IWO and IDWO PQS completion for reservists

Re: IWO and IDWO PQS completion for reservists

Postby das » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:57 am

All,

Would like to get your feedback on the following. The idea is to provide some basic guidance to RC IW Officers (and their RC and AC commands) planning for completion of their IWO and IDWO quals:

Subject: INFORMATION WARFARE OFFICER (IWO) AND INFORMATION DOMINANCE WARFARE OFFICER (IDWO) PERSONNEL QUALIFICATION STANDARDS (PQS) COMPLETION FOR RESERVE OFFICERS

1. Introduction:

● The Reserve Deputy Commander, U.S. 10th Fleet, has directed that a top priority for Reserve Component (RC) Information Warfare (IW) Officers is completion of the Information Warfare Officer (IWO) and Information Dominance Warfare Officer (IDWO) Personnel Qualification Standards (PQS).

● The Active Component (AC) Information Warfare and Cryptology (IW/CT) Community, via the member’s supported AC Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC), manages IWO and IDWO training, signature, and qualification board process for RC IW Officers. RC IW Officers fill roles across the IW/CT and joint communities, and are held to the same standards as AC IW Officers.

● RC IW Officers must complete the IWO PQS within 36 months of the date of commissioning or obtaining Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) clearance, whichever occurs later, and must complete the IDWO PQS within 60 months of the date of commissioning.

2. Discussion:

● The IWO and IDWO PQS represent a comprehensive set of baseline knowledge expected of all IW Officers. While the PQS is Unclassified For Official Use Only (U//FOUO), much of the information required to demonstrate knowledge and competency with the material is classified SECRET or TS/SCI. As such, study must occur where a member has access to a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF). This is often a challenge for RC Officers, who may not have routine access to a SCIF.

● The Information Warfare Basic Course (IWBC) is a two-month introduction to the basic material with which all IW Officers should be familiar. It does not provide any completion (“signatures”) of line items in the member’s IWO PQS book; however the curriculum generally conforms to material in the 100 Series of the IWO PQS and is a valuable resource that should be leveraged for knowledge and PQS completion.

● Commander Information Dominance Corps Reserve Command (CIDCRC), as the Type Commander (TYCOM) for the Information Dominance Corps (IDC) RC, will fund up to 90 days of active duty orders for training (ADT) for “core skills training” for RC IDC Officers. This includes IWO PQS for RC IW Officers. IDWO PQS can be completed concurrently, as there is a fair amount of overlap for many sections.

3. Recommendations:

● RC IW Officers must perform as much self-study of unclassified IWO and IDWO material as is practical outside of drill weekends and active duty orders. This includes:

● Unclassified official references and resources, when available
● Unclassified PQS presentations, study guides, gouge, and similar material
● Unclassified teleconferences, video conferences (e.g., via Defense Connect Online), study sessions, and Boot Camps periodically conducted by CIDCRC and/or other RC IDC communities
● Some unclassified references are available at https://www.intelink.gov/wiki/IDC_PQS_Resources

● RC IW Officers should seek out assistance from their RC chain of command in order to have sufficient time set aside on drill weekends for classified self-study, PQS line item consultation and signatures, and discussions which will lay the knowledge foundation required for their future as an IW Officer.

● AC commands hosting RC IW Officers for PQS completion should consider flexible scheduling for IWO and IDWO boards, or conducting combined IWO and IDWO boards, due to difficulties in scheduling extended periods of active duty for training and/or accommodating waiting periods between boards for RC Officers.

● AC commands should consider accepting IDWO board results from IDWO Boot Camps conducted by CIDCRC, which conform to the guidelines laid out in OPNAVINST 1412.13.
● Even if the results are not accepted, such Boot Camps represent an extremely valuable opportunity to become familiar with the material while collaborating with other AC and RC Officers from across the IDC.

● When a RC IW Officer reports to an AC command for PQS work, the focus of the command and the member should be almost exclusively on the PQS. Collateral activities, watch standing, and operations should be kept to an absolute minimum or avoided altogether. Orders should be written to indicate that the member’s top priority is PQS completion, and that the orders are not operational in nature or for mission support.

● RC IW Officers should expect to devote approximately two to three months of time after IWBC to prepare for IWO and IDWO qualification. This time does not have to be consecutive, but is required for proper preparation. The more study that can be completed ahead of time, whether drill weekends, short periods of orders, self-study, or Boot Camps, the less time is necessary to be spent on contiguous active duty orders.

● RC IW Officers face unique challenges on the road to qualification, but these hurdles can be overcome.
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Re: IWO and IDWO PQS completion for reservists

Postby Schlag » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:18 am

Maybe I'm just being a jerk - but we're earning a warfare qualification here. This isn't something that a Network+ Boot Camp will knock out. We need to be very careful with how we approach this otherwise we are diluting the meaning behind the pin that took so long to have come into existence. I would view any Boot Camp with an eye of scrutiny. As it is, I view IWO/IDWO Training at our command with scrutiny. I can't think of another community that places so much time and effort into spoon-feeding their Candidates.

