Electronic Warfare and Signals Intelligence

RTBro

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Here is a question to the SMEs on this forum, it's a bit open ended and I appologize for that. What are the main differences between the two jobs, and why would you recommend one over another?
 

lindy

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I deal with this EVERYDAY, especially with 18-series who think they can 35-series.

EW: signal X is located at this grid

SIGINT: the guy who said "blah, blah, blah" is on the 3rd floor of that building watching a movie...oh, it's Tuesday so he's wearing clown shoes

Why would a guy become a SDM instead of becoming a sniper? Sure both are very accurate with their weapon system but a qualified sniper can do a lot more. Gives a commander options.

@Il Duce , what's your take?
 

Il Duce

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I don't deal with EW that much directly but I think there are some significant differences by service. Navy and USAF EW deals with jamming from airborne platforms as the core of their mission - so you're likely performing functions similar to that of other aviation support specialties - working with pilots and air tasking orders to get your targets shuffled. The Army program is modeled on the Navy one but includes ground jammers. Still, the entire program is pretty immature.

I think on the Army side the main difference is EW is much closer to a fires bubba - but they're TOC exclusive so don't have any of the field jobs. SIGINT is intelligence - and it's pretty high-speed intelligence. You're trying to find people/things, learn about them, make predictions. There are opportunities in collection, analysis, and application. I think EW is 90% application.

At least in the Army Cyber is linked to SIGINTers - not to EW. I've never met an Army EW bubba I thought was high speed. Not trying to be an asshole (yet succeeding) but that's my experience.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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I don't deal with EW that much directly but I think there are some significant differences by service. Navy and USAF EW deals with jamming from airborne platforms as the core of their mission - so you're likely performing functions similar to that of other aviation support specialties - working with pilots and air tasking orders to get your targets shuffled. The Army program is modeled on the Navy one but includes ground jammers. Still, the entire program is pretty immature.
Before the Army began the MOS (or right as it started) it leveraged USAF officers as EW guys for BN's and BDE's. My old boss was an AF Air Battle Manager who chopped to 2nd ID during one of their Iraq deployments pre-2010 (I don't know when he went, only when I worked for him). I don't recall if it was voluntary or if he just received orders. That was back when the AF did a lot of JET deployments with the Army.
 

RTBro

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I don't deal with EW that much directly but I think there are some significant differences by service. Navy and USAF EW deals with jamming from airborne platforms as the core of their mission - so you're likely performing functions similar to that of other aviation support specialties - working with pilots and air tasking orders to get your targets shuffled. The Army program is modeled on the Navy one but includes ground jammers. Still, the entire program is pretty immature.

I think on the Army side the main difference is EW is much closer to a fires bubba - but they're TOC exclusive so don't have any of the field jobs. SIGINT is intelligence - and it's pretty high-speed intelligence. You're trying to find people/things, learn about them, make predictions. There are opportunities in collection, analysis, and application. I think EW is 90% application.

At least in the Army Cyber is linked to SIGINTers - not to EW. I've never met an Army EW bubba I thought was high speed. Not trying to be an asshole (yet succeeding) but that's my experience.

I have an 11B/E4 who's in his reenlistment window and is thinking about going that route. He's a smart kid and if he had a TS I would have recommended that he should try going intel. What are the biggest pros and cons for going the Army 29E route?
 

DA SWO

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I have an 11B/E4 who's in his reenlistment window and is thinking about going that route. He's a smart kid and if he had a TS I would have recommended that he should try going intel. What are the biggest pros and cons for going the Army 29E route?
Lack of a TS shouldn't preclude him from an Intel MOS, unless his ability to get the TS is an issue.
 

RTBro

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What we got from the re-up NCO is that he can't even apply to reclass to intel without a current TS clearance.
 

Il Duce

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The re-up NCO is full of shit. You have to put in for a TS and be eligible for one - so if your friend has got issues preventing them from getting a TS that could be it. I don't really feel qualified to give the pros and cons on Army EW. I would definitely go SIGINT if I were your friend but if EW is really selling things for him he can take his chances.
 

DA SWO

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What we got from the re-up NCO is that he can't even apply to reclass to intel without a current TS clearance.
Re-up NCO's are morons (my experience working with Soldiers at Ft Sam/BAMC).
Of course HRC doesn't help, can your Soldier get a day or two off and just go through the Regs/messages that HRC has?
 

lindy

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The re-up NCO is full of shit. You have to put in for a TS and be eligible for one - so if your friend has got issues preventing them from getting a TS that could be it.
To add: you have to be in a billet that requires one. So if the SPC already HAD a TS, he would most likely BE in a intel/commo job...so why would he need (or be allowed) to cross-train?

Something smells fishy and I wouldn't buy anything that guy is selling!
 

SpaceshipDoorGunner

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Being obviously biased, I would say SIGINT. He has a lot of avenues in that field for some interesting work that could appeal to different types of people. I personally love what I do. That being said... EW is starting to try to take a bigger slice of the SIGINT pie? Depending on where you work as an EW guy it can be interesting. If he goes the EW route he should try his damndest to get to a SOF unit.
 
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