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Cryptologic Technician (CT) Queries (Previously Communications)

System

Midshipman
Hello Boys/Girls, Men and Women.

I appreciate, having read into the previous comms/crypto technician posts, that there may not be a chance of answers. However, I would like to try my hand at asking anyway and if any CT wishes to message me a response directly then that would be superbly helpful!

Roughly a month ago I went in for my psychometric test with the Royal Navy, intending to go as a WS (SM), but was suggested to take a look at a CT because of my test score. After very little reading up on this later that day, truthfully, I decided it seemed more in line with what my long term goals were. The main reason I state this is because the recruiter, who was (is?) previously a CT, stated that it opened a door to a job in GCHQ afterwards. In the short term, it sounds quite highly technical and just a little spook-y.

Below are some general questions. If there are answers then I'd appreciate it however no bother if they can't be. I've left out ones I know there is no answer for:
- I understand that this job can be much, much more of a desk job and you will not necassarily see the bunks of a ship as much. I am naive enough to actively want to work on the inside of a Sub atleast once. Do you give preferences to your own working enviroment (land/sea) or is this decided right after training based on your specialisations?

- The US Navy has much more information on their CTs and it appears that they have a massive array of specialisations. Is this the same with the RN? Are further aptitude tests used to determine this? I know (or have read) this is the case for linguists. I would enjoy learning another language but do not want this as a job ultimately. How likely are you to be 'forcefully volunteered' considering low intake numbers for CTs and is there a ballpark of specific specialisations?

- What pay scale do CTs work on? Even the RN recruitment page states that it would be 31k after 2.5 years of training, however looking through various RN PDFs online I cannot see what supplement or pay scale this is working on.

- What are the opportunities for progression in this job? Ofcourse it's never guarenteed and down to personal ability but would there be ample chance to progress up ranks? If there are a limited number of CTs then I would imagine this makes it a lot harder since competition is tight?

I'll leave the questions at that but leave something a bit open ended as well: To the non-CTs that may wish to respond and help out (thanks in advance by the way), what have your interactions been like with CTs in the RN (without touching on sensitive topics)? That kind of sounds like I expect them to be 'different' or huddled away in other parts of the ship but I have no frame of reference to work from here. Any good anecdotes?

Cheers,
W
 
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Acryph

Badgeman
I am a Rct CT in Raleigh and something you might want to consider right away is the very large difference in time you should expect to join Raleigh between applying as WS(SM) and CT. I waited 18 months from recruit test to Raleigh join date with no medical delays.
 
Not a CT, but employed enough of them...

The direction your career goes in is a combination of personal preference and needs to the Service. Linguists are streamed on the basis of a test called the MLAT.

Where and who you work for will depend on your specific assignment. Again, where these are are a mix of preference and need.

The USN has entire career fields for what would be sub-career preferences in the U.K. However, they give a good idea of what might be possible.

I presume they are pay supplement 3 on the pay scales. Promotion is entirely up to how good you are. It can be pretty rapid.

CTs work in limited access compartments, so few other people will mix with you on a day to day basis. However, onboard you'll sleep and eat where everyone else does.
 

System

Midshipman
I waited 18 months from recruit test to Raleigh join date with no medical delays.

Oof, I wasn't aware it was so massive. I'm presuming that's from the time of them deciding they want you and not the time that you actually start the application? How are you finding it generally?

CTs work in limited access compartments, so few other people will mix with you on a day to day basis. However, onboard you'll sleep and eat where everyone else does.

I'd read something like this previously, I think. Onboard is this a room specifically for CTs or are there other roles that would also be working alongside, e.g. CIS?

Goes without saying but thanks for the responses!
 
Oof, I wasn't aware it was so massive. I'm presuming that's from the time of them deciding they want you and not the time that you actually start the application? How are you finding it generally?



I'd read something like this previously, I think. Onboard is this a room specifically for CTs or are there other roles that would also be working alongside, e.g. CIS?

Goes without saying but thanks for the responses!

The only others in there with you are those suitably cleared - which is not many.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
Just a bump on this thread to aid site searches, as it was something I'd missed. Communications Technician (Comms Tech) has changed job title, as this thread title correctly implies, to Cryptographic Technician.

Not to be confused with Crypt Tech, which sounds like a person that works in the Civilian embalming, prior to final dispatch, industry - Another SO1 'good idea' worthy of an OBE prior to branch title reversion upon retirement, probs.

My guess is the branch got fed-up being confused with Engineering Technicians who fix the kit, rather than twiddle their knobs whilst using it.

