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September 2016

— This Month —

So How Are We Doing?

The State Of The American Veteran

And...

Let's Call It What It Is: Treason

If Our Government & Military Leaders Are Going To Lie To Us, Hang The S.O.B.s

- - - - -

MISSION STATEMENT

Our Association is a not-for-profit fraternal organization. Its purpose is a) to foster camaraderie among the graduates of Signal Corps Officer Candidate School classes of the World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War eras, b) to organize and offer scholarships and other assistance for the families of Officer and Enlisted OCS cadre who are in need, and c) to archive for posterity the stories and history of all of the Signal Corps OCS Officers who served this great country. We are open to ALL former Army Signal Corps OCS graduates, their families and friends, as well as other officers, enlisted men, those interested in military history, and the general public. Please, come join us. For more information about our Association, to see a list of our Officers and Directors, or for contact details, click on the OCS Association link at left.

Please note: The views and opinions expressed on this website are offered in order to stimulate interest in those who visit it. They are solely the views and expressions of the authors and/or contributors to this website and do not necessarily represent the views of the Army Signal Corps Officer Candidate School Association, its Officers, Directors, members, volunteers, staff, or any other party associated with the Association. If you have any suggestions for improvements to this site, please send them to WebMaster@ArmySignalOCS.com. We are here to serve you. 


 

From the editor's desk

September... and the summer is finally over. Too much heat. Too many family outings. Too much free time. Finally, a chance to get back to work... and a chance to start complaining about the state the world is in!

This month we have for you a couple of interesting articles... presented in our normal confrontational way... intended to make you think, and hopefully develop an opinion or two, whether they match ours or not.

In the first one we take stock of how we are doing... us Vets, that is. As an Army Vet, how's your life going these days? Got enough money? Making ends meet? Health holding up?

No matter how badly your life is, we bet your glad your not homeless.. as in a homeless Vet. Read our article below on the state of us Vets, and you'll see what we mean.

Our second story goes for the jugular. It takes a stand on the matter of our government leaders lying to us, our political parties lying to us and our military too. What's happened to America, we ask, when we the people can't trust our own government—and military—to tell us the truth.

What's that got to do with the Signal Corps, you ask? Once again, read the article and you'll see.

Moving on... last April (this year) we posted an article on our Home Page that talked about how far in front of us the Chinese were in terms of cryptographic communications. It was entitled It's All About Communication, and dealt with quantum entanglement based cryptography. Our point was that no one in our government is even thinking about developing a workable form of quantum communications, never mind our military.

We posited that the Signal Corps should step forward and do something about this sorry state of affairs, for if things are left as they are, we said, it wouldn't be long before the Chinese can read every enciphered message we send, by any and all means, while we won't be able to read a single one of theirs, never mind decipher them.

Well, our warning has come full circle... the Chinese are now live testing a a satellite based quantum communication system able to do just that. Interested in what China's latest advances are? Click here to go back and read the original article, or if you want to just read the Update to it click here.

We say again, it's about time someone on our side of the fence get busy developing a usable form of quantum entanglement driven crypto communication... and since the work the Chinese is doing is being driven by their military via the equivalent of their Signal Corps, ours Signal Corps should lead this charge too. Or put another way: Hey DOD... wake up for God's sake and do something about this.

Finally, back in September 2015 we wrote an article entitled Just Who The Hell is DASPO Anyway? With so many Signal Corps Officers in it, most people thought that DASPO was a part of the Signal Corps. It wasn't. The article explained about how the Signal Corps stood up this organization, and how it came to be that people thought DASPO was a Signal Corps agency.

In the middle of August (last month) we got an eMail from one of the NCOs that spent his time in the military in DASPO, and chronicled its history. He corrected our article on many points. We've added the eMail he sent us to the end of our original article, and recommend you go back and read both. We think you'll find it interesting. Click on the link above to jump to the original article, and follow it to its conclusion to read his eMail.

Our thanks to Bryan K. Grigsby for his corrections. BTW, in Bryan's eMail he said "I was with Capt. Richard M. "Rick" Griffith the day he earned his Purple Heart and Bronze Star in May of 1968." Rick Griffith was a graduate of OCS Class 12-66, and you can read his own mini-bio here. It too is worth reading! 

We hope you enjoy our postings this month... and don't forget, this being September with school starting up again, this is a good time for you to send a donation to our Scholarship Fund. You can find a link to do just that on the graphic at the bottom of this column.

