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Old 01-16-2013, 10:34 PM   #1
KreTo
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Default Prepping for the CTN "A"/"C" school

Hi All!

Just a quick simple question for anyone who knows about the schooling for CTNs. I have heard that it has one of the highest attrition rates and I am concerned that I may be underprepared. Is there anything that I should look into prior to leaving for boot camp/ "A" School? A list of books? youtube videos?

Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:57 PM   #2
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http://www.learntosubnet.com/

was recommended this to help out in the later weeks. I'm down in Pensacola now in CTN school, which is known as JCAC by the way. Its basically A and C school combined. not including holding, its 25 weeks long, and pretty fast paced.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:59 PM   #3
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oh yeah the attrition rate thing is no joke. All the other CTN's ive talked to, the first thing they ask is "So have you heard the horror stories? Cause their all true." People fail out or are set back all the time. But i hope you enjoy studying!
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:52 PM   #4
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What is CTN?
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:03 PM   #5
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navy hackers =P
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:44 PM   #6
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Thanks Argo!

I'll check this out. A friend in the OP-Intel Community out in Norfolk told me to find a CompTIA Network+ study guide and read/memorize it...

I have kind of a personal question if you don't mind. But what was your background prior to A school? college? interests? and are you having any issues at JCAC? anything I should be on the lookout for :D

Thanks again!
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:51 PM   #7
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no problem!
Yea that would probably help.
Before i got here I was in college for 2 years but then I got bored with engineering, so I got the studying and school environment down.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:27 PM   #8
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no problem!
Yea that would probably help.
Before i got here I was in college for 2 years but then I got bored with engineering, so I got the studying and school environment down.
THANKS!

I'm not so worried about the studying element. I have enough schooling under my belt to last me a lifetime. Its just on the humanities side of the house (completely worthless to the Navy btw) :P Do you find it hard to keep up with the course though? It is a lot of math? I think that would be my biggest problem haha...

Thanks again
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Argonaut17 View Post
http://www.learntosubnet.com/

was recommended this to help out in the later weeks. I'm down in Pensacola now in CTN school, which is known as JCAC by the way. Its basically A and C school combined. not including holding, its 25 weeks long, and pretty fast paced.

Like Kreto, I am also interested in learning as much as i can about CTN's. If you have time could you answer some of the questions i have. Such as: What was your ASVAB score(if you don't mind disclosing), what rank are you and will be when you finish A school, and is the CTN rate a 4/5/6 year commitment. I'm just curious because there is little information on this rate. Thank you
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:30 PM   #10
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Like Kreto, I am also interested in learning as much as i can about CTN's. If you have time could you answer some of the questions i have. Such as: What was your ASVAB score(if you don't mind disclosing), what rank are you and will be when you finish A school, and is the CTN rate a 4/5/6 year commitment. I'm just curious because there is little information on this rate. Thank you
idk if it will help much but I got a 91 on the ASVAB and I am going in as an E-3 (I have a Masters Degree already) and I think that its an auto-promote after 6 months (after you finish A school) due to the nature of the schooling and since I have a Bachelors degree or higher. Every CTN contract is for 6 years.

If you are interested I would suggest looking into that website Argo posted and that OPINTEL friend in Norfolk I was talking about sent me a copy of his CompTIA Network+ study guide... ill link an B&N page for you

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Com...8&cm_mmca2=pla

GOOD LUCK!
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:13 AM   #11
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I have a Masters Degree already
In my humble opinion, you should have applied for a commission.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:26 AM   #12
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In my humble opinion, you should have applied for a commission.
Maybe the OP doesn't feel that a commission would be right for them. Maybe they tried an didn't get selected. Maybe they would rather be more hands on and not run the chance of getting stuck pushing paper work. There are a ton of reasons why one would not try for a commission.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:33 PM   #13
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As one who served on active duty for five years as an enlisted man (the DP rating required one to commit to a one-year extension), I can honestly say that I would have never served as an enlisted man had I held a degree when I joined the Navy (I enlisted a month after I graduated from high school). The life of a commissioned officer is at least an order of magnitude better than that of an enlisted man or woman. The most junior officer lives better than the most senior enlisted man aboard ship. No enlisted rating prepares one to hold a true profession-level position after leaving the Navy. One is prepared to work as a paraprofessional at best (e.g., computer technician versus a true computer design engineer). Officers leave the Navy fully prepared to fill professional-level technical and leadership positions in the private sector.

