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— This Month —
The Chickens Come Home To Roost
Desertion & Misbehavior Before The
Signal Corps Successes
How Seven Signal OCS Graduates Built The
103rd Infantry Division’s Signal Company – Part I of IV –
An Archive Of War – Part V
- - - - -
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not-for-profit fraternal organization. It's 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,
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in military history, and the general public. Please, come join us. For more information about our
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The Chickens Come
Home To Roost
Before the Enemy
It’s not Christian to wish someone ill will, and
we won’t do that here. Nevertheless, when we
heard this past week that the Army was finally
charging Sergeant Bergdahl with both misbehavior
before the enemy and desertion, we couldn’t help
but feel a sense of pleasure at the news.
Considering that this man who spent 5 years as a
prisoner of the Taliban is now facing life in
prison, we probably shouldn’t have taken
pleasure in the announcement, but we did. So
much so in fact that a smile came to our face
when we heard it.
You see, the smile and pleasure we took in the
announcement has nothing to do with Bowe
Bergdahl; it has to do with the Army. As far as
this Editor is concerned, we could care less
what happens to Bowe Bergdahl; but we most
definitely care about what happens to the Army.
And if Bergdahl doesn't go up on charges after
the stunt he pulled, then the Army that we love
could be damaged beyond repair. For all to work
out well, for all concerned, including Bowe Bergdahl
himself, Bowe Bergdahl must face an Article 32
hearing. Thank God the wing nuts in the White
House have stopped protecting him, and he’s
finally getting one.
the problem: sometime after midnight on June 30,
2009, Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl slipped
out of a remote military outpost in
Afghanistan’s Paktika Province. He took with him
a soft backpack, water, knives, a notebook, and
some writing materials. Tellingly, he left
behind his body armor and weapons.
As it turns out, Sergeant Bergdahl (he was
promoted while still in captivity) told his parents in
earlier eMails that he had become disillusioned
with Army life and did not support the American
mission. So what’s new? Every Army soldier that ever
existed has become disillusioned with
Army life at one time or another, not to mention
the war they were fighting in. Since when is
that a reason to walk away from your post?
Berghdal though appeared to think he was special… normal military discipline was for the
rest of his mates, not him. In his case he
thought himself so special that when an
investigation was done on him in 2009, the
classified military report that was published
said his disappearance on June 30 wasn’t the
first time he had gone walk-about. Apparently he
had wandered away from assigned duty stations
All of which brings us to our point. Allowing people like Bergdahl
get away with this kind of stuff can be
catastrophic for America's Army. In a minute
you'll see what we mean.
For those of you who have forgotten, the Article
32 Bergdahl is charged with does not mean he is
about to head to trial by a military court.
Instead, what he is headed for is a hearing; a
hearing that, like a civilian grand jury
hearing, is intended to help decide whether
charges should be pressed against him or not. If the
results of Bergdahl’s Article 32 hearing suggest
that sufficient evidence exists implicating
him in either desertion or misbehavior
before the enemy, then at that point he will be
referred to a court-martial or military court
So why are we so glad Bergdahl is facing an
Article 32 hearing? Because in our mind even
bigger than the damage President Obama did to
America by letting 5 of the Taliban’s top
“general staff” go free from Guantanamo, in
return for this likely turn-coat American, was
the damage Obama would have done to the
institution of the U.S. Army—and quite likely
the entire U.S. military—if he let Bergdahl go
What damage you ask? The damage that would have
come if Bergdahl was not charged… i.e., the
permanent breakdown in military discipline that
would permeate our entire Army once it sunk into
every serviceman’s head that walking away from
the battlefield was no longer a punishable
Discipline. That’s the operative word here folks:
discipline. So let’s talk about discipline, and
perhaps you’ll see where we are going with this.
Signal Corps Successes
How Seven Signal OCS Graduates Built The 103rd Infantry Division’s
Signal Company – Part I of IV
If you are a regular reader of our website you know of our
continuing series on how Signal OCS graduates were
responsible for some of the more eventful successes the U.S.
