Petty Officer 1st Class Brandon Berkowitz, a Valencia native, was always inspired to join the military.
“I always wanted to serve in the military since I was a kid,” Berkowitz said. “I also found out my grandfather served in the Navy in World War II, and it was great to continue that legacy.”
Now, six years later, Berkowitz is stationed with a command responsible for teaching future information warriors the skills required to defend America around the world.
“The best opportunity is that I get to meet thousands of different sailors, and it’s cool that I get to help these sailors, not just teaching them, but out in the fleet,” Berkowitz said. “I find that very rewarding.”
Berkowitz, a 2011 graduate of Valencia High School, is an information systems technician operating from the Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) in San Diego.
“I’m a course supervisor of five different courses,” Berkowitz said. “I’m responsible for curriculum development and the overall organization of the course itself and qualifying instructors.”
Berkowitz credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Valencia.
“My parents always instilled in me the lesson of doing the best you can, in anything you do, and you will be rewarded,” said Berkowitz.
IWTC San Diego is just one component that makes up the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) domain, headquartered at Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station, Florida.
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 that prepares them to wage battle and assure the nation’s success in this burgeoning warfare arena.
Berkowitz is most proud of receiving the Instructor of the Quarter Award.
“It just shows recognition that I tried my best and it was recognized by my superiors,” said Berkowitz.
A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80% of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90% of all global trade by volume travels by sea.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Berkowitz and other sailors and staff know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, serving as a key part of the information warfare community in its mission to gain a deep understanding of the inner workings of adversaries, and developing unmatched knowledge of the battlespace during wartime.
“Serving in the Navy means that, no matter how small my contribution, I’m making a difference to make the world a better place,” said Berkowitz.