With that said, giving the Navy several years of one's life in exchange for technical training can be a good deal for kids straight out of high school. It gives bright kids who are not quite ready to attend college time to mature. Enlisted service will teach them humility and the value of hard work.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:38 PM   #14
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In my humble opinion, you should have applied for a commission.
I did apply for commission... with the Air Force... last year after i graduated and was denied over someone who was more qualified... so no hard feelings there. But it wasn't even close and I didn't want to waste another half year to be denied again. I was also told that Civilian to Commissioned Officer rates for the Navy fell somewhere near 13% and even then its a long wait. I can't afford to wait much more than I already am right now.

Besides that, I have no problem with working my ass off and I eventually plan on seeking a Commission. I just want to know the job, have the training, and test the waters (I might not even like the military life)... all in due time... and at least this way I will already have connections and an "in" for when I go for commission...

-Kreto
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:26 PM   #15
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As one who served on active duty for five years as an enlisted man (the DP rating required one to commit to a one-year extension), I can honestly say that I would have never served as an enlisted man had I held a degree when I joined the Navy (I enlisted a month after I graduated from high school). The life of a commissioned officer is at least an order of magnitude better than that of an enlisted man or woman. The most junior officer lives better than the most senior enlisted man aboard ship. No enlisted rating prepares one to hold a true profession-level position after leaving the Navy. One is prepared to work as a paraprofessional at best (e.g., computer technician versus a true computer design engineer). Officers leave the Navy fully prepared to fill professional-level technical and leadership positions in the private sector.