For those using the Royal Navy website Role Finder search function, for 'Comms Tech', you'll be pleased to learn it returns '0 results' instead of returning Cryptographic Technician.

That's the intelligence community for you, I guess Treat it as a criteria element of the selection process...;)
 

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SheffGruff

Badgeman
In fairness to the officer responsible, this particular rebranding meant you can re-use all things that were branded "CT", which probably saved a few quid.
 
- I understand that this job can be much, much more of a desk job and you will not necassarily see the bunks of a ship as much. I am naive enough to actively want to work on the inside of a Sub atleast once. Do you give preferences to your own working enviroment (land/sea) or is this decided right after training based on your specialisations?
*You can deploy a lot on all types of platforms, absolutely everything. I assure you there is no shortage of Sea Days especially if you want them. Throughout my career I have gone to drafty (guy/gal who gives you your assignments) and I've always told him/her what I want to do and showed him/her why and what work I've done on this already and I've been lucky enough to get what I wanted every time (so far). You normally have to volunteer for a specialisation, or you can stay a general duty CT. Most specialisations require a lot of application from the individual, pinging someone who doesn't want to be there is not ideal.

- The US Navy has much more information on their CTs and it appears that they have a massive array of specialisations. Is this the same with the RN? Are further aptitude tests used to determine this? I know (or have read) this is the case for linguists. I would enjoy learning another language but do not want this as a job ultimately. How likely are you to be 'forcefully volunteered' considering low intake numbers for CTs and is there a ballpark of specific specialisations?
*We can actually go on Yank ships and work with them :) ! Our role is different from our yank counter parts, the US CT branch is bigger than the UKs Navy. So their branch isn't as highly specialist as ours across the board. We have all sorts of additional aptitude tests if you want a crack at them, Cyber Aptitude test, MLAT (Language), Signal Development board, ELINT board, etc... we have quite a range of stuff to do, both on and off platform (at sea / shoreside). Voluntold is a tricky one, you're unlikely to be voluntold for a language as it requires a lot of commitment from the individual and if they don't want to be there... However you are very likely to be voluntold to go to sea. Our branch is changing/changed and they want CTs captallied to ships, being part of the crew instead of being an embarked unit. Digging out with the rest of them, warfare!

- What pay scale do CTs work on? Even the RN recruitment page states that it would be 31k after 2.5 years of training, however looking through various RN PDFs online I cannot see what supplement or pay scale this is working on.
*We are on Supplement 3 (WINNER), getting to Leading Hands can vary, it is achieved after 9 months of completing a major training milestone at Chicksands. Caveat with passing both leadership and being compliant for promotion (passing a board with your Chief or Warrant CT). I'd expect it to be between 2 years and 2 and a half years for most.

- What are the opportunities for progression in this job? Of course it's never guarenteed and down to personal ability but would there be ample chance to progress up ranks? If there are a limited number of CTs then I would imagine this makes it a lot harder since competition is tight?
*Promotion to Petty Officer is probably one of the quickest branches in the RN, we are a growing branch so promotion right now as an AB is brilliant. The branch is always changing though. I'd say promotion is a big plus for our branch at present.

I'll leave the questions at that but leave something a bit open ended as well: To the non-CTs that may wish to respond and help out (thanks in advance by the way), what have your interactions been like with CTs in the RN (without touching on sensitive topics)? That kind of sounds like I expect them to be 'different' or huddled away in other parts of the ship but I have no frame of reference to work from here. Any good anecdotes?
*Due to us being captallied to the ship now, we are amongst the ships company a lot more as we are Ships company, meaning you gel a lot better. I have had zero problems fitting in with any ships company, I just get slagged all the time for being supposedly smart but constantly being stupid. Just a lot of CTs are weird... Smart, but weird.
 

System

Midshipman

Thanks a lot for the response, appreciate it. I've got a few follow ups if you wouldn't mind.

Do you know what kind of job opportunities are available after working as a CT? I ask because I am currently working towards a BSc with the Open Univeristy and, potentially, I could jump straight into a CT role without completeing the course if the prospects afterwards are good. Seems stupid to waste time on the BSc if I can get a decent job afterwards without it, aka not waste my time. If I decide not to join then Open Uni is flexible enough to allow me to pick it back up, so no loss as far as I know.

Generally, what are you thoughts on the role? Do you enjoy it? Is it a challenging job that keeps you on your toes, so to speak, or is it much more laid back with the occasional intense bit of action? I do much better when kept thinking and involved but understand a lot of the Navy roles do involve plently of other ship duties away from your main 'job' so I just want to have a realistic view with that.