Army Signal Corps ever had. Called Signal Corps Successes,
the stories tell of the influence Army Signal OCS graduates
had in assuring that the Signal Corps fulfilled its mission
in time of war.
In the past we brought you stories of the
Mukden Cable and
Battle for the Pusan Perimeter. This month we’ll tell
you how seven—that’s right, seven—graduates of Army Signal
OCS Class 42-06 single handedly set up and operated the
Signal Company that supported the 103rd Infantry Division in
For those of you not familiar with it, the 103rd Infantry
Division (its famous "cactus patch" is shown above) was activated on 15 November 1942, and set about
training for its role in the European Theatre of Operations
in World War II. Nearly two years later, fully prepared for
war, the unit left the U.S. for Europe, on 11 September 1944.
In that Division was a supporting Signal Company, the 103rd
Signal Company. Assigned a combat support role, the 103rd
Signal Company was one of several Special Troops Companies
the 103rd Infantry Division depended on to get its job done.
Originally assembled as an Organized Reserve Unit assigned
to the Eighth Corps Area back in 1921, the Company had come
a long way from where it started, to where it found itself
when it was directed to join the 103rd Infantry Division for
combat training in late 1942, at
Claiborne, Louisiana. At that time, as the newly
constituted primary communications support company for the
103rd I.D., the Company was in need of everything from
modern communications equipment to men who understood how to
work the kind of newer communications systems being fielded.
To flesh out the unit the Department of War assigned to the
company a compliment of 10 Commissioned Officers, 1 Warrant
Officer and 311 Enlisted Men, including NCOs. For all
practical purposes then, while the 103rd Signal Company may
have existed since 1921, as it stood when it hit the fields
of Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, where the 103rd I.D. was
training, it was a brand new company created out of thin
air. Not surprisingly, this was the case for many of the
units that were still on the Army's books when WWII
started, but had no TOE in
In mid October 1942, the 103rd Signal Company picked up its
first complement of Officers. Signal Officers all, the first
to arrive was then Captain Carolus A. Brown, who took the
position of the newly appointed Division Signal
Officer. Later in the war Captain Brown would be promoted,
making his way up to Lieutenant Colonel by the time the war
Shortly after Brown took up his role, then First Lieutenant
(later Captain) Kenneth C. H. Colman arrived. His job was to
ready things for the reception of the remainder of the
unit’s Officers and men. Being a Signal Company, those
Officers would be found from within the ranks of the
hundreds of new, freshly minted Second Lieutenants
coming out of the Signal Corps Officer Candidate School at Fort
Monmouth, New Jersey.
It’s here then where we pick up our story, as wonder of
wonder, of the 8 remaining Officers to be assigned to the Company, fully 7
of them came from the very same class,
Army Signal OCS Class 42-06.
Class 42-06 was so large that it took two full days to
commission all of the Officers that graduated. On 12 July,
1942, roughly half of the Class passed in review and
received their commission, with the other half receiving
theirs the next day, on 13 July.
With 841 graduates it might not seem strange that 7 men from
this same class were assigned to the same Company, except
that one must remember that the Company they were going to
was brand new… that is, there were no senior Officers to act
as mentors and help these new, young Butter Bars get their feet on the ground.
Instead, not only did they have to get their own feet on the
ground, they had to stand-up the Company at the same time…
taking on board a full complement of 311 Enlisted Men, all
of whom were as green as the Officers commanding them.
And so it was, a new Company was being stood up by a bunch
of new junior level Officers, all without command
experience, each commanding a full complement of E.M., all
of whom were equally without military experience… with
everyone heading to war.
What fun those first few weeks must have been.
Yet that’s what Army Signal OCS is all about: training
young Officers to take command, build a cohesive and capable
combat support team, and get on with the job.
This page last updated 1 April 2015. New content is constantly being added.
