Army Cryptologic Linguists (MOS 35P) identify foreign communications.
They use signals equipment to help track down foreign communications.
The position of an Army Cryptologic Linguist is important to national security.
It is also similar to the role of an Army Signals Intelligence Analyst (MOS 35N) with the exception that MOS 35P also need to understand a second language.
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Education, Qualifications, and Training
The U.S. Army relies on Cryptologic Linguists (MOS 35P) for national security.
The information that an Army Cryptologic Linguist is able to identify is generally spoken or worded in a foreign language, so knowledge of a second or even third language is required.
Here is all the education, qualifications, and training you need to become 35P MOS:
You are not allowed to enlist in the U.S. Army without a high school diploma or GED.
After speaking with an Army recruiter you will eventually take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).
The ASVAB is an assortment of tests that help determine a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).
Prospective Cryptologic Linguists (MOS 35P) must complete a score of Skilled Technical (ST): 91.
Additionally, Army Cryptologic Linguists must complete the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB).
The DLAB evaluates how well a native English speaker can learn a new language.
Your score on the DLAB determines the level of difficulty for language training and if you are the right fit for 35P MOS.
You must receive a qualifying score of 100 or above on the DLAB.
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Prospective Army Cryptologic Linguists (MOS 35P) must also receive “top secret” security clearance from the Department of Defense in addition to the ASVAB and DLAB.
The background check for top secret clearance is intensive.
A record of conviction by court-martial or civil court for any offense other than minor traffic violations is grounds for removal.
The Department of Defense will also not allow anyone that has served in the U.S. Peace Corps to become an Army Cryptologic Linguist because of conflicts of interest.
Recruits are also expected to demonstrate good voice quality.
They should speak the English language, as well as an additional foreign language, “fluently and idiomatically, without accent or impediment”.
Lastly, 35P MOS must have normal color vision (no color blindness).
While not mandatory the Army also suggests that prospective MOS 35P demonstrate an interest in speech, communications, and foreign languages.
Those that enjoy reading and writing, as well as are good working with people will make great additions to the Army’s linguists team.
Once you begin your journey in the U.S. Army you will arrive at boot camp, or Basic Combat Training.
BCT lasts 10 weeks for all new recruits, regardless of Military Occupational Specialty.
After the completion of BCT you will move forward to Advanced Individual Training (AIT).
AIT for an Army Cryptologic Linguist (MOS 35P) is incredibly in-depth.
You will spend six to 18 months of Advanced Individual Training mastering another language and learning more about the job duties of 35P MOS.
Training takes place at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) in Monterey, California.
The DLIFLC is a joint service school managed by the Army, but also supervised by the Department of Defense.
If you already fluently speak a foreign language you may receive permission to bypass DLIFLC training.
If not, the amount of time you spend there will depend on how quickly you master a second language.
You will learn how to identify foreign communications from an assigned geographic area.
You will also analyze foreign communications to support missions.
There is also training dedicated to procedures for handling classified information and preparing reports.
What does an Army Cryptologic Linguist Do?
As we mentioned in the beginning of this article, the role of an Army Cryptologic Linguist (MOS 35P) is very similar to the position of an Signals Intelligence Analyst (MOS 35N).
The purpose of both Military Occupational Specialties is to identify foreign language communications with signals equipment.
The biggest difference between MOS 35P and MOS 35N is that Army Cryptologic Linguists must know a second language.
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Job Duties of 35P MOS
A Cryptologic Linguist (MOS 35P) has an important job in combat situations that take place in foreign countries where there is a language barrier.
The role of 35P MOS involves a lot more than just translating and communicating foreign languages.
Your job duties will include:
- Identify and analyze foreign communications.
- Recognize changes in transmission modes as well as tip the appropriate authority.
- Provide translation expertise to other analysts.
- Produce transcriptions and translations from foreign communications.
Army Cryptologic Linguists use signals equipment based on a geographic area to retrieve signals and categorize them by type.
Cryptologic Linguists are skilled at recognizing changes in transmission modes and tipping the appropriate analytical or intercept authority.
What does an Army Cryptologic Linguist make?
The Army pays its service members based on rank and years of service.
It does not take in regard your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) opting to pay one military job higher than the other.
For an idea of how much you will make in the U.S. Army based on rank, please reference the table below:
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||Minimum Monthly Pay|
|E-2||Private Second Class||PV2||$1,943|
|E-3||Private First Class||PFC||$2,043|
|E-7||Sergeant First Class||SFC||$3,114|
|E-9||Command Sergeant Major||CSM||$5,473|
|E-9||Sergeant Major of the Army||SMA||$5,473|
The U.S. Army has numerous benefits included with a monthly salary:
- Medical Insurance
- Vacation Time
- Special Pay
- Housing: Allowances for living expenses, utilities, and maintenance.
- Food: Allowance for the on-base dining hall and access to tax-free department and grocery stores.
- Education: Army members can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus annual stipend for living expenses.
There are some very good job reviews about working as an Army Cryptologic Linguist (MOS 35P) on Indeed.com.
The job reviews break down the good and bad about the U.S. Army.
Regardless, the vast majority of reviews have very good things to say about the opportunities and ability to progress working MOS 35P.
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Civilian Job Opportunities
There are several Cryptologic Linguists (MOS 35P) that advance with government agencies or embassies following the conclusion of their service term with the Army.
You can work as a translator for agencies like the Department of Defense or National Security Agency (NSA).
Additionally, places like universities and businesses that conduct operations oversees are in need of highly qualified translators.
Other Army Cryptologic Linguists advance to serve as radio operators, database administrations, business operations specialists, or computer operators.
An Army Cryptologic Linguist (MOS 35P) is responsible for identifying foreign communications with signals equipment.
The role is very important to national security and can advance you into a career with a government agency following your term in the U.S. Army.