With that said, giving the Navy several years of one's life in exchange for technical training can be a good deal for kids straight out of high school. It gives bright kids who are not quite ready to attend college time to mature. Enlisted service will teach them humility and the value of hard work.
I don't know how long ago you were in the Navy but I do know a lot of enlisted who get out of the Navy and get professional jobs. I know a lot of people who work at Spawar, Navsea, SWRMC. I had a bachelor's before I joined and finished my master's while I've been in. It is very common for enlisted to have bachelor's prior to joining nowadays. While a junior officer may get a state room. They sure as hell work way more than most enlisted, get yelled at way more than enlisted and deal with more crap then we have to deal with. If you are a hands on person it's not a bad thing to be enlisted. I would honestly hire a lot of enlisted over some of these junior officers. They may have gotten a commission but that doesn't make them good leaders or smart.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:02 PM   #16
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I'm currently in CTN A School here in Pensacola so I can give some info about what to expect/how to get ready. Yes, it is a rough course. Mostly because of the speed. I have a bit of experience with computers so it hasn't been too bad so far. I'm almost half-way through. They claim the attrition rate for new accessions (straight from boot), is 30%. But in my class, we've lost 10 people already (out of all the services) which is over 50%. Learn subnetting and study up on Network+ certification. But not so much the hardware aspects of it, just the theoretical parts, OSI model, protocols, command line tools, get familiar with Wireshark. Learn about the deep down and dirty parts of Windows. That is a rough part. User management, registry, how the kernel operates and all the processes and boot process, memory use. Learn a little bit of Unix/Linux. At least be familiar with it. Learn number conversions between binary, hex, octal, decimal. and how to do addition and subtraction in each. Programming isn't so bad but it wouldn't hurt to know at least the basics of C and probably Python. We are using C but newer classes might start using Python instead. Anything you learn ahead of time will GREATLY help you once you get here. You'll find that you will have very little free time between school, homework every night/studying, and standing watch. Don't get discouraged though. Keep your head up, and study hard when you get here. People in my class never did anything with computers except check email and they're doing just fine. Just do your best and don't goof off like the ITs. (You'll find out that we make fun of them a lot). You have to give it 100% or you'll probably fail. If you have any more questions regarding CTN or Corry Station, let me know and I'll see if I can help. And on top of the advanced course material, the navy has high standards regarding grades. If you get a 75% on a test, you fail and have to retest. If you "double-tap" (fail the retest) on any of the first five tests you are automatically dropped from the course. If you fail 3 times total, you are setback to the next class. If you fail 4 times you might get dropped but 5 is a definite drop. You also get put on mandatory study which is 2 hours every day after class if you fail a test/quiz. So as you can see, your overall grade doesn't matter too much (as long as it's above 80%), you can be dropped just by failing too many tests. So, that just shows you that you do need to study (and don't cram before a test, actually study every day. you can't just pass the test and expect to never see the material again. each section builds on a previous one. )
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zinzara View Post
I'm currently in CTN A School here in Pensacola so I can give some info about what to expect/how to get ready. Yes, it is a rough course. Mostly because of the speed. I have a bit of experience with computers so it hasn't been too bad so far. I'm almost half-way through. They claim the attrition rate for new accessions (straight from boot), is 30%. But in my class, we've lost 10 people already (out of all the services) which is over 50%. Learn subnetting and study up on Network+ certification. But not so much the hardware aspects of it, just the theoretical parts, OSI model, protocols, command line tools, get familiar with Wireshark. Learn about the deep down and dirty parts of Windows. That is a rough part. User management, registry, how the kernel operates and all the processes and boot process, memory use. Learn a little bit of Unix/Linux. At least be familiar with it. Learn number conversions between binary, hex, octal, decimal. and how to do addition and subtraction in each. Programming isn't so bad but it wouldn't hurt to know at least the basics of C and probably Python. We are using C but newer classes might start using Python instead. Anything you learn ahead of time will GREATLY help you once you get here. You'll find that you will have very little free time between school, homework every night/studying, and standing watch. Don't get discouraged though. Keep your head up, and study hard when you get here. People in my class never did anything with computers except check email and they're doing just fine. Just do your best and don't goof off like the ITs. (You'll find out that we make fun of them a lot). You have to give it 100% or you'll probably fail. If you have any more questions regarding CTN or Corry Station, let me know and I'll see if I can help. And on top of the advanced course material, the navy has high standards regarding grades. If you get a 75% on a test, you fail and have to retest. If you "double-tap" (fail the retest) on any of the first five tests you are automatically dropped from the course. If you fail 3 times total, you are setback to the next class. If you fail 4 times you might get dropped but 5 is a definite drop. You also get put on mandatory study which is 2 hours every day after class if you fail a test/quiz. So as you can see, your overall grade doesn't matter too much (as long as it's above 80%), you can be dropped just by failing too many tests. So, that just shows you that you do need to study (and don't cram before a test, actually study every day. you can't just pass the test and expect to never see the material again. each section builds on a previous one. )
:O

Thank you so much! This is exactly the sort of info that I was looking for. I have a ton of pre-class studying to do because I have no idea what you were talking about. haha

I use a mac which is prob. why I feel so behind. I'll try and swindle a Windows OS and start cracking... ;)

