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Old 02-24-2013, 02:46 AM   #1
Malarkey
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Default IT study materials before A school

Yo, anyone know of any concepts/programming junk/etc to catch some wind on beforehand so I could get ahead at A school? I'm great when it comes to usage and troubleshooting, am a Linux user, etc., but I want to get that upper hand. Any tips would be appreciated.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:08 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Malarkey View Post
Yo, anyone know of any concepts/programming junk/etc to catch some wind on beforehand so I could get ahead at A school? I'm great when it comes to usage and troubleshooting, am a Linux user, etc., but I want to get that upper hand. Any tips would be appreciated.
The hardest part for me in ITA school was the comm side. The computer side was first and I aced it.. I ended up in the top 3 of the class. Then the communications/satellites part came up and I bombed it, ended up dead last in the class.. which worked out to my favor in the long run..

You most likely won't be doing much Linux stuff there.. if I remember right we installed Linux, but that was about it. We ended up using NT and different versions of Windows more than anything. This was back in 2000, but I'm going to assume it's fairly the same still. If you are familiar with computers, know the basics, or even more advanced stuff.. if you ever took a computer science class in college you should do great in that part of the school.

For the comm side of it.. there really isn't much I can tell you.. You can go out and learn freqs and whatnot, but everything they test you on they will teach you in school, you just need to study. My biggest advice (for any rate) would be to take the school seriously, actually study after classes, and find a study group. I was always horrible at school and studying so I did pretty horrible at the tests. The one cycle of tests I actually went to a study group I scored good.. but like I said it worked out for me in the long run.

As far as the actual job goes, it's been awhile since I've been in.. but IT's cover a TON of different jobs from networking, messaging, satellites, troubleshooting, circuits, etc. When I was stationed in Hawaii at NCTAMS PAC I was put into Tech Control where all you do is troubleshooting and setting up communications circuits. My first station was called pri-test where we would do testing and troubleshooting of circuits from 1.2kb up to OC48 trunks. Then I was put in DCSS where we would set up the larger trunks and special connections to SATCOM - we would set up things like comms for ground forces and spec ops for all of the different branches. Then I was put into Crypto (I forget if it had another name) but we were in the vault, and was in charge of managing all of the crypto devices and stuff, destroying crypto and installing it, etc.. once I made E3 I beat out all of the other E5/E6's for a desk job in the back working in Circuit Actions. This was the back room where we would actually install circuits, make circuit diagrams, troubleshoot things everyone else couldn't figure out. We were the badasses of Tech Control lol it was me, a civilian and two IT1's.

When I was on the USS Ogden, I was put up in Radio. I wanted to go to the networking/computer side of radio but they already had enough people. In radio we would set up and manage the satellites, do messaging, etc.. but mainly we played computer games and ate MREs that we stole from the galley lol the ship was a DDG so our main purpose was to carry around Marines, so we had a ton of MREs on board.

Chances are you will go to a ship, but more than likely you will also rotate to a shore station. There are bases all over the world that IT's go to. There are 3 main comm stations in the world. NCTAMS PAC, NCTAMS LANT and NCTAMS EURCENT. PAC is in Hawaii and deals with all communications in the pacific, the west coast, Hawaii, Far East, and even stuff at NZ and Australia. LANT is in Virginia and deals with the east coast area and EURCENT is in Naples Italy and handles the european region. Think of NCTAMS as a giant telephone company. There are small comm stations such as NCTS's, NSGA's, etc that all fall under their respective NCTAMS. If you ever get a chance to go to PAC, I highly recommend it and personally loved it there. (I heard a lot of bad stories about LANT)

Anyways, IT is an amazing field and it is one of the best Navy rates to transfer to a Civilian job - and to one that can actually pay good. I joined in early 2000, I guess right after they made made the IT rate - before it was RM (radioman) and DP (data processor). I think a few years ago they merged another rating into IT as well.

I should post my E4 test results for you.. it was pretty funny. on the computer side of the test I scored in the 98%.. on the navy side for rules and regulations I scored in the 2% lol basically meaning 98% of everyone taking the IT3 test scored higher than me on that subject. lol
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I was an IT from 2000-2006, served at NCTAMS PAC in Wahiawa, HI, USS Ogden in San Diego and finished my time on North Island. Joined as an E1 and made E5 at my 3 year mark.

Quote:
mack_it_nasty: my boyfriend wouldnt like that gee.
geeMA: the hell? you told me you were single. lol
mack_it_nasty: oh did i...
geeMA: i got trolled
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by cire View Post
The hardest part for me in ITA school was the comm side. The computer side was first and I aced it.. I ended up in the top 3 of the class. Then the communications/satellites part came up and I bombed it, ended up dead last in the class.. which worked out to my favor in the long run..

You most likely won't be doing much Linux stuff there.. if I remember right we installed Linux, but that was about it. We ended up using NT and different versions of Windows more than anything. This was back in 2000, but I'm going to assume it's fairly the same still. If you are familiar with computers, know the basics, or even more advanced stuff.. if you ever took a computer science class in college you should do great in that part of the school.

