PACIFIC OCEAN (November 18, 2019) USS Nimitz Intelligence Officers and Cryptological Technicians discuss the importance of their work, then and now. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Greg Hall)
An intelligence officer is a naval officer who collects and analyzes foreign intelligence in order to shape and drive U.S. military operations. It’s probably not an exaggeration to say that naval intelligence officers turned the course of the war in the Pacific. By early ’42 some Intrepid intelligence officers, such as Rochefort and Layton, had begun to decipher the Japanese code. And by the spring of ’42 they were able to decipher enough of the message traffic to understand that the Japanese intended to attack Midway on June 4th. Admiral Nimitz was able to position his forces to ambush the Japanese carriers and turn the tide of the war. With the growth of technology, and the interconnectedness of our world the role of intelligence officers is more important than ever. It can be sometimes difficult to understand which fragments of information are significant, and while we’ve begun to harness technology it still takes trained intelligence officers and analysts to understand and interpret the data, and to really understand what the adversaries’ intentions are.