By Kayla Turnbow
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A 2009 Monticello High School, in Arkansas, graduate and Millington, Tennessee, native is stationed with a command responsible for teaching future information warriors the skills required to defend America around the world.
Petty Officer 1st Class April Jucks works as a cryptologic technician (collection) and serves with the Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Virginia Beach.
Jucks currently works as an instructor who is responsible for teaching sailors about primary fleet systems.
Jucks credits success in the Navy with lessons learned growing up in Millington.
“I got resiliency from my childhood,” said Jucks. “Being able to handle change and go with the flow is important in the Navy.”
IWTC Virginia Beach provides a continuum of information warfare training to Navy and joint service personnel, preparing them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.
The training command currently offers 65 courses of instruction in information technology, cryptology and intelligence with an instructor and support staff of 280 military, civilian and contract members who train more than 6,500 students every year at five different training sites.
“I love being an instructor,” said Jucks. “I was a swim coach before I joined. I like teaching people and I look forward to the reward aspect of the teaching. I look forward to seeing people grow and use a system that will be beneficial to the fleet.”
Jucks is playing an important part in America’s focus on rebuilding readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”
IWTC Virginia Beach is one of four schoolhouses for the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) and also oversees learning sites at Jacksonville and Mayport, Florida; Kings Bay, Georgia; and Groton, Connecticut to continue aligning the information warfare community training.
“Our IWTC Virginia Beach staff members clearly demonstrate exemplary performance and leadership, shown through their significant contributions to deliver trained information warfare professionals to the fleet,” said Cmdr. Richard Bosworth IWTC Virginia Beach commanding officer. “I’m extremely proud of their accomplishments and more importantly how the impact of their hard work continues to ensure fleet mission readiness around the globe every day.”
Charged with developing the future technical cadre of the information warfare community, the CIWT domain leads, manages and delivers Navy and joint force training to 22,000 students annually. With 1,200 military, civilian and contracted staff members, CIWT oversees about 200 courses at four information warfare training commands, two detachments and additional learning sites located throughout the United States and Japan.
CIWT is responsible for training enlisted cryptologic technicians, information systems technicians, intelligence specialists and electronics technicians. CIWT also provides training to cryptologic warfare, information professional, intelligence and foreign area officers, which prepares sailors to wage battle and assure the nation’s success in this burgeoning warfare arena.
“The CIWT team is successful because each of our domain members is committed to our job of preparing sailors to fight and win in the arena of information warfare,” said Capt. Nick Andrews, CIWT’s commanding officer. “I’m extremely proud of how their hard work and professionalism prepare our sailors so they are ready for the Navy the nation needs.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Jucks is most proud of earning a Joint Service Commendation Medal and Navy Achievement Medal at the end of deployment in 2017.
“It was my first award in the Navy for the end of the tour,” said Jucks. “It showed that I learned my job and did my job well. It meant a lot to me.”
IWTC Virginia Beach sailors and staff are serving as a key part of the information warfare community in its mission to gain a deep understanding of the inner working of adversaries and developing unmatched knowledge during wartime.
They have a responsibility in creating warfighting options for fleet commanders and advising decision-makers at all levels as they serve worldwide aboard ships, submarines and aircraft and from the National Security Agency to the Pentagon.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Jucks and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“Joining the Navy gave me direction and gave me a career path I did not expect,” added Jucks. “It has given me the opportunity to see the world and see how differently the world operates. It has been very rewarding.”