For the comm side of it.. there really isn't much I can tell you.. You can go out and learn freqs and whatnot, but everything they test you on they will teach you in school, you just need to study. My biggest advice (for any rate) would be to take the school seriously, actually study after classes, and find a study group. I was always horrible at school and studying so I did pretty horrible at the tests. The one cycle of tests I actually went to a study group I scored good.. but like I said it worked out for me in the long run.

As far as the actual job goes, it's been awhile since I've been in.. but IT's cover a TON of different jobs from networking, messaging, satellites, troubleshooting, circuits, etc. When I was stationed in Hawaii at NCTAMS PAC I was put into Tech Control where all you do is troubleshooting and setting up communications circuits. My first station was called pri-test where we would do testing and troubleshooting of circuits from 1.2kb up to OC48 trunks. Then I was put in DCSS where we would set up the larger trunks and special connections to SATCOM - we would set up things like comms for ground forces and spec ops for all of the different branches. Then I was put into Crypto (I forget if it had another name) but we were in the vault, and was in charge of managing all of the crypto devices and stuff, destroying crypto and installing it, etc.. once I made E3 I beat out all of the other E5/E6's for a desk job in the back working in Circuit Actions. This was the back room where we would actually install circuits, make circuit diagrams, troubleshoot things everyone else couldn't figure out. We were the badasses of Tech Control lol it was me, a civilian and two IT1's.

When I was on the USS Ogden, I was put up in Radio. I wanted to go to the networking/computer side of radio but they already had enough people. In radio we would set up and manage the satellites, do messaging, etc.. but mainly we played computer games and ate MREs that we stole from the galley lol the ship was a DDG so our main purpose was to carry around Marines, so we had a ton of MREs on board.

Chances are you will go to a ship, but more than likely you will also rotate to a shore station. There are bases all over the world that IT's go to. There are 3 main comm stations in the world. NCTAMS PAC, NCTAMS LANT and NCTAMS EURCENT. PAC is in Hawaii and deals with all communications in the pacific, the west coast, Hawaii, Far East, and even stuff at NZ and Australia. LANT is in Virginia and deals with the east coast area and EURCENT is in Naples Italy and handles the european region. Think of NCTAMS as a giant telephone company. There are small comm stations such as NCTS's, NSGA's, etc that all fall under their respective NCTAMS. If you ever get a chance to go to PAC, I highly recommend it and personally loved it there. (I heard a lot of bad stories about LANT)

Anyways, IT is an amazing field and it is one of the best Navy rates to transfer to a Civilian job - and to one that can actually pay good. I joined in early 2000, I guess right after they made made the IT rate - before it was RM (radioman) and DP (data processor). I think a few years ago they merged another rating into IT as well.

I should post my E4 test results for you.. it was pretty funny. on the computer side of the test I scored in the 98%.. on the navy side for rules and regulations I scored in the 2% lol basically meaning 98% of everyone taking the IT3 test scored higher than me on that subject. lol
NCTAMS Eurocent got degraded to NCTS Naples since we've been drawing down our presence in Europe. Its just PAC and LANT now.

I just went through the A-school a year ago and they've done some major changes to it. The computer side is the more difficult part since they require you to get the A+ certification now and the classes are on the cisco and microsoft websites, so you're essentail taking the same classes as college computer science students are. The comms side is now all on NKO and is pretty much a breeze.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:52 AM   #4
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Ooh, thanks for the good info. So cire, you're no longer in the IT field as a civilian?
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:07 PM   #5
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Ooh, thanks for the good info. So cire, you're no longer in the IT field as a civilian?
After getting out I went to work as a contractor at NCMCI for a week until I realized that being on the other end of NMCI sucked just as much as it did in the Navy. (I was in when NMCI started.. and it was a huge pain in the ass from the beginning)

Then I got out and became a freelance website programmer which I'm still doing now. Along the way I ran a company with another Navy vet doing computer repair for awhile. But what I learned in the Navy definitely helped with programming, or troubleshooting anything really.. and being able to say I had a Top Secret/SCI clearance definitely helped on resumes
__________________
I was an IT from 2000-2006, served at NCTAMS PAC in Wahiawa, HI, USS Ogden in San Diego and finished my time on North Island. Joined as an E1 and made E5 at my 3 year mark.

Quote:
mack_it_nasty: my boyfriend wouldnt like that gee.
geeMA: the hell? you told me you were single. lol
mack_it_nasty: oh did i...
geeMA: i got trolled
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:10 PM   #6
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I just remembered, when I was working at NCTAMS, I was troubleshooting a circuit and had to deal with a civilian company, since a lot of the paths are interconnected.. the guy I talked recognized my last name, and said he was used to work with my dad who basically did the same thing as I was doing but for MCI. Then a few months later I was working on another trunk and actually ended up working with my dad on that circuit lol
__________________
I was an IT from 2000-2006, served at NCTAMS PAC in Wahiawa, HI, USS Ogden in San Diego and finished my time on North Island. Joined as an E1 and made E5 at my 3 year mark.

Quote:
mack_it_nasty: my boyfriend wouldnt like that gee.
geeMA: the hell? you told me you were single. lol
mack_it_nasty: oh did i...
geeMA: i got trolled
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