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Some questions about CIS trade...

Steerpike

Newbie
Hi everyone, just got a few questions about the CIS trade and was wondering if there's anyone on here who might be able to help me?. Basically I went to the initial careers presentation about a fortnight ago and at that point I was hoping to join up as a Communications technician as I've got a bit of a background in languages and thought the trade looked interesting. Anyway it turned out that, due to some residency issues, I was basically told that there was no point in applying for that particular trade. However the presentation -alongside a lot of the stuff I've read/heard- really got me convinced that the 'Navy life' was for me so I decided to go ahead and apply for the CIS trade as I was advised this was the closest thing to my original choice that there was + i meet the basic requirements. Anyway having done, so I've started to worry a bit about whether I'm really going to be suited to this role. The job requirements don't ask for any specific IT qualifications ( I do have a GCSE) but it does mention you should 'like working with computers'. Now have what I would call 'standard IT skills' for a person my age (24) and am quite comfortable using the internet/wordprocessing etc but I've never done any programming and don't have a clue how to rewire things .So could anyone who is currently in this trade or knows a bit about it tell me whether this will, realistically, mean that I shouldn't go for the job? I'm willing to learn anything but if you're expected to be some kind of IT whizz-kid before joining I reckon I might struggle a bit! (although if you think its possible to get yourself up to the required level before joining without taking years out to do so I'll definitely go for that!) Also, if there are things its beneficial to learn before heading to Collingwood, could someone please give me some pointers? (i.e. specific bits of software or specific skills so I can get a bit of a head-start). As I say I'm really keen on this trade now that I've looked into it a bit more and even more keen in the Navy in general but I'm just a bit worried that my lack of I.T background (beyond the usual stuff) might be a hindrance? Thanks very much in advance!
P.S I have looked through this site for info before and have found some really useful posts but a lot of the older stuff seems to have vanished so sorry in advance if I'm being a plonker and the info's already there!
P.P.S sorry for the obscene length of this post!
 

Graeme

Badgeman
When i was doing my research for my interview for CIS i found this paragraph helpful in describing what a CIS does. I'm not in yet so i dont know how accurate this is but it helped me anyway during my interview.

The CIS branch deal with all forms of Electronic communications. They mainly work in the main communications office. Their duties including tuning up of transmitter and receivers, HF, UHF and VHF. You will also deal with the satellite links back to the UK. You will also be involved in running the internal computer links and solving people problems. If the systems fail then you need to act quickly to re-route by whatever is available and in the worst scenario go back to the older style communications. You will always be watch keeping (Shift work) at sea and when ashore in the comms centres as it's important to maintain 24 hrs connection. You will also get involved in whole ship evolutions such as Seamanship, fire-fighting and general ships maintenance.
 

Steerpike

Newbie
Thanks very much mate! I'm having a look through the older posts as well so beginning to get a better idea of exactly what the job entails. Just out of interest do you have already have an I.T background (through work etc)?
 

Graeme

Badgeman
Thanks very much mate! I'm having a look through the older posts as well so beginning to get a better idea of exactly what the job entails. Just out of interest do you have already have an I.T background (through work etc)?

No not really, i work as an administrator just now so not involved in IT as such apart from microsoft office. I wouldnt worry too much about having a lack of IT knowledge as thats what your Phase 2 training is for.
 

Steerpike

Newbie
Pretty early days yet- Had the careers presentation about a fortnight ago, sent my application in about a week ago and now just waiting to hear back. I gather you're just waiting to get called up to Raleigh at the moment?
 

Graeme

Badgeman
Whats the waiting time now for CIS? When i applied back in April 2011 it was about 36 months for surface fleet and 24 months for submarines. Ive already been called up, I go to Raleigh in October as a CISSM
 

Steerpike

Newbie
Whats the waiting time now for CIS? When i applied back in April 2011 it was about 36 months for surface fleet and 24 months for submarines. Ive already been called up, I go to Raleigh in October as a CISSM

Not really sure to be honest! When I asked at the careers presentation (for Communications Technician) they said that was the longest at about 12 months so all i know is that it should be less than a year unless I've misunderstood. Well jealous of you starting in October though it looks great!
 
I wouldnt worry about the IT side of things, at the operator level you start at it is not indepth and you will be taught everything on course before you join your first unit. If you are on a unit that has Dii(onboard computer system) you may be sent to do a more indepth administrator course. In short you will not be using things you habe not be taugh on and will continue to grow your IT knowledge with on job training.
 

SEP86

War Hero
When i was doing my research for my interview for CIS i found this paragraph helpful in describing what a CIS does. I'm not in yet so i dont know how accurate this is but it helped me anyway during my interview.

The CIS branch deal with all forms of Electronic communications. They mainly work in the main communications office. Their duties including tuning up of transmitter and receivers, HF, UHF and VHF. You will also deal with the satellite links back to the UK. You will also be involved in running the internal computer links and solving people problems. If the systems fail then you need to act quickly to re-route by whatever is available and in the worst scenario go back to the older style communications. You will always be watch keeping (Shift work) at sea and when ashore in the comms centres as it's important to maintain 24 hrs connection. You will also get involved in whole ship evolutions such as Seamanship, fire-fighting and general ships maintenance.

If that is how we are advertising the CIS branch in 2013, then it is no wonder we aren't moving ahead very quickly with the concept of Information Warfare, or even getting our equipment upgraded. It is also no wonder that we seem to have taken the view that communications is an engineering task, rather than a fundamental part of warfare.

I would add:


The CIS branch is responsible for devising communications and information plans to meet the complex information superiority needs of a commander conducting modern operations, who needs to talk to UK and Allied navies, land and air forces.
The CIS team will produce the communications plan for the ships programme making sure that the ship is able to talk to all ships and authorities it needs to in an effective and secure manner.
The CIS branch administers the admin, business and operational computer networks onboard.
In more modern ships without an MCO (such as the T45) you will do the above using computer interfaces.
The CIS team makes sure that when important information is sent to the ship by signal, that it gets to the right person quickly.
The CIS team doesn't just 'revert back' to older style communications - it understands them and is able to advise the Command on which way is likely best to meet the aim.

COMMUNICATIONS - IT DOESN'T 'JUST HAPPEN!!'

Dismounting Hobby Horse now - Guns - Your turn!

Back to the OP's question - you don't need to be an IT guru, you will be trained to do your job in the same way as everyone else is - don;t worry about it - go for it.
 

Rob

Newbie
Hi, Steerpike. i was in the same boat as you. originally applied to join as a CT but because i lived in China for 18 months i had to change to CIS aftre a residency waiver was declined. i have just passed my security clearance in february and waiting to join. i began my application about 9 months ago. 12 month waiting period sounds great if it's true
 

razzaefc

Midshipman
Im starting my basic training october 6th, the only IT skills I have is browsing porn sites, buffering still annoys the shit out of me, so working on how to solve that. Im just a 100% commited to learning my new job role with the expert training im sure we will all get.
 
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