thanks again! If I have any questions i'll be sure to ask you!
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:12 PM   #18
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Glad it helped. That's the kind of info I wish I could have found before I joined. LOL. I did so much research beforehand and came up with basically nothing. Yeah, as far as I know, knowing stuff about Macs won't help you in this course. Unless you know a lot of the commands and stuff for the internals of Mac OS which is really just UNIX.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:01 AM   #19
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I'm currently in CTN A School here in Pensacola so I can give some info about what to expect/how to get ready. Yes, it is a rough course. Mostly because of the speed. I have a bit of experience with computers so it hasn't been too bad so far. I'm almost half-way through. They claim the attrition rate for new accessions (straight from boot), is 30%. But in my class, we've lost 10 people already (out of all the services) which is over 50%. Learn subnetting and study up on Network+ certification. But not so much the hardware aspects of it, just the theoretical parts, OSI model, protocols, command line tools, get familiar with Wireshark. Learn about the deep down and dirty parts of Windows. That is a rough part. User management, registry, how the kernel operates and all the processes and boot process, memory use. Learn a little bit of Unix/Linux. At least be familiar with it. Learn number conversions between binary, hex, octal, decimal. and how to do addition and subtraction in each. Programming isn't so bad but it wouldn't hurt to know at least the basics of C and probably Python. We are using C but newer classes might start using Python instead. Anything you learn ahead of time will GREATLY help you once you get here. You'll find that you will have very little free time between school, homework every night/studying, and standing watch. Don't get discouraged though. Keep your head up, and study hard when you get here. People in my class never did anything with computers except check email and they're doing just fine. Just do your best and don't goof off like the ITs. (You'll find out that we make fun of them a lot). You have to give it 100% or you'll probably fail. If you have any more questions regarding CTN or Corry Station, let me know and I'll see if I can help. And on top of the advanced course material, the navy has high standards regarding grades. If you get a 75% on a test, you fail and have to retest. If you "double-tap" (fail the retest) on any of the first five tests you are automatically dropped from the course. If you fail 3 times total, you are setback to the next class. If you fail 4 times you might get dropped but 5 is a definite drop. You also get put on mandatory study which is 2 hours every day after class if you fail a test/quiz. So as you can see, your overall grade doesn't matter too much (as long as it's above 80%), you can be dropped just by failing too many tests. So, that just shows you that you do need to study (and don't cram before a test, actually study every day. you can't just pass the test and expect to never see the material again. each section builds on a previous one. )

Hey, mate. I joined this site to get more info on becoming a CTN. I selected to become a CTN and I'm anxious to get a head start since I've heard that it can be very difficult. Thanks for the info regarding the tests. It seems pretty brutal. (>_<)

As far as topics of study:
I see that subnetting is important so I imagine computer networking as a whole is pretty important. Is that right?
Which Windows are you talking about specifically? Windows 2007/NT?
Do you know if the newer classes are studying Python?

Is it possible to get percentages of what I should study (i.e. study 75% computer networking, 5% wireshark, 2.5% command line, etc)?

I would love for you to communicate your insight here but I understand if there's reasons why you can't share information. If need-be, please PM me. Thanks. :-)
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:40 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by zinzara View Post
I'm currently in CTN A School here in Pensacola so I can give some info about what to expect/how to get ready. Yes, it is a rough course. Mostly because of the speed. I have a bit of experience with computers so it hasn't been too bad so far. I'm almost half-way through. They claim the attrition rate for new accessions (straight from boot), is 30%. But in my class, we've lost 10 people already (out of all the services) which is over 50%. Learn subnetting and study up on Network+ certification. But not so much the hardware aspects of it, just the theoretical parts, OSI model, protocols, command line tools, get familiar with Wireshark. Learn about the deep down and dirty parts of Windows. That is a rough part. User management, registry, how the kernel operates and all the processes and boot process, memory use. Learn a little bit of Unix/Linux. At least be familiar with it. Learn number conversions between binary, hex, octal, decimal. and how to do addition and subtraction in each. Programming isn't so bad but it wouldn't hurt to know at least the basics of C and probably Python. We are using C but newer classes might start using Python instead. Anything you learn ahead of time will GREATLY help you once you get here. You'll find that you will have very little free time between school, homework every night/studying, and standing watch. Don't get discouraged though. Keep your head up, and study hard when you get here. People in my class never did anything with computers except check email and they're doing just fine. Just do your best and don't goof off like the ITs. (You'll find out that we make fun of them a lot). You have to give it 100% or you'll probably fail. If you have any more questions regarding CTN or Corry Station, let me know and I'll see if I can help. And on top of the advanced course material, the navy has high standards regarding grades. If you get a 75% on a test, you fail and have to retest. If you "double-tap" (fail the retest) on any of the first five tests you are automatically dropped from the course. If you fail 3 times total, you are setback to the next class. If you fail 4 times you might get dropped but 5 is a definite drop. You also get put on mandatory study which is 2 hours every day after class if you fail a test/quiz. So as you can see, your overall grade doesn't matter too much (as long as it's above 80%), you can be dropped just by failing too many tests. So, that just shows you that you do need to study (and don't cram before a test, actually study every day. you can't just pass the test and expect to never see the material again. each section builds on a previous one. )
Can I know from you if the rating CTN will train you to become a skilled programmer? What Computer Languages are they teaching? Can this rating land a job right after you get out of the contract?
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:41 AM   #21
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I just speak from my own searches about CTN and all, but I do not think CTNs program, at least not much if they do. The only thing I have found on "Navy programmers" is that this would be taught at a place like the Naval Postgraduate School for technical officers. CTNs have more to do with global networks and cyber security. And "within a short period, today's CTN quickly develops highly marketable computer skills" something that the other rating cards do not say about their respective ratings I've noticed, so I would say yes.