Fair-minded individuals may disagree but I believe the challenge and the rigor of the other communities qualification programs adds to the caliber of the officer produced upon designation. Sure there is a fair-share of crap that could probably be done away with. But IMHO, officers are very well served by having to go and find a reference, then read the reference for relevant information as opposed to having all the references nicely laid out for them. Or even worse, have the reference paraphrased by another Candidate (who may or not be competent) and absorbing that as gospel. Just like in Flight School - live by the gouge, die by the gouge; however, I am seeing more and more reliance and entitlement to the gouge and a very strong push (from Candidates) for gouge to become gospel.

BT

New CYBERFOR instruction will address IWBC signatures. I've seen the draft, unsure of it's currently location in the CoC; however, as I tell our IWO/IDWO Candidates, getting PQS signatures does not equate to having the requisite knowledge required of an IWO/IDWO.

BT

Apologize for the rant and negativity, but we need to be honest with ourselves. Is the goal just to cram a large amount of information into our heads and simply brain dump it all once you get some gold jewelry on your chest; or is it to lay the foundation for a career of learning and simultaneously lend some visible credibility to an officer that they know what they're doing (or at least know where to find the answer) when it comes to Information Dominance Warfare when they are given an operational assignment in the Fleet? This is not a ticket that needs to be punched. This is not something to do because it'll look good in your Shadowbox. This is something to be taken seriously and something to be earned. It should not be done faster and funnier.
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Re: IWO and IDWO PQS completion for reservists

Postby das » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:48 am

Regarding the Boot Camps, I really think there is a disconnect between what is actually happening at the Boot Camps and the perception of them.

The Boot Camps are NOT designed to provide signatures or take the place of self-study, looking up material in the references, talking to people, etc. The most recent IDWO Boot Camp was conducted by CIDCRC at NAS Fort Worth JRB in May of this year. The expected prerequisites were 80% signature completion and a significant amount of preparation beforehand. There were three months' worth of weekly 1.5-2 hour DCO sessions with section SMEs which gave candidates the opportunity to go over material. Yes, maybe some people are trying to do the minimal amount of work to get through them, but can't the same be said for some people with regard to ANY process?

Are we saying that INTEL, IP, and METOC — whose communities are all currently accepting the results of the boards at these Boot Camps as valid — simply don't care about IDWO? I attended one of these Boot Camps, and the experience was a very valuable one...we had access to multiple O-5s and O-6s and SMEs for four solid days and did 3-4 hours of study and mock boards each night. My board was conducted by an O-6 IW, O-5 INTEL, and two SMEs (CWO3 and IT1), and conformed to the IDWO instruction. Not everyone passed these boards. I didn't expect it to be accepted, and it indeed wasn't, but spending the time I did on that process was well worth it. The reason I am still pressing this is because this is something CIDCRC is going to continue to do for the IDC RC, and IW will be the only community that won't treat those results as valid.

The fact is that for *IDWO* (not IWO), a very large portion of the material is FOUO. About 85% of the IDWO references are either U or FOUO. The classified portions can be filled in on drill weekends and at such Boot Camps (which are conducted in SCIFs). Again, this is not IWO, and while I agree this is a warfare qualification, the question is are we conforming to the instruction, or not? If someone does whatever level of study is appropriate for them personally and is able to pass a rigorous board chaired by an O-5/O-6 from their community, I am still not understanding why this process is viewed with such disdain. The entire purpose is to take a community-wide approach for the IDC RC and have a comprehensive curriculum and plan for IDWO. I wonder if some AC IW Officers would be willing to observe a future Boot Camp process (not just the Boot Camp, but the entire process). This is not meant to replace or supplant the community (in our case, IWO) qualification process.

I'm sure the process could be better, but given that this is something supported up to the 2-star level on the reserve side, what is a way forward other than simply discounting them out of hand? I reject the notion that AC NIOCs are the only entities in the entire IDC that are capable of properly handling IDWO quals for RC IW Officers. I'm not saying that Boot Camps are the only way or even an optimal way, but we should at least CONSIDER them, IF they meet the requirements of the IDWO instruction and process, for the sake of flexibility...note that I only say "consider", and also make reference to the fact that even if the results are not accepted, they're still a great way for reservists to do directed, structured IDWO prep — which they are.

There is also a bigger problem here: this month, the RC IW community lost another Officer, who is also an NSA civilian, in part because of an inability of that person's AC NIOC to find a way to get that person through the qualification process without spending an inordinate amount of time on active duty for training. This is not the first time this has occurred. I have discussed this with the IDC RC leadership and the conclusion was that we are not actually tracking this, but that based on anecdotal information, it is an issue. Given that we only assess 4-5 IW Officers at each of the two annual RC selection boards, is it a good ROI to go through the lengthy selection process and have these people in the community for 2-3 years only to have them leave in part because of these difficulties? It is easy to say, "If they can't cut it, we don't want them"...but is that really the whole story? We owe it to ourselves to address this.

