said Force Master Chief (AW/SW) Jay Powers, the senior enlisted sailor at Navy Cyber Forces, based in Little Creek, Va.

Powers said commands already with IDW qualification programs, or those currently in the process of establishing one, could continue.

Qualify at another command

The Navy still wants to accommodate individual sailors in cyber ratings whose commands don't have qual programs, Powers said. These sailors, if approved, would be sent to nearby commands to complete them.

This accommodation will be particularly important for ITs, Powers said, who make up the second-largest rating in the Navy. Many of these sailors are stationed at commands without a qual program.

Officials are leaving it up to the individual commands to decide whether they would accept an outside sailor, who must also have permission from his own command.

"It won't be easy for sailors to do this, but for someone really wanting to expand their knowledge, it can really supercharge their careers," Powers said.

To cross-qualify at another command, a sailor must already have qualified in their parent command's primary warfare qualification.

For example, those on surface ships must already have their surface warfare qualification completed.

Officers are not impacted by these rule changes.

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