Please check back frequently.
1 April 2015–Last month we added a new feature to our
Facebook page. It's called "Militarily Notable". In
a paragraph or two this new feature tells of
military events long ago forgotten, but which
important but little known happenings in military
history. We'll be adding a new one each month, so
please take the time to read them. To see them,
click on the Facebook icon in our links column at
left... and while you're on
our Facebook page PLEASE
be sure to "Like Us".
We need more likes. Why? Because the
more "Likes" we have, the more Facebook promotes our
site. And the more they promote our site, the more
readers come by to check it out. And the more people
come by to check it out, the better our chance of
people actually, well... liking us... and donating
to our Scholarship Fund. SOOOoooooo... want to help
us raise more money for scholarships? Then PLEASE
take the time to visit our
Facebook page and "Like us"...
and ask your friends, family, grandchildren and
anyone else you can think of that might have a
Facebook account to do so to.Thanks
1 February 2015 –Terry Rushbrook, Signal Corps OCS Class
10-67 sent us an update and a short bio of himself.
posted his bio and a few of his pictures on a
special page which we linked to his name on his
Class Page. You can get to it by clicking here
and then scrolling down and clicking on his name.
The best part though is that Terry maintains
his own website, which has lots more content than
what we have posted. On it you can find stories,
poems and lots more pictures of his time in Vietnam.
Some of his pics of Cam Ranh Bay are especially
good. Check out his personal bio page, and then use
the link there to jump to Terry's website.
Continued from left column...
Of the 8 original Second Lieutenants assigned to breathe
life into the 103rd Signal Company, the last 7 on this list
came directly from Army Signal OCS Class 42-06. The names of
all 8 were:
2nd Lt. JOSEPH A. ALLISON, Message Center Officer,
2nd Lt. BERNARD BECK, Sig C. Radio Officer,
2nd Lt. DENNIS A. DELANEY, Telephone & Telegraph Officer,
2nd Lt. CHARLES A. DEWS, Supply Officer,
2nd Lt. MAURICE A. HANNON, Sig C. Motor Officer,
2nd Lt. JOHN C. MITCHELL, Sig C. Construction Officer,
2nd Lt. JACK OWENS, Sig C. Radio Intelligence Officer,
2nd Lt. JULIUS S. SEDENSKY, Sig C. Construction Officer,
and later, as the war unfolded...
43-16: 2nd. Lt. Ray Vanderby, a
graduate of Army Signal OCS Class 43-16,
joined them on the field of battle.
Of note, it wasn’t long before Second Lieutenant Bernard
Beck was promoted through the rank of First Lieutenant to
Captain, and assigned as the Commanding Officer of the 103rd
Thus, as the unit began its march towards Europe, the 103rd
Signal Company was essentially a new Company, being led to
war with virgin Officers, almost all of whom were fresh out
of OCS, and from the same class.
Recognizing that we would hardly write a piece on these men,
and call it Signal Corps Success if they had failed in their
reader can imagine that these leading examples of Army
Signal OCS not only acquitted themselves handsomely in their
command posts, but earned battle praise in the process. Read
on if you would like to follow their story through WWII.
An Archive of War - Part V
Examples of effective American decision making and leadership, as seen through
Over the past several months it has been our objective, in this column, to demonstrate how in the not too
distant past America’s leaders did not need to interject politics into
everything they did and said in order to hold their position or get the job
done. Instead they applied logic to their thinking; implementing their decisions
in clearheaded ways that both made sense as well as provided a road map for the
nation to follow. In the process they took the time to keep the American people
of those days informed, not through propaganda or political maneuvering on
Sunday morning talk shows, but, for example, in fireside chats and radio
broadcasts of considerable length, by the President himself, directly
to the people.
Those were good days for America. Some would say they were simple days. But they
were not. The only difference between then and now is that then we had
clearheaded leaders who knew America’s place in the world, accepted it, and went
about doing the right thing for both America and the world. Today we suffer
through with muddleheaded leaders, unable to speak clearly and concisely, and
only too willing to obfuscate their true purpose to those who elected them.
