IWO and IDWO PQS completion for reservists

IWO and IDWO PQS completion for reservists

Postby TomahawkChop » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:06 am

I know I haven't posted for a LONG time, but I was just made aware of the previous posts concerning IWO and IDWO PQS completion for reservists. As the (almost official) IWO/IDWO coordinator for NIOC Georgia for the last 4 months, I've had a lot of changes over this time, so I would like to put the latest gouge out for all.

The IDWO pin at NIOC Georgia means a lot to my command. The qualification process is purposefully tough, not because we hate our JOs, but because we know that JOs leave our command and are often the only face of IW a commanding officer of a non-IDC unit has, so we feel strongly that they need to be secure in IWO and IDWO knowledge. As a qualified submariner and naval aviation observer, I get a lot of respect when I wear those pins on my chest from people that I've never met or interacted with, and I want the same level of respect from wearing my IDWO pin, for both myself and others.

I am sympathetic to the plight of the reservists. I worked in a previous job as an admirals aide to a 2-star reservist, and my eyes were opened to just how hard that career can be at times (my boss had two very real full-time jobs...I don't really know how he managed). SDecker was the first reservist to go through the qualification process at NIOC Georgia...and it was rough. I won't lie, it required some long hours on his part to get ready, but I can say that he can wear his pin with confidence.

That all being said, I have made some significant changes to the program that can help anyone drilling with NIOC Georgia, and even those that aren't.

1. NIOC Georgia conducts weekly training on Monday afternoons, and we use a VTC capable room that anyone is welcome to call into. It's not for everyone (most people have to work on Mondays!), however, we consistently have one reservist dial in successfully each week. More are always welcome.

2. NIOC Georgia is building an IWO and IDWO wiki on the JWICS Intellipedia page. This wiki has references, powerpoints and videos from a variety of places, all in one handy location. It allows you to get both the gouge and the actual references without having to hunt across numerous domains. Please search for NIOC GA IWO and NIOC GA IDWO to find it. And, feel free to contribute (if you need assistance uploading references, please let me know).

3. We are beginning to video tape lectures for every section and post them on our wiki site, as well as tape the boards for IWO and IDWO (board process explained below). Our goal is that any reservist drilling on a weekend can access training materials and get good training, even if located in a remote SCIF.

4. For IWO, the board process is a 3 hour technical board, chaired by O-3s and focused mainly on technical PQS knowledge, plus a 2 hour O-4 board, focused more on application of this knowledge. The IDWO is a separate 2 hour board, chaired by an O-5, that covers the non-IW portions of the IDWO PQS.

My goal is that using distributed learning, I can shrink the amount of time you have to go on TAD from 6 months to 1 month. However, I cannot do this without your help.

1. Much of the PQS is unclassified. You cannot waste your time on TAD studying unclassified notes that you could have done on previous weekends. If you want to minimize your activated time, you will need to print out the PQS and have almost all unclassified knowledge before you come to a NIOC on orders. I recommend using the study guide from IDCSync as a starting point, but google is your friend (even while they sell your information). And yes, although you have a normal job, all of us that came from other communities spent plenty of nights and weekends studying on our own for other warfare pins...unless you happen to be a genius, I'm not sure how to get around that.

2. Come for PQS signatures prepared. On the submarine, I always carried my PQS books everywhere, because I used every moment to get demonstrate knowledge to someone to sign my book. It helped me make qual progress very quickly. On that same note...

3. You are expected to come to a qualified signer with roughly 80% of the knowledge of the subject, which you can get by reading the references. I am shocked (and frankly insulted) at the people that come to me with no knowledge of the signature line item, and expect me to teach them everything. My time is extremely valuable, and I don't want to waste it teaching you something you could have read out of a book. I much prefer to teach you the more advanced subjects (like, how we apply the knowledge for the line item in the fleet), because that is where you get the benefit of my experience.

4. Ask. Seriously. Don't sit in a corner while on TAD studying the whole time. Get out of the chair and talk to folks. Bring them questions. Pick our brains. Many of us LIKE our jobs, and we love to tell you how knowledge of some seemingly random line item in the PQS saved our butts overseas. You might even learn something!

Hopefully this helps somewhat. Anyone is welcome to contact me, I think almost every reservist at NIOC Georgia now knows my name, so I'm not hard to find, or you can always hit me up with a private message. I'll respond to any replies on the forum as well.
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Postby das » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:17 pm

Thank you for taking the time to post this, and thank you for working to make a difference!

I'm a reservist attached to NIOC GA, and I can attest to the improvements I have seen in just a few short months.

BUT, it can't be just a one-person operation. Every reserve JO attached to NIOC GA should get involved in this process (I wonder how many of them will see this...?) ? furthermore, I fully expect and hope that these materials will benefit JOs at other NIOCs and commands outside of GA, active and reserve alike.
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Postby HH-60H » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:58 am

Great post and great effort putting this together!