Managing Editor  


 

So How Are We Doing?

Homeless Vets

The State Of The American Veteran

Listening to the candidates for President talk of how they are going to start taking better care of “our Vets,” it makes one wonder, just how are our Vets are doing these days?

Me? I’m a Vietnam War Vet, and—relatively speaking—I’m doing fine. If you are a regular reader of this website you know that we and the Association behind us track the status of Vets from three key wartime periods: WWII and the Korean and Vietnam War eras. Among this group, our interest is in those who graduated from Army Signal Corps OCS, of which there are over 27,000 of us.

For this group we try to track where they are and whether they are alive or not... and if they are we reach out to them and try to bring them into our group... to foster camaraderie with those they served with, as well as to help them form social contacts and networks that they can turn to if they find themselves in need.

We also provide scholarships to the children of this group, as well as try to capture their life story for posterity. Interestingly though, we don't track whether any of them are homeless or not.

Veteran homelessness is a problem in America.

All told, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs recognizes six official “war period” Veterans groups:

•  Mexican Border Period (May 9, 1916 – April 5, 1917 for Veterans who served in Mexico, on its borders or adjacent waters)

•  World War I (April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918)

•  World War II (December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946)

•  Korean conflict (June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955)

•  Vietnam era (February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975, for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975)

•  Gulf War (August 2, 1990 – through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation)

As of 2014, there were 21.8 million Veterans still living, of which approximately 10 percent are women. All told, this means that roughly 7 out of every 100 people one passes on the street is a Vet.

But how are we doing? How are all of us who fought for America really doing?

Surprisingly, while in the recent past the answer was horrible, within the past few years—with the exception of the provision of timely health care—things have begun to turn around and the answer today is not so bad. 

Continued at top of page, COLUMN AT RIGHT

 


 

Veterans Medical Care


 

Vietnam Campaign Ribbons

This page last updated 1 September 2016. New content is constantly being added. Please check back frequently.

Update 7 August 234 years ago today, George Washington created the Purple Heart. Not a badge of distinction for being wounded in action, as many think it is, the Purple Heart is a Badge of Merit.

Update 1 August As you browse our site you may be finding that some of our animations are not animating, and our music and video players aren't playing. Or at least that's what you think. The truth is, everything is working just fine... provided that you are using a 4 year or older PC and browser, and running an equally as old Operating System.

If on the other hand you are using a Tablet or SmartPhone, or using a PC with Windows 10 or later, then the chances are that what you think is happening is in fact happening. What's the reason, you ask? It's because of a very strange thing that happens with technology: over time it changes, and the stuff that depends on it to work stops working until changes are made to it too.

That's what's going on with our animations and audio and video players. Most of them were coded years ago, using a software known as "Flash", owned by a company known as Adobe. As little as 3 years ago, using Flash on your website was the way to go. Then along came Google and Apple, who decided that Adobe's Flash was prone to malware. To make sure that web viewers didn't have their PCs infected by poorly written Flash code, Google and Apple disabled Flash programs from running in their browsers. This caused Flash based animations, audio and video players to stop working entirely.

By itself this wasn't a big problem, as users could bypass this restriction by downloading and installing a "plug-in" for their PC. The plug-in would allow Flash programs to run properly again.

And so everything was fine for a while, until Tablets and SmartPhones came along. With these devices another problem popped up. In their case new code had to be written so that the webpages that worked on PCs would now work on Tablets and SmartPhones. Essentially, what was needed was a new form of "Responsive" coding that would let any HTML file work on any device. This new type of code revolved around something called HTML5.

Adding to this was the fact that Google and Apple decided to make their own Operating Systems (Android and iPhone OS) for use on Tablets and SmartPhones... and when they did this, this time they completely disabled Flash animation from ever running on their systems. Q.E.D.

So, with Flash completely banned for portable devices, HTML code needing to be upgraded to HTML5, new coding needed for Responsive web pages, and Android and iPhone OS systems to contend with, webmasters around the world soon found themselves having to upgrade the near entirety of all of their sites.  [BTW, that low moan you hear in the background is the sound of us webmasters lamenting the workload we now have in front of us.]

In our case this means an awful lot of work. Among other things it means we now have to check coding on 13,092 files, 8,513 animated and non-animated graphic images, 12,880 HTML files that have not been HTML5 code verified yet, and 10s of thousands of links that have not been manually tested in the past 12 months.

