By Rear Adm. Jonathan White
Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy
Last Friday afternoon I had the honor of hosting a pinning ceremony for a Navy Cryptologic Technician, CTI2 Rebekah Crider, who had earned her Enlisted Information Dominance Warfare Specialist (EIDWS) pin. Petty Officer Crider is a Persian-Farsi language specialist stationed at the Navy Information Operations Command located at Fort Gordon, Georgia. She is currently participating in an advanced language program at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
The EIDWS designation was implemented in 2010 to promote better understanding of the Navy’s information programs and systems and enhance the professional development of enlisted personnel who work in information specialties. Information Dominance (ID) is the operational advantage gained from fully integrating the Navy’s information functions, capabilities and resources to optimize decision making and maximize warfighting effects. Information, the network, and cyberspace are increasingly central to all aspects of naval warfighting.
The Information Dominance Corps (IDC) includes four enlisted ratings: AG (meteorology and oceanography), IS (intelligence), CT (cryptology) and IT (information systems). The Navy formed the IDC to better leverage the capabilities of these four key communities that collect, exploit, and transport warfighting information.
The EIDWS warfare pin demonstrates that Information Dominance has joined the other main batteries of naval warfare: air, surface and submarine. And like the other warfare communities, we now have a type command, to man, train and equip the ID Force.
Petty Officer Crider specifically chose the library of U.S. Naval Observatory for the pinning ceremony. As a former superintendent of USNO, the location has special significance for me, and it is appropriate to the occasion since this beautiful and historic library contains one of the largest collections of printed information about astronomy and physics in the world.
The astronomers at USNO collect and provide information critical to DoD missions through star catalogues, reference frames, astronomical and nautical almanacs, and Earth orientation bulletins. In addition, the Naval Observatory Master Clock provides a precise time reference that supports GPS and enables the networks and satellite communications that the Navy absolutely depends upon.
While participating in the ceremony, it crossed my mind that I was witnessing an intersection of languages. Petty Officer Crider’s expertise in Persian-Farsi is an important component of Information Dominance; she interprets the Persian language to provide critical intelligence information to the warfighter. At the same time, the scientists who work at the Naval Observatory interpret the language of astronomy and physics in support of operational needs.
It’s all about information. BZ to Petty Officer Crider.