Preparing to be an IWO

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Preparing to be an IWO

Postby egiv » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:23 pm

Hello, I will be going to OCS in four months to eventually be an IWO. Since I am a non-prior and have so much time before OCS, I am reading and doing everything I can to be as prepared as possible. As an international relations graduate, I have been told I will be somewhat disadvantaged, given the technical nature of IWOs.

My question to current IWOs is this: what are some things you would have liked to know before you started but didn't? Is there a particular subject area that you wished you'd had more background on? Any specific reading recommendations or advice on how to prepare are greatly appreciated.
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Re: Preparing to be an IWO

Postby yoshi » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:07 pm

With where you are, I would recommend concentrating less on IW-specific topics and more on general knowledge. Our community is constantly changing priorities, organization, and processes for a decade in an attempt to meet tomorrow's demands. Its probably sensible to focus on the national intelligence apparatus (DNI, CIA, FBI, and NSA) and national level command strcutures and processes. I would read everything I could related to STRATCOM, US Cyber Command, Fleet Cyber Command, and ONI, paying particularly close attention to relatively recent changes involving cyber. While your first couple tours may not be national level or cyber, the majority of tours after LT are national and cyber related. Also, it just makes sense to spend time learning the stuff which won't change. That way, the effort won't spent be in vain studying today's structure which may likely change. As a final note, I would study the processes, rather than who is responsible or who is in charge of it today. For example, it is better to know how funding, Personnel, Training, etc are acquried at a command (something our community wardroom is collectively weak on) rather than which people and organizations are responsible for it today. I wish someone would have given me this advice earlier in my career. If someone has knowledge of the processes, they require only a current organizational chart to know who needs to be contacted for whatever the need may be.

With respect to an International Relations background - i don't think that will hurt you at all, so long as you know/can do order of operations and discrete math. There is currently a heavy emphasis on possessing a "technical" background in the community. We are limited in our ability to pursue postgraduate programs in that we pretty much only have Comp Sci, EE, or Cyber Sys. Each of these require a moderate background in math and physics, so one could say not having a math/science degree is limiting. As far as the work goes, though, I haven't seen a job in our officer community which MUST HAVE someone with the specific "technical" background the communtiy is looking for in order for someone to perform successfully. I'm sure those jobs are out there, but gernerally speaking, if you are smart, can mange people, and are unphased by disfuntion, you will be fine.
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Re: Preparing to be an IWO

Postby COMEVIL » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:56 am

Since your time is relatively limited I would recommend the following three books:

Joe Rochefort's War: The Odyssey of the Codebreaker Who Outwitted Yamamoto at Midway by Elliot Ward Carlson

- Provides some historical context to our community and one of its finest.

Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World's Greatest Outlaw by Mark Bowden

- Explains the very beginnings of the find, fix, finish process currently used in the counter-terror fight.

Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It by Richard Clarke

- Self-explanatory.

Also, sign up for IDC Self-Synchronization site on FACEBOOK (https://www.facebook.com/IDCsync). It provides a current flow of IDC-related news and information.

If you have any questions PM me.

v/r

Comevil
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Re: Preparing to be an IWO

Postby egiv » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:12 pm

Thank you both for your responses, this is exactly what I was looking for.

If anyone in a similar situation comes across this thread, I'll be compiling a personal gouge packet over the next few months. PM me if you'd like to take a look.
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Re: Preparing to be an IWO

Postby das » Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:43 pm

Recommend you avail yourself of the resources here:

http://IDCsync.org

...in particular, the Newsletter, Resources, and the Document Library (in addition to what was noted above).

And stay in touch with this forum...it's a great resource.
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Re: Preparing to be an IWO

Postby Pwlk » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:55 am

Information Warfare Basic Course "CORE" material and NEETS modules are posted for reference: http://www.pwlk.net/IWBC/

Link is being maintained at: http://www.onthenetgang.com/p/resources.html

If it is technical reading you are itching for, check out the Navy Electricity and Electronics Training Series (NEETS) modules.
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