Rating Traits IV

Rating Traits IV

By Garland Davis

Cryptologic Technician (CT): The people in this rate are so segmented that they barely know each other. They are decided into the Maintenance group, the Interpretive group, Networks, Collection, and Technician. Don’t ask what they do. They are so secretive that they don’t know what each other does. Their lunch is classified as Top Secret. I know they work in out of the way places. Here in Hawaii, they are either in a tunnel, a base out in the pineapple fields or behind chain-link at Pearl.

I once lived in a section of Navy Housing where three of my neighbors were CTs. They spent their lives looking over their shoulders. It seemed as if every other week a dude from ONI would show up with a badge asking questions about one or another of them. I was having a beer with my next-door neighbor and told him jokingly, “The next time that guy from ONI comes around, I’ll tell him you get drunk and beat your dog.”

He said, “For heaven’s sake, don’t even fucking joke about that!”


Information Systems Technician (IT), Submariners add S (ITS): We once called these dudes Radiomen. Most of the old time Radiomen communicated by dots and dashes, Morse code and had to be dragged into the modern, more technical communications world.

The job description for IT’s: Information systems technicians design, install, operate, and maintain state-of-the-art information systems. This technology includes local and wide area networks, mainframe, mini and microcomputer systems and associated peripheral devices. They also write programs to handle the collection, manipulation and distribution of data for a wide variety of applications and requirements. They perform the functions of a computer system analyst, operate telecommunications systems including automated networks and the full spectrum of data links and circuits.

The Radiomen I knew back in the day would have had difficulty understanding that.

I could have become a Radioman. I didn’t tell the classifier in Boot Camp  that I could read code. I learned it as a teenager. I remember very little of Morse now. A is dit-dah and all the others are different. I do remember what an old RM used to say frequently in the chow line, “ Three dots, four dots, two dots, Dash. They serve it in the Navy and call it Hash.”


Legalman (LN): Legalmen are the Navy’s paralegals. They assist Staff Judge Advocates in the proper administration of military justice and administrative law, such as courts-martial, nonjudicial punishment, and administrative separation. They were once called Legal Yeomen and would either help a falsely accused sailor out. But, keep in mind they work for Legal Officers and will assist that officer in hanging your ass.