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Sailors Earn New Warfare Pin at NIOC Story

by MC2(SW) Joel Carlson, NIOC Sugar Grove Public Affairs

Sailors at Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC), Sugar Grove, W.Va., have earned an important and unique qualification. The leadership at NIOC Sugar Grove has made the Information Dominance Warfare (IDW) pin available to Sailors whose rates are not directly associated with the Information Dominance Community (IDC).

While seven Navy rates are directly related to the IDC, Sailors belonging to non-IDC rates, such as Logistics Specialist, Yeoman and Master-at-Arms have qualified since the program began on base in December 2010. The IDW pin is a demonstration that a Sailor has successfully demonstrated knowledge of the Information Dominance community. “Like other warfare pins, the Enlisted Information Dominance Warfare Specialist pin represents attainment of a more holistic view of that particular warfare area,” said Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive)(IDW) Micah Epley, NIOC Sugar Grove IDW coordinator. “An IDW Sailor first acquires a greater understanding of Navy history, organization, and procedures. From that point, the IDW zeroes in on the history of the Information Dominance Corps, the interaction of various ratings within that community, and a significant appreciation for how the IDC serves as a force-multiplier for our operational forces.”

Since the introduction of the warfare pin to the command in December 2010, 60 Sailors have earned the IDW pin. Six of those Sailors were working non-IDC rates. “The qualification is a very unique opportunity for the [non-IDC] ratings, as being assigned to a Information Dominance UIC is one of the requirements,” said Epley “I jumped at the chance to earn my pin.” Said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class(IDW) Nicholas Kirkland, a member of NIOC Sugar Grove’s Security Department. “I saw the pin as a valuable item to have, especially in a rate where warfare pins are not available very often.”

Kirkland also said that though the process of earning the pin was challenging, he’s glad for the knowledge he gained along the way.

“There is so much involved with the IDW qualification,” he said. “I feel like a much more well-rounded Sailor because of the knowledge I’ve gained concerning this unique mission of our Navy.”

More Sailors like Kirkland have also committed to earning the pin. According to Epley, the qualification percentage among eligible Sailors has climbed from 13 percent to 56 percent in the past six months.

“Every Sailor who has qualified is giving back to the program through dedicated training sessions,” he said.
Though NIOC Sugar Grove is a relatively small command, Epley sees the influence of IDW reaching outside the borders of the IDC.
“Information dominance is the principle task of the IDW, but the entire fleet plays a part in true information dominance. After qualified non-information dominance Sailors leave from NIOC and return to their core community, they will help spread the message.”

Content Steward: ITSN Jacob M. Clark, tel. 304-249-6566
Page Publisher: ITSN Jacob M. Clark, tel. 304-249-6566

Last Modified: 02 JAN 2013
Last Reviewed: 02 JAN 2013