MONTEREY, Calif. – The Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Monterey, onboard the Presidio of Monterey, is where every Navy linguist begins their career as a future member of the cryptologic community. During a rigorous course of foreign language instruction, they are concurrently forged into warfighting Sailors under the direct leadership of the command team, so these Sailors are prepared for the next phase of their Navy careers.
Traditionally, the commanding and executive officers (XO) at IWTC Monterey have always been cryptologic warfare officers. This, however, changed in February of 2018 when Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Michalowicz, an intelligence officer, was cross-detailed to serve as XO in a cryptologic warfare billet. Cross-detailing is a process by which the Navy places officers in billets outside their typical community.
As a Naval Academy graduate and recent executive assistant for North American Aerospace Defense Command’s intelligence director, Michalowicz was expecting a major change of pace.
“I'll admit that I was concerned when I was first selected for the XO position,” said Michalowicz. “Especially because of the cross-detailed nature of the billet. I quickly learned the billet has very little to do with the information warfare community [cryptologic warfare, intelligence, meteorology and oceanography, and information professional] that you affiliate with, but everything to do with leadership.”
When asked about his favorite things of serving as XO, Michalowicz shared, “The daily interactions I have with both the staff and the students top the chart. It is never lost on me that we are training the future of the Navy, and to be given the opportunity to be part of a Sailor’s transformation is extremely humbling.”
Michalowicz’s time on board so far can be characterized by his congenial professionalism. He works tirelessly behind the scenes to influence policy and execute the commander’s vision while remaining approachable and relatable for the Sailors in his charge.
"The information warfare community certainly got this one right,” said Cmdr. Michael Salehi, commanding officer of IWTC Monterey. “XO Michalowicz's cross-detailing experience has brought a fresh perspective to IWTC Monterey at a time where stagnation can quickly become the adversary. As an intelligence officer, he already possessed an analytical knack for fusing disparate pieces of information together to help provide a more comprehensive picture. This, coupled with this strong operational background, has been the catalyst for identifying gaps and seams needed to transform the command into a more agile and professional organization that infuses the warrior mindset to aspiring linguists at every opportunity. XO Michalowicz will also walk away from here more confident to assume even broader responsibilities in the information warfare community."
Depending on the language to which they are assigned, Sailors at IWTC Monterey can spend 18 months or more onboard, with additional time before and after training. This means that as XO, Michalowicz has more time than almost any other XO at a training command across the Navy to influence the initial stages of a Sailor’s career.
“My expectations have always been high for both myself and the Sailors I lead,” added Michalowicz. “If anything, IWTC Monterey has given me firsthand insight into the Sailorization process. From day one of training, the staff at IWTC Monterey works hard to ensure every single initial entry trainee understands that Sailorization comes first. The Navy has allotted us with an extraordinary opportunity to mold junior Sailors, and we owe it to each and every one of them to be set up for success. Again, these Sailors are the future leaders of our Navy.”
Whether addressing students at quarters, guiding IWTC Monterey leadership, motivating Sailors at physical training, or working jointly with other service branches to maximize student potential, IWTC Monterey’s intelligence-trained XO is proving that quality leadership is quality leadership, no matter the community.
IWTC Monterey, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), provides a continuum of foreign language training to Navy personnel, which prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.
With four school house commands, two detachments, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT is recognized as Naval Education and Training Command’s top learning center for the past two years. Training over 21,000 students every year, CIWT delivers trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.
For more on Information Warfare Training Command Monterey, visit http://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/IWTCmonterey/ and http://www.monterey.army.mil/Service_Units/IWTC_Monterey.html, or find them on Facebook.
For news from the Center for Information Warfare Training organization, visit www.navy.mil/local/cid/, www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt/, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.