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Cryptologic Linguist (98G)

Intelligence and Combat Support Army MOS Information
  • Enlisted
  • Active Duty

The nation’s defense depends on information from foreign language newspapers, magazines, radio broadcasts and other sources. Therefore, it’s very important that some members of the Army be able to read and understand the many languages of the world.

The Cryptologic Linguist is primarily responsible for performing and supervising the detection, acquisition, location and identification of foreign communications using signals equipment. Some of your duties as a Cryptologic Linguist may include:

  • Translating, transcribing or producing summaries of foreign language transmissions in English/target languages
  • Identifying languages spoken in an assigned geographic area
  • Scanning written foreign language material for key words and indictors
  • Providing records of foreign intercepted communications
  • Operating communication equipment for SIGINT tasking, reporting and coordination
  • Translating written and spoken foreign language material to and from English, making sure to preserve the original meaning
  • Questioning prisoners of war, enemy deserters and civilian informers in their native languages
  • Recording foreign radio transmissions using sensitive communications equipment
  • Translating foreign books and articles describing foreign equipment and construction techniques


Job training for a Cryptologic Linguist consists of nine weeks of Basic Training, where you’ll learn basic Soldiering skills, and seven to 20 weeks of Advanced Individual Training and on-the-job instruction, including practice in interpretation. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part in the field.

Longer training is necessary for specialties that don’t require foreign language fluency prior to entry. For these specialties, foreign language training for six to 12 months is provided. Some of the skills you’ll learn are:

  • Interrogation (questioning) methods
  • Use and care of communications equipment
  • Procedures for preparing reports

Helpful Skills:

Helpful attributes include:

  • A talent for foreign languages
  • An interest in speech, communications and foreign languages
  • An interest in working with people
  • An interest in reading and writing

Advanced Responsibilities:

As an advanced level Cryptologic Linguist, you may also be involved in:

  • Supervising signal intelligence/electronic warfare operations
  • Intercepting, identifying and recording designated foreign voice transmissions
  • Operating equipment configured to collect and produce written records of non-stereotyped foreign voice radio transmissions

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