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CHIPS Articles: Navy's IP Community Leader, Rear Adm. Nancy Norton, Shares Wisdom with IW Officers

Navy's IP Community Leader, Rear Adm. Nancy Norton, Shares Wisdom with IW Officers
By Center for Information Warfare Training - October-December 2017
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The Navy’s information professional (IP) community leader visited Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach, Nov. 21.

Rear Adm. Nancy Norton, vice director of Defense Information Systems Agency, spoke with students from the Information Professional Basic Course (IPBC) and IWTC Virginia Beach’s IP instructor cadre.

Norton discussed where the information warfare (IW) community is headed, how to contribute to the community’s efforts, and answered questions.

The IPBC students had several questions that ranged from incentivizing technical expertise, the chief warrant officer and limited duty officer path, initiatives in artificial intelligence and cyber security and training opportunities inside the community and with our industry partners.

“The military network is like an M&M, a hard shell with a soft chewy middle,” said Norton. “The middle of our networks are research and development, and areas where we leverage universities and commercial industries. These areas have potential for vulnerabilities; we need to focus efforts to combat those vulnerabilities while leveraging our industry partners to find innovative solutions.”

Rear Adm. Norton delivered her guidance to the students in four lines of effort:

“1) Work as a team. This means working with your teammates inside the IP community and creating synergy with the rest of the IW community; you will learn so much and grow together. All of you have a network behind you. Maintain those relationships, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. We would all jump at the chance to help others figure out a problem. Foster the behavior of helping and asking for help; change the culture.

2) Continue to learn. Things are consistently changing; grow and learn with those changes. You must think as a change agent and think forward for the Navy at large.

3) Strengthen the N2/N6 relationship at the schoolhouse, and identify what we can do better together. Once you are comfortable in your job, start learning the other IW community components, then branch out to the other warfare communities. Wherever you are, get out of the spaces and be a part of the command.

4) Self-care is extremely important; take care of yourself. It’s easy to push off your needs, but I need you to be strong and healthy throughout your career in body, mind and spirit. I don’t necessarily believe in work-life balance. I see it more as a teeter-totter. It works well and can be fun as long as the transitions are smooth, but when things change you can minimize the negative impact if you can anticipate the blow. When situations arise that send you crashing down hard and fast, you need people to be your shock absorbers and others to help you hold on tight when you are moving too fast and might fly off.”

IWTC Virginia Beach currently offers 69 courses of instruction in information technology, cryptology, and intelligence with an instructor and support staff of 290 military, civilian, and contract members who train over 6,000 students every year at five training sites in the Hampton Roads area. It is one of four school houses for the Center for Information Warfare Training and also oversees four learning sites at Jacksonville and Mayport, Florida; Kings Bay, Georgia; and Groton, Connecticut to continue aligning IW community training.

IWTC Virginia Beach, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training, provides a continuum of training to Navy and joint service personnel, preparing them to conduct IW across the full spectrum of military operations.

For news from the Center for Information Warfare Training organization, visit,,, or

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