SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- In August 2019, Sailors from Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) San Diego launched an informal training pipeline designed to prepare its Sailors in the information systems technician (IT) rating for Navy-wide enlisted advancement examinations (NWAE) called IT University.
Shortly after its implementation, Sailors from neighboring commands heard about IT University and began participating. Now, its founder aspires to grow the program and assist all interested Sailors in San Diego’s Navy IT community in optimizing their chances for promotion.
Information Systems Technician 1st Class Allison Mitchell has prepared many times for the advancement examinations she has taken throughout her career. With each iteration, she has longed for a streamlined method of consulting subject matter experts while getting hands-on experience to maximize her readiness going into test day. Now serving as an instructor at IWTC San Diego, Mitchell is equipped with the experience, resources, and teaching skills necessary to develop her desired solution and has put her plan into action.
“Trying to prepare for an exam by using advancement bibliographies and studying such long publications was a lot of work and could be frustrating at times,” offered Mitchell. “I wanted to help others avoid some of the stress that I’ve encountered, and I think IT University helps to achieve this because Sailors get to hear from people who have been through the testing process and this helps to provide a better environment on test day.”
While organizing IT University, Mitchell reached out to her long-time friend and shipmate Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) 1st Class Jessica Kalinoski who built a similar program for cryptologic technicians around San Diego.
“IT1 Mitchell did a tremendous job of taking a good idea and running with it,” said Kalinoski. “I love seeing Sailors using initiative to help fill needs rather than waiting for someone else to devise a solution.”
After obtaining a blueprint for IT University, Mitchell leveraged her network of resident experts at IWTC San Diego to construct a diverse team, which possesses all of the competencies required to deliver comprehensive training for the entire IT rating. IT University mixes lectures from IWTC San Diego instructors with hands-on training on hardware that the schoolhouse uses for formal training, which includes the Automated Digital Network System, High Frequency Radio Group, Digital Modular Radio and the Consolidated Afloat and Enterprise Services, or CANES. Mitchell hopes to offer training to even more Sailors in the IT rating who want help preparing for the NWAE, and encourages Sailors in paygrades E-3 to E-6 to attend future offerings.
Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Iniki Johnson is a recipient of the benefits IT University offers. Johnson, who works at the Office of Naval Intelligence’s Hopper Information Services Center Det. in San Diego, was selected for promotion to petty officer second class after attending IT University, and credits her success almost entirely to the program.
“I was struggling a lot with preparation, and talking to people with so much experience was awesome – you can’t find that on the Internet,” commented Johnson. “I had almost given up hope, but decided I wanted to do everything possible to say I gave 100%. Luckily for me, that included IT University.”
IWTC San Diego, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), provides a continuum of training to Navy and joint service personnel that prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.
With four schoolhouse commands, two detachments, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT is recognized as Naval Education and Training Command’s top learning center for the past three years. Training over 20,000 students every year, CIWT delivers trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.
For more news from Center for Information Warfare Training, visit www.navy.mil/local/cid/.