How does this affect you, you ask?

For the most part, it doesn't. If you are looking at our website using a PC, the chances are that everything is working just fine. If however you are sitting at the bar, having a cold beer, and looking at our website on your SmartPhone or Tablet, then likely as not some of our older Flash animation is not working, and the music you want to listen to won't play. If so, bare with us.  After all, as a former member of the 518th Signal Company we have a "Can Do" attitude!

See, now don't you wish you had volunteered for this job?

 

 

Continued from left column... 

 

Without doubt there are Veterans in trouble. Most are men who had troubles making the transition from military life—especially where combat was involved­—to civilian life. Stories abound of how after 6 or more years of active duty in the Service many of us got out and found ourselves ill equipped to deal with the civilian world.

Part of this stems from the fact that when we went in we were inexperienced in life as a whole. For many of us, Service life was the first time we found ourselves truly independent from mom and dad. Yet while the kind of independence we received was heady and uplifting stuff, when it came to making life decisions, not to mention the most mundane of decisions like what to wear and when to get up, those decisions were still being made for us... by the Army this time, instead of mom and dad. 

In the end then, coming from "home" where so many decisions were made for us, and going into the Service, proved little different, as decisions continued to be made for us. It's no wonder then that when many of us finally left the Service we found ourselves still unable to make decisions about life on our own. Going from mom’s apron strings to the controlled and ordained life the Army offered didn’t exactly prepare one for a life of independence.

As an example, trying to decide how to handle simple matters from how to cook and feed ourselves, or when, where and how to do our laundry—or what kind of civilian clothes to buy and wear—escaped us, as during the military these and so many other basic parts of life were both dictated to and done for us.

While seemingly insignificant matters, this inability to adjust to an independent lifestyle and jump on the “life of a civilian” bandwagon—and get with the program—caused many of us to lose progress in our quest for success… slipping behind our civilian friends as we watched them get job promotions faster than we did, earn more, buy fancier cars, and get the better girls.

Being a civilian and then joining the Army and hanging around in it for six years, and then leaving and trying to fit back into civilian society proved a handicap for many of us Vets. For many, many years the girls we sought could tell us from the boys that didn't go into the Service by the fact that they were well on their way to making a career, while we were still playing around. Those that didn't serve were well dressed, while we were the ones who wore a never ending assortment of wrinkled shirts and un-pressed pants.

If one adds PTSD or some other destabilizing element to this equation one has a nearly perfect formula for a troubled Vet… someone unable to find his way in the civilian world. This, and other causes, has caused many, many Vets down through the years to suffer multiple divorces, broken families, alcoholism… and homelessness.

Veteran homelessness, it's a real problem. 

Robert A. McDonald, VA Secretary, recently said “The men and women who have fought for this nation should not have to fight to keep a roof over their head.”

This is true. This is true.

Fortunately, the concerted effort that has come about since the V.A. suffered the embarrassments of 2010, when it was found that the timeliness and quality of the Veteran health care it was giving was abysmal, has led to a similar concerted effort to help those Vets who are homeless... and it has paid off.

To be specific, Veteran Homelessness has dropped by nearly 50% since 2010. As to whom we owe this improvement, it is hard to say. On the surface the praise must obviously go to former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert A. McDonald, who replaced General Shinseki in July, 2014. Behind him President Obama deserves credit too, for putting a businessman into the position instead of a political hack or another ex-military man. Political hacks we all know have little to nothing in the way of experience in managing something as big as the V.A…. nor for that matter do ex-military men. Fighting a war is one thing, running a global conglomerate that is both profit centered as well as results centered is another.

Regardless, it is good to see our government grabbing itself by the butt and getting out of its own way, and in the process making room for professionals to do the job. As to what kind of work the “professionals” did as it relates to Veteran homelessness, one need only look at the situation this past January—in the middle of what was a very cold winter—to see that improvements have been made in helping homeless Vets. At that time one would have found fewer than 40,000 homeless Veterans, admittedly a large number, but still one that is 47% lower than for the same time six years ago. That is, six years ago there were over 85,000 homeless Vets on the streets of America.

How did this come about? The answer is as it always is: someone began paying attention to the situation and worked the problem. In particular, a unique partnership between HUD and the Department of Veteran Affairs set the ball in motion. A byproduct of a White House initiative to end Veteran homelessness—and again something for which we must doff our hats to Obama—the extra backing that HUD provided in the way of rental assistance made all the difference in the world in helping put roofs over the heads of homeless Vets.