How much of the role is pure mental power? I imagine a lot of the technical work of a ship is handled by computers now(?) or are you making quite significant and deep decisions yourself? Are you analysing data coming from the computer or creating the data, etc. Pointed question perhaps.

Do you have any advise in regards to the interview specifically with this role? I'm pretty confident with interviews but I might as well get some insider knowledge if I can and I haven't had mine yet.
 

soleil

War Hero
Do you know what kind of job opportunities are available after working as a CT? I ask because I am currently working towards a BSc with the Open Univeristy and, potentially, I could jump straight into a CT role without completeing the course if the prospects afterwards are good. Seems stupid to waste time on the BSc if I can get a decent job afterwards without it, aka not waste my time. If I decide not to join then Open Uni is flexible enough to allow me to pick it back up, so no loss as far as I know.

It's difficult to calculate when your start date would be at the moment - you may actually join next year, so forge ahead with the BSc. I don't know how much more of your BSc you have left to do, but there is a real possibility that you could get quite a big chunk of it done before you join, maybe a good 12 months worth.
 

Taztiff

War Hero
I ask because I am currently working towards a BSc with the Open Univeristy and, potentially, I could jump straight into a CT role without completeing the course if the prospects afterwards are good. Seems stupid to waste time on the BSc if I can get a decent job afterwards without it, aka not waste my time. If I decide not to join then Open Uni is flexible enough to allow me to pick it back up, so no loss as far as I know.
There is nothing to stop you carrying on with the OU degree. You can even get it paid for (80% or something like that?)
I have one - majority of it paid for and supported by the RN, numerous people on here also have them.
There will be more experienced posters who can give you an up to date statement on the RN's education support scheme (whatever it is called nowadays - I've been out of the mob 20 years!)

Good luck
 
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System

Midshipman
Yeah, I completely agree you. I'm decided soon after my post that i'd be taking more modules next enrol (september) and try to blast out as many as I can. If I can get it done before I join then it's a no brainer. This might allow me to try for an Officer rank but I don't think they'd be willing to risk training me for that level since I do not look like a good candidate on paper and there is only so much icing I can put on a shit cake.

There is nothing to stop you carrying on with the OU degree. You can even get it paid for...
Really interesting point, thanks for bringing it up. Is it a realistic idea? I'm not sure how much time I would have to actually commit to it since it seems the CT training is two years and a bit. Unfortunately i'm pretty blind with this decision. Edit: And it would require access to a computer. Will I have access to one?

Cheers for your time guys.
 
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Chris P

War Hero
Yeah, I completely agree you. I'm decided soon after my post that i'd be taking more modules next enrol (september) and try to blast out as many as I can. If I can get it done before I join then it's a no brainer. This might allow me to try for an Officer rank but I don't think they'd be willing to risk training me for that level since I do not look like a good candidate on paper and there is only so much icing I can put on a shit cake.


Really interesting point, thanks for bringing it up. Is it a realistic idea? I'm not sure how much time I would have to actually commit to it since it seems the CT training is two years and a bit. Unfortunately i'm pretty blind with this decision. Edit: And it would require access to a computer. Will I have access to one?

Cheers for your time guys.
This might allow me to try for an Officer rank but I don't think they'd be willing to risk training me for that level since I do not look like a good candidate on paper and there is only so much icing I can put on a shit cake.

Don't knock yourself, you won't know until you try, there's a big difference between paper and the real thing and you can only do your very best :)
 

Dredd

War Hero
Super Moderator
Don't get me wrong, I believe I could do it (sounds big headed); the problem is convincing them of that and getting over a hurdle. Appreciate it, man.

Doesn't sound big headed at all - sounds confident. As long as that is coupled with determination, you will succeed.
 

crash_evans

War Hero
I’ve mentioned this before, I thought I’d add it here (for awareness).

I was a DO to Phase 2 CT courses and had a few (3) pass course and then when they moved onto Phase 2B at DHU Chicksands have snags acquiring PAG (Partners Across Government - essentially a higher level of Clarence for use with American Codeword material). If you have any danglies in your locker (foreign nationals in immediate family or convictions, that usually wouldn’t be an issue with UK TS. It will show up and be rejected. You are then essentially unemployable in source branch. They have then been branch changed to an alternative branch.

One particular case was a young lads Father, who married a foreign National and his was rejected.

Forewarned is forearmed.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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