https://www.cool.navy.mil/enlisted/r..._cards/ctn.pdf
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:03 PM   #22
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I just speak from my own searches about CTN and all, but I do not think CTNs program, at least not much if they do. The only thing I have found on "Navy programmers" is that this would be taught at a place like the Naval Postgraduate School for technical officers. CTNs have more to do with global networks and cyber security. And "within a short period, today's CTN quickly develops highly marketable computer skills" something that the other rating cards do not say about their respective ratings I've noticed, so I would say yes.

https://www.cool.navy.mil/enlisted/r..._cards/ctn.pdf
Hi! I actually graduated JCAC this past August and I feel like I could clear up any questions about the programming aspect. JCAC has 2 programming mods. We work with Perl, Python, etc. And we weren't tested on writing programs, but reading them and providing the outcome. Although some of our exercises we wrote programs. Around the time I graduated, my class advisors were looking for students that actually LIKED programming and were good at it. So, instead of getting orders to one of the 7 places we can go for a first duty station, those that basically volunteered, got orders to Suitland (or Suiteland... idk how to spell it) which is by Ft. Meade, where they would work with programming.

It was offered to one of my friends actually but he turned it down because he wanted to go to ION, but a guy 2 classes in front of mine took it and is there now.

Not sure if they're still doing this. Didn't hear anything else about it after that guy took those orders. But I hope this was helpful!
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:09 PM   #23
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And i do think CTN is the most marketable of the CT rates. My best friend is actually a CTT in Ft. Gordon and she wants to cross rate because she feels the exact same way. There are a lot of things CTNs get trained to do BESIDES hack computers (which is later in the course) and JCAC basically gives the opportunity to dabble into those things and there are a lot of certs we can get which is EXTREMELY marketable in the civilian world
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:23 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Argonaut17 View Post
http://www.learntosubnet.com/

was recommended this to help out in the later weeks. I'm down in Pensacola now in CTN school, which is known as JCAC by the way. Its basically A and C school combined. not including holding, its 25 weeks long, and pretty fast paced.
It seems that the rating info sheet I received at MEPS is outdated since that states A and C school is 11 weeks combined (which I was a bit concerned about considering the amount of material that will be covered). So it's actually a relief to hear it's longer.

What kind of stuff did they have you do during holding?
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:28 AM   #25
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First of all, whoever said CTNs are Navy hackers...it is a big misrepresentation. CTNs don't hack anything. I know because I am a CTN2 (and also for those who don't think you can do it, I made 2nd class in less than 18 months). Seriously...stop saying that you hack because you don't. They teach you BASIC computer vulnerabilities and you do SOME exploiting but that is not what you will be doing. A very small percentage of CTNs actually become operators where they DO hack, and that is not even a CTN specific billet.

All I can say about your school in Corry is to take it seriously. Its intense but not impossible. I saw some really dumb people skate by and their reputations as dirt bags followed them to their commands. I also saw people who didn't even know how to turn on a computer pass who are good sailors (I am stationed with them now). That school is a golden opportunity for those of you who have signed on to be CTNs. You won't get training like that in any other job.