Read More



 



Military Morsels
 

Let's Call It What It Is: Treason

•   •   •   •

If Our Government & Military Leaders Are Going To Lie To Us, Try Them As Traitors & Hang the S.O.B.s

What in God's name is going on with our country?

We're sure you have seen the reports: the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) has been cooking ISIS War intel to make it look better than it is.

This is troubling beyond measure.

There’s a reason the U.S. military stays out of politics, and it’s a good one. It’s because we the people… the civilian people… own and run this country, not the people we elect to administer our government, not the people who run our political parties, not the media, and certainly not our military. The job of the military is to protect we the people, not the political hacks that serve in office at any one point in time.

What’s especially galling about reports that intelligence generated by CENTCOM was manipulated to paint a rosier picture of the U.S. effort to combat ISIS in Iraq and Syria than really existed is that it was done by U.S. military Officers. Army Officers among them.

CENTCOMFor all of us Signal Corps Officers who take enormous pride in the dedication we have to our country, and our willingness to die for it, this is a kick in the pants. What the hell has gone wrong with the United States Army’s Officer corps that men who take the oath of command will spit on that very oath? Not only are their actions a breach of their oath, if they prove true, they also constitute treason.[1]

Try these despicable people, and if the reports we read in the press prove true, hang the S.O.B.s

One need only look at Turkey's recent coup to see what happens when Army Officers decide to involve themselves in politics. When a military starts sticking its nose into politics, and taking sides to push the agenda of one political leader or another, a nation’s freedom is throttled. The fresh air of liberty is purged from the lungs of the people—we the people—and despotism takes root.

Despotism is a form of government in which, in its final incarnation, a single entity rules with absolute power. That entity may be an individual, as in an autocracy, or it may be a group, as in an oligarchy or even a dominant political party. And while it is true that despotism and its associated forms of rule that involve the curtailment or abolition of traditional forms of government can come from many sources, it is at its worst when it comes from a country’s military.

Kant identified four kinds of government:

• Law and freedom without force (anarchy).

• Law and force without freedom (despotism).

• Force without freedom and law (barbarism).

• Force with freedom and law (republic)

Which shall America have?

If the answer is the last in the list, a republic, then what are U.S. Army Officers doing cooking the books to make Obama’s war strategy for the Middle East look better than it is?

Forms Of Government

Our readers might find this strange, but this is not the first time this has happened in the U.S. military. During the Korean War our beloved Signal Corps lost track of its mission and found itself producing propaganda videos for our government, where the content of the videos was based on falsehoods and lies.

Yes, our Signal Corps.

In the video below, The Crime of Korea, you’ll find a fascinating story produced by the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Little more than a propaganda piece targeted for consumption not by the enemy, but by the American public, it opens with the narrator reminiscing about what Korea was like when he first arrived in 1945, for the Japanese surrender.

With idle talk he reminisces of how well the Allies were received and how the Korean people were glad to finally be rid of their Japanese colonial masters. Note how he entwines his opinions with allusion to the “centuries of Russian and Chinese domination” of the Koreans. Oh how his words and the scenes play to our heart strings.

Once he has established that he is a good guy, and that you should trust him, he flashes forward to 1950, this time posting himself as a war correspondent. Unlike in earlier scenes, now the video footage shows buildings and public centers gutted and destroyed. Korean people lay on the ground shot, some with their hands tied behind their backs.

From there the narrator begins to expound on North Korean Communist war crimes against the South Korean people. And from there he glibly segues to the crime of war itself, and the North Korean Communist’s crimes of aggression against the South Korean people… a war crime, as he states it, that sent so many people to their deaths.

 

 Time: 00:15:31 

To make his point, the narrator shows scenes that the film claims to be the result of Communist massacres; again, scenes intended to illustrate to the American people the true nature of the aggression forced on the south by the North Korean invaders. “Everywhere lay the murdered dead.” the narrator says, as the camera pans over a field of pits filled with dead bodies... identified as being from the Taejon Massacre.

But here is where it gets sticky.

Read More


 

Footnotes:

[1] Treason: a) the offense of acting to overthrow one's government or to harm or kill its sovereign; b) a violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or to one's state or the citizens of that state; c) the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery. Click here to return to your place in the text: Return to your place in the text.


 

 

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