I don't want this to become only about "Boot Camps"; aside from the IDWO Boot Camp bullet, what about the rest?
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Re: IWO and IDWO PQS completion for reservists

Postby Pwlk » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:52 am

I like the idea of the boot camps as described, but don't like that they are called boot camps. I believe it sells short what they can offer.

We just had a good number of IW Reservists come through and qualify. Worked well that they came in a group to use trainers time wisely as well as have study partners. Also the staggered shifts they came in worked well because a few would qualify or get close to qualifying and be able to help the new arrivals into the process.
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Re: IWO and IDWO PQS completion for reservists

Postby Messiah62 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:21 am

PQS for Noobs question:
Coming form the Air Force (Enlisted), we had something called the Joint Qualification Standard (JQS). The JQS was similar to the PQS in terms of it being a list of things that you have to know and get signed off by your supervisor or some other person who is trained to become qualified in your job.

Are any of the signature blocks completed at IWBC? I am only 1 of 2 IW Officers in my reserve unit and the other one completed his quals before the last change so it is completely different now. Also when should one start working on their PQS? I will be gong to DCOIC in October and IWBC in January.

The sooner I can get my quals done the better.

Thanks
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Re: IWO and IDWO PQS completion for reservists

Postby arvizo » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:07 pm

Messiah62 wrote:PQS for Noobs question:
Coming form the Air Force (Enlisted), we had something called the Joint Qualification Standard (JQS). The JQS was similar to the PQS in terms of it being a list of things that you have to know and get signed off by your supervisor or some other person who is trained to become qualified in your job.

Are any of the signature blocks completed at IWBC? I am only 1 of 2 IW Officers in my reserve unit and the other one completed his quals before the last change so it is completely different now. Also when should one start working on their PQS? I will be gong to DCOIC in October and IWBC in January.

The sooner I can get my quals done the better.

Thanks

It has been a few years since I attended, but I do recall receiving a sheet with signatures for some sections. In any case, you will have plenty of resources among the staff there to get the signatures you need.
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Re: IWO and IDWO PQS completion for reservists

Postby bubblehead » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:39 pm

Schlag wrote:Maybe I'm just being a jerk - but we're earning a warfare qualification here.

Agree.

Schlag wrote:Is the goal just to cram a large amount of information into our heads and simply brain dump it all once you get some gold jewelry on your chest

In the Reserves, yes. The goal is to get people qualified. At least this is what I saw on the INTEL side.
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Re: IWO and IDWO PQS completion for reservists

Postby das » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:45 pm

arvizo wrote:It has been a few years since I attended, but I do recall receiving a sheet with signatures for some sections. In any case, you will have plenty of resources among the staff there to get the signatures you need.


For what it's worth, IWBC no longer signs off anything in the IWO PQS. (This may change again in the future.)

Also, unless a person has other contacts at Corry (e.g., NIOC Pensacola), it is unlikely there will be time to get signatures while at IWBC. It's just not structured for that. There is also an issue that some of the Big Four NIOCs only want you to get signatures only through them. Frankly, that is the most effective anyway, as it gives you a chance to talk to people at your own command who are doing the work.
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Re: IWO and IDWO PQS completion for reservists

Postby das » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:48 pm

bubblehead wrote:
Schlag wrote:Maybe I'm just being a jerk - but we're earning a warfare qualification here.

Agree.

Schlag wrote:Is the goal just to cram a large amount of information into our heads and simply brain dump it all once you get some gold jewelry on your chest

In the Reserves, yes. The goal is to get people qualified. At least this is what I saw on the INTEL side.


It's a balance between having people legitimately get the knowledge they need vs. getting people qualified in a relatively reserve-friendly format. Personally, I believe that if someone believes we need 4, 5, 6 months on active duty to truly get the requisite knowledge, 1. the PQS and Program Authorization should explicitly state and require that, and 2. reservists should be MOBed for such training.
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Re: IWO and IDWO PQS completion for reservists

Postby Messiah62 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:13 pm

das wrote:
arvizo wrote:It has been a few years since I attended, but I do recall receiving a sheet with signatures for some sections. In any case, you will have plenty of resources among the staff there to get the signatures you need.


For what it's worth, IWBC no longer signs off anything in the IWO PQS. (This may change again in the future.)

Also, unless a person has other contacts at Corry (e.g., NIOC Pensacola), it is unlikely there will be time to get signatures while at IWBC. It's just not structured for that. There is also an issue that some of the Big Four NIOCs only want you to get signatures only through them. Frankly, that is the most effective anyway, as it gives you a chance to talk to people at your own command who are doing the work.


So if signatures are required to be signed by someone at the Big Four NIOCs, then there should be a more streamlined process for getting the orders to one of those locations. I feel like there should be a single Training POC for IW officers to contact at one of those locations and they can then help you schedule your dates as well as work with you once onsite to get qualified.

At my location there is an O-3 Reservist IW and an Active O-4 IW officer. These are the only local resources I have. Are they allowed to sign off my PQS sections?
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