Cryptologic Technician Networks
1st Class Richard E. Allmon
Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. Tenth Fleet/Joint Forces Headquarters-Cyber
Fort Meade, Md.
Igrew up in the Navy — San Diego and Japan. My dad is still active-duty Navy. He’s been in something
like 35-36 years, still going.
I was going to school, wrapped up my associate’s
degree, but was kind of bored with school and felt like I
could be doing something bigger. I was also working as
a government contractor and the pay was nice, but the
hours weren’t enough. I knew I wanted to have a family
sometime and I needed a steadier income, so figured I’d
give myself a kick in the butt and do something bigger.
I came to the Navy, went in as enlisted specifically
for the kick in the butt. I wanted to go officer, that has
always been my intention, but I figured I’d go enlisted
first, then I’d know what I ask of my guys when I tell
them to do something as an officer.
I joined in February 2009. I actually was looking to
enlist as an MC [Mass Communication Specialist] to do
graphic design and photography and journalism, but due
to color blindness that was not an option. So they started
looking at other stuff … and pulled up the CTN and CTI
[Cryptologic Technician Interpretive, or linguist] rates. I
like language but I didn’t want to be in Monterey [Calif.,
at the Defense Language Institute] for a year for school.
I have always enjoyed computers; I grew up with
one of the first generations where computers were
always there. I remember upgrading to Windows 3 and
playing games where you had to go through the DOS
prompt to find anything.
We are a pretty broad rate, but we are primarily
responsible for the defense of Navy networks. My experience in the rate has been a little different than most of
my friends in the rate. A lot of the things we deal with,
from my side, have ended up being a lot more policy
driven than technically involved. A lot of my buddies
who are CTNs, who went through school with me, they
are very into the technical side of the rate.
I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to be involved in pushing the community in the growing direction, building
out our cyber mission force and getting them built up
to the point where they can actually be operational. It’s
been a very rewarding experience.
One of the big challenges, because it is so new, and
because we are standing things up and setting the way
for where we’re going to take these missions, there’s
not a whole lot of experience or support you can fall
back on to make sure you’re doing it the right way.
We’re kind of blazing trails.
On the flip-side of that, the Navy [has] been driving
hard on that and we are well ahead of any of the services
doing this. Our admiral [VADM Jan E. Tighe, commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. Tenth Fleet/Joint
Forces Headquarters-Cyber] is working on putting out a
strategic plan and one of the goals is the ability to deliver
warfighting effects through cyberspace. It’s fairly well
accepted that cyber is going to be the next big arena. It is
critically important that our team and our units supporting us get to that operational state as quickly as possible.
I’m working on my re-enlistment package right now
for another six years. My wife and I have an agreement
that each time I’m up for re-enlistment we’ll evaluate
where we are as a family and see what the best answer is
for us as a family. I love the Navy, it’s been really good to
me so far, but family comes first. ;
“I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to be involved in pushing the community in the growing
direction, building out our cyber mission force and getting them built up to the point
where they can actually be operational. It’s been a very rewarding experience.”
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 80 SEAPOWER / MAY 2015