Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by hellerch, Mar 13, 2009.
Out of curiosity, what kind of degree would be best for an intelligence officer?
O.k, First off, I do NOT know. I am just a candidate for the class of 2013. However, I talked to some USNA seniors earlier this year and they said that the academy does not have an intel division, (someone check me on this). I don't know if you can go into intel after grad. or not. I don't think it would matter to much what you major in, but my guess would be a foriegn language maybe? Hope this helps.
Working backwards to answer the question, USNA grads who find themselves in the intelligence community, a restricted line community, got there because either (a) they were NPQ for a line warfare community and went straight to intel or (b) they went into a line warfare community, obtained their warfare pin, and applied for a lateral transfer into the intel community.
As for a major, the theory is that USNA equips you to serve in any community in the Navy or Marine Corps, regardless of major. You could be an aero engineering major, get NPQ'ed during 1/C year, and find yourself going to the Intel school pipeline -- and you would do just fine.
Intell officers do a lot of analysis, so being able to integrate qualitative and quantitative skills is key. A major that worked those parts of the brain, perhaps coupled with a language minor, would be a good combo. Intell officers pore over all kinds of data from intelligence sources, looking for patterns, trends, predictors. Can't tell you much more than that or they would shoot me.
The thread started with a question about a degree... everyone gets a B.S. out of USNA. There are a range of majors available --- see other threads for discussion on current policies on proportions of eng/sci majors vs. liberal arts. Again, a B.S. out of USNA gives you the baseline for every other school and occupation in USN and USMC.
I understand about the majors and the intel community. I'm asking mainly because I was in correspondence with some people at the academy and am flying out to one of the visit weekends. They have meetings set-up with the Doctors and Pre-med people for me but also would like me to think about going into intelligence. I was just curious what that actually entails. The Navy website isn't too specific besides providing info to commanders.
Capt MJ has it almost correct. USNA has started offering option programs. What this does is allow a medically qualified officer to skip over any lateral transfer board and "automatically" change designation to that of the restricted line community. The catch is that, under normal circumstances, you must become warfare qualified in the community you select out of USNA. As of last year, almost all of these option programs ran concurrent with SWO. In other words, you have/had to become Surface Warfare Officer qualified before changing designation. Additionally, under most circumstances, the CO cannot withhold your designation change.
Furthermore, these option programs may have/might become more competitive considering that there are a limited amount of slots.
I service selected one of these option programs but I am not going intel. My view on these programs is that each individual brings some unique characteristic to the military and matching what that individual is good at better helps the Navy.
The hard part is letting the CO know, especially when he is a die-hard SWO!
Also, try the ONI website: http://www.nmic.navy.mil/
Most likely the other website (BUPERS/NPC) restricts access to their content to those who can login.
Oh yes, forgot about the options where you go into a warfare community first but can then exercise the option at a designated career point to either stay in their warfare community or transition to the restricted line community. We've had several of our sponsor midshipmen have the option, but none of them chose to switch to the option community -- they liked their warfare community too much.
I was an Intel Officer for 8 yrs back in the day when women couldn't go into combat and many female grads ended up in restricted line communities. As to your original question, your major makes zero difference -- we had everything from engineering to English majors in the field. If you have other questions about life as an Intel Officer, feel free to PM me.
It has been very interesting to have folks ask my mid if she will be sent to Intelligence - for the very reason she is an Arabic major. In her case it would not be the reasons of many before her ....but because her skills in translation might best be used there. She plans on going Marine and with her being sent twice now to study abroad - some have asked if she'll be put into diplomacy work. She has no idea. All she is doing is working very hard towards an usual degree, a Bachelor of SCIENCE in Arabic!
Once she is commissioned next year and (Lord willing,) finishes TBS for USMC...I'll be able to answer this query, that I, myself am also interested in watching unfold.
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