I will make sure to look for the web page at work tomorrow.

Btw, I made this post a sticky.


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Postby das » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:54 am

Not to fragment any discussion here, but more discussion also happening at the IDCsync Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IDCsync/posts/414332721978832
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Postby bubblehead » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:07 pm

Great post and great initiative.

Unfortunately, the standards associated with the IDWO pin are not the same in the RC as they are in the AC. Heck, it's not even the same standard amongst different units in the RC. And I know that at least in Intel units, the IDWO PQS board is conducted as a dual Intel PQS/IDWO PQS board.
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Postby lux » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:51 pm

Excellent gouge TomahawkChop!! Shrinking that TAD from 6 mo to 1 mo is a desirable goal for our JOs in the equal pipeline. I'm TO for unit affiliated with NIOC GA, and early in the process myself, so I'd like to make sure we synch up with you. It seems there may be some room for collaboration and re-use between NIOC GA and the IDC SE training initiatives; have you had any discussion there? I've been very impressed with IDC SE TO, and I think he'd be very open to getting your program more exposure. In the meantime, much thanks for leading this charge; I'll PM you on this site, and I'd like to make sure I make your WIKI/distance/board content available to our unit, as well as your well thought out short primer (now mandatory reading for our unqual'd JOs! )
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Postby das » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:03 pm

lux, please get in touch with me as well and we can coordinate efforts!
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Potential Reservist: Interest in IWO

Postby HoustonCal » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:12 pm

Hello. I am a new registrant.

I am 35, male, prior enlisted navy (AE2). I shall complete my BS in Mathematics this semester and I plan to move into a PhD graduate program in Elec. Engineering to study laser, plasma & pulsed power sciences. (Awaiting news on acceptance/rejection at present.)

For years I have felt the desire to return to service, or a related community. I recently made contact with USN-R recruiters to get the ball rolling on information on options to enter as an officer. Suffice it to say that I am NOT confident in their ability to answer my questions. This forum and its contributors clearly are.

I find the IWO program to be very interesting and wished to learn more about the actual job functions. I read from the various postings throughout this forum that the training & qualification pipeline for Reservist-IWO is presently disorganized, inconsistent and difficult to complete at best. (Not to mention the highly selective application process) With the notable exception of the improvements being made by our friends at the GA location.

I am not deterred, however. I had hoped to find someone here who could accurately describe the IWO purpose to me. I read in the USNR brochure that the IWBC trains students in: Info Ops, US Crypto System, Electromagnetic Theory, Radar, Satellite Fund., Signal Collections, Military Comm among other subjects. I am particularly curious about the aspects of the job that relate to the radar, E&M, Satellites and possibly Cryptology. How much of these are used on daily basis? Do you work with satellites, radar systems or other E-M energy technologies daily or are IWOs required to be cyber experts mostly?

Can a reservist applicant get a foot in the door having no prior crypto or cyber expertise?

I have little to no experience in IT, networks, programming or computer science in general. These items sound like they belong more to the Intelligence, or Info. Professional communities, however I have seen the terms pop up often in IW articles and forums.

Thank you all for such informative dialogue. Any helpful advice on the IWO track or in general is greatly appreciated.
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Postby Pwlk » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:43 pm

HoustonCal wrote:I have little to no experience in IT, networks, programming or computer science in general. These items sound like they belong more to the Intelligence, or Info. Professional communities, however I have seen the terms pop up often in IW articles and forums.


I'll leave my comment short as this isn't really the topic of this thread

The most generalized degree (area of study) to IDC community in my opinion, is:

Meteorology -> Metoc (1800)
Computer Engineering -> Information Warfare (1810)
Information Technology -> Information Professional (1820)
Political Science ->Intelligence (1830)
Computer Science -> Cyber Warfare Engineer (1840)
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Re: IWO and IDWO PQS completion for reservists

Postby ADC_Mustang » Fri May 03, 2013 12:51 pm

HoustonCal.

You are correct! you will find a career as an IW officer in the reserves to be very interesting.
Focus on putting in your DIRCOM package for being an 1815 officer in the reserves (that's the
officer designator for IW). Don't be put off, even If it takes you a couple of times to apply with
your recruiter to get selected via DIRCOM; with your enlisted background, you have the time,
up until even past age 41 as you have prior service years helping you on the backend (need 20 yrs
in total, and be able to retire by age 61+).

I would advise you to accomplish a Master's degree in a technical field, like Computer Science,
or Cyber Security which builds nicely on a B.S. in Math. If you are not already aligned in your
civilian job as a gov't or contractor employee then start working directly supporting the Intelligence
and Security Agencies.

As for the PQS process(es); that will help you be prepared as an officer, but you'll need to draw on all of your
experience and leadership qualities to be successful as a Navy Officer.
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