I understand the need for information and wanting to know all you can before you go, but your experience will be different from anyone else's. Just calm down and let it happen.

Also, don't count on anyone in Great Lakes knowing ANYTHING about what CTNs do. Sometimes your RDCs or your other instructors will have Q&A and I used to hate it that one or two idiots would ask about their rates. Don't even ask.
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:55 AM   #26
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First of all, whoever said CTNs are Navy hackers...it is a big misrepresentation. CTNs don't hack anything. I know because I am a CTN2 (and also for those who don't think you can do it, I made 2nd class in less than 18 months). Seriously...stop saying that you hack because you don't. They teach you BASIC computer vulnerabilities and you do SOME exploiting but that is not what you will be doing. A very small percentage of CTNs actually become operators where they DO hack, and that is not even a CTN specific billet.

All I can say about your school in Corry is to take it seriously. Its intense but not impossible. I saw some really dumb people skate by and their reputations as dirt bags followed them to their commands. I also saw people who didn't even know how to turn on a computer pass who are good sailors (I am stationed with them now). That school is a golden opportunity for those of you who have signed on to be CTNs. You won't get training like that in any other job.

I understand the need for information and wanting to know all you can before you go, but your experience will be different from anyone else's. Just calm down and let it happen.

Also, don't count on anyone in Great Lakes knowing ANYTHING about what CTNs do. Sometimes your RDCs or your other instructors will have Q&A and I used to hate it that one or two idiots would ask about their rates. Don't even ask.
Can you clarify on where CTNs go after "A"/"C" School? I know there are 7 places but where are the best places to get stationed. I'm really interested in Maryland, DC, or Virginia.
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Old 03-10-2015, 11:35 AM   #27
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Can you clarify on where CTNs go after "A"/"C" School? I know there are 7 places but where are the best places to get stationed. I'm really interested in Maryland, DC, or Virginia.
We can't talk about what personnel go where to do what. CT's work highly classified missions, so this kind of information isn't something we can discuss here. You'll find out everything you need to know waaaay before you get to your final command while you're at Corry Station.

As far as best places, they each have their pluses and minuses. Personally I'd like Hawaii, but some folks don't like island life so they would prefer Georgia or something. It's all just personal preference.


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Old 03-12-2015, 07:37 AM   #28
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We can't talk about what personnel go where to do what. CT's work highly classified missions, so this kind of information isn't something we can discuss here. You'll find out everything you need to know waaaay before you get to your final command while you're at Corry Station.

As far as best places, they each have their pluses and minuses. Personally I'd like Hawaii, but some folks don't like island life so they would prefer Georgia or something. It's all just personal preference.


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Ok. Thanks. That answered one of my other questions about when we find out where we go.
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Old 03-12-2015, 04:34 PM   #29
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I realize that during "A" school I'll be studying like no tomorrow but do you get any leisure time at all to workout or anything of that nature?
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:36 AM   #30
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I realize that during "A" school I'll be studying like no tomorrow but do you get any leisure time at all to workout or anything of that nature?
I like this question. To add, does anyone have typical daily class hours? How many times a week you do PT?

As a Corpsman conversion that almost went Marine Recon, I enjoy swimming laps now almost as much as I did running before injuring myself.

For aviation training, we were in schoolhouse from 8 AM to 4 PM, but I too am worried I'll have little time for PT. If we have time for PT, it would be great to know that.
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Old 03-15-2015, 06:29 PM   #31
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I realize that during "A" school I'll be studying like no tomorrow but do you get any leisure time at all to workout or anything of that nature?
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I like this question. To add, does anyone have typical daily class hours? How many times a week you do PT?

As a Corpsman conversion that almost went Marine Recon, I enjoy swimming laps now almost as much as I did running before injuring myself.

For aviation training, we were in schoolhouse from 8 AM to 4 PM, but I too am worried I'll have little time for PT. If we have time for PT, it would be great to know that.
The typical school day is 7 hours (+2 if you're in mando/volo study), so you'll have plenty of time to do whatever else you need to.
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