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Our nation's defense relies primarily on information gathered from foreign language sources by Soldiers trained to understand our adversaries' languages, customs and cultures and know how to evaluate their intentions and predict their actions.

Cryptologic Linguists are part of the team that provide that crucial service to our nation's security.

This career field requires individuals who are interested in foreign cultures, languages, communication, and enjoy reading and writing.

Because of the Top Secret classification of this work and the intensity of training..,

applicants are thoroughly screened using a testing process designed to ensure that only the most qualified and those with an aptitude for learning a foreign language are selected.

If you qualify as already fluent in a foreign language, after completing Basic Combat Training..,

you will attend Advanced Individual Training at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas. The length of your training will vary, based on your assigned foreign language.

Along with reading, writing, translating and transcribing skills training, you will learn how to detect, acquire, locate, identify and exploit an adversary’s foreign communications.

In addition, you will learn intelligence collection, management and reporting techniques..,

and signals intelligence gathering systems.

If you need to learn a foreign language, after completing Basic Combat Training and prior to attending Advanced Individual Training..,

you will attend language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center at the Presidio of Monterey, California.

The length of your training will depend on the foreign language you are assigned to learn.

Along with learning to understand and speak a foreign language from Native Speakers, you will learn your languages customs and culture.

The language training you receive may qualify for college credit, you may also qualify for monthly Language Proficiency Pay.

In this career, you will support mission requirements for tactical, operational and strategic level objectives.

You may work with Special Operations or with other government agencies..,

performing duties such as translating and transcribing intercepted foreign communications..,

and providing your translation services to analysts in support of a variety of missions.

As an Army Cryptologic Linguist you will have the opportunity to advance your career through additional skills training and unique assignments located around the world.

The language skills, knowledge and leadership experience you gain in this MOS can help you in your transition from the military to the civilian work force..,

where you may find employment as an interpreter or linguist with government agencies, universities or with companies who conduct business overseas.

Providing critical information in the defense of our nation..,

Cryptologic Linguists, Always Out Front!

Cryptologic Linguist (35P)

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A cryptologic linguist is primarily responsible for identifying foreign communications using signals equipment. Their role is crucial as the nation’s defense depends largely on information that comes from foreign languages.

Job Duties

  • Identifying and analyzing foreign communications
  • Recognize changes in transmission modes and tip the appropriate authority
  • Provide translation expertise to analysts
  • Provide transcriptions and translations from foreign communications


Those who want to serve must first take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a series of tests that helps the Army better understand your strengths and identify which Army jobs are best for you. In addition to the ASVAB, the Army uses the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB) to evaluate how well a native English speaker can learn a new language. Your score on the DLAB determines the level of difficulty for language training.


Job training for a cryptologic analyst requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and three to 52 weeks of Advanced Individual Training with on-the-job instruction. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and in the field.

Soldiers who aren’t fluent in a foreign language will attend training at the Defense Language Institute for six to 18 months prior to attending Advanced Individual Training.

Some of the skills you’ll learn are:

  • Identifying foreign communications from an assigned geographic area
  • Analyzing foreign communications to support missions
  • Procedures for handling classified information and preparing reports

Helpful Skills

  • Talent for foreign languages
  • Interest in speech, communications and foreign languages
  • Good at working with people as a member of a team
  • Enjoy reading and writing

Required ASVAB Score(s)

Skilled Technical (ST): 91

Learn more about the ASVAB and see what jobs you could qualify for.


Total compensation includes housing, medical, food, special pay, and vacation time. Learn more about total compensation.

Earn Cash For In Demand Jobs

You could earn up to $40,000 in cash bonuses just for enlisting under certain Military Occupational Specialties. Visit Jobs in Demand to see if this job qualifies for an enlistment bonus.

Education Benefits

In the Army, qualified students can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus an annual stipend for living expenses. Learn more about education benefits.

Future Civilian Careers

The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career as a translator for government agencies, embassies, universities and companies that conduct business overseas.


Those interested in this job may be eligible for civilian employment, after the Army, by enrolling in the Army PaYS program. The PaYS program is a recruitment option that guarantees a job interview with military friendly employers that are looking for experienced and trained Veterans to join their organization. Find out more about the Army PaYS Program at

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Cryptologic Linguist