Take the situation in the Middle East today. Every single country in the area except for Oman is involved in a military conflict. And what is America
doing? It's turning its back on its traditional allies in this region, in favor of
a rapprochement with Iran… all for the purpose of reaching agreement with the
Iranians over the extent to which they will be allowed to continue developing
There is no goal to stop the Iranians from having a nuclear bomb, only a goal to
delay it for 10 or more years. These is no goal to stop them from developing
delivery capabilities able to carry such a bomb to America’s shores, only a goal
to avoid talking about the uncomfortable topic of ICBMs. In the mean time America’s
traditional allies in the region are being elbowed aside, causing unprecedented
confusion on their part as to what exactly America is up to. Israel, Saudi
Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, the UAE, and others are all running for cover, believing that
America has abandoned them… as she seems to have.
Worse than all of this however is that this confusion exists at home too… with
Congress, the press and the American people asking what in God’s name is going
Why? Again, we ask, what is going on?
In our view it all goes back to President Obama on the campaign trail, when
during his very first run at the White House he articulated with clarity that he
wanted to focus his time in office on the home front, and pull America back from
its penchant for military engagements around the world. Instead of carrying the mantle of world
leadership that America has held since the end or WWII, he wanted to focus on
housing for the poor, health care, immigration, and so on. So now we have Obamacare, and executive actions granting illegal immigrants rights to live in
the U.S., and increased subsidies for housing.
Ok, so that’s what he told us he was going to do, and he’s doing it.
We do not fault him for doing what he said he would do. But where
is his strategy for dealing with the international issues imploding all around us?
Surely, if he was going to avoid use of the U.S. military to resolve global
problems, he must have had a replacement strategy at the ready to deal with the
kind of results such an action would cause? Today
the world stands more closely on the brink of WWIII than at any time in modern
history; and the lack of leadership in the White House on the geo-political
issues his "leading from behind" approach to life has caused is palpable.
How did that happen? What were we all doing while President Obama was busy downsizing America’s influence around the world?
How did we miss him passing
the baton we once carried as a sign of our global dominance to Iran, in the
Middle East; Putin in both Western and Eastern Europe; and China everywhere west
of Los Angeles?
How did we let him get away with bullying Israel into a role where it is now
little more than a secondary power in its own region? How did we let him get
away with turning America's back on the Saudis? By walking away from Yemen when
it needed us most? By failing to act to address Turkey’s concerns over its own
stability vis-à-vis the Kurds? By prematurely pulling troops out of Iraq and
squandering 12 years of our having built a platform fully able to keep the peace
in the Middle East, and prevent ISIS from ever having gained a foothold? By
having absolutely no strategy, and no tactical plan of action?
From where we sit it is clear that President Obama has abandoned the world
to its own course. Instead of developing a balanced global strategy able to be
implemented by our allies, and leading them to execute it while he focused on
things at home... as he preferred to do... he has abandoned strategy in favor of
deliverables. His goal is not to fix the world's problems, it is to get a deal
with Iran. He is foregoing progress in solving the problems in Syria, Yemen,
with the Palestinians, with ISIS, AQAP, the Houthis, Ukraine, the Senkakus, and
more, for success on the single issue of signing an interim deal with Iran by
March 31, and a final one by this coming July 1.
His thinking is fuzzy. His logic is fuzzy. He is seeking a fuzzy deal with untrustworthy actors.
When he offers an explanation of his intentions or actions, it is fuzzy and
incomprehensible. His explanations make no sense. For over 6 years
now he has had no global strategy, and it is showing.
Look at the absurdity of the situation: when he leaves office in a few years President Obama will be able to look back over
his shoulder and still see Hafez Assad's smiling
face... Assad, still securely in place and power... thanks to Iran. Assad, who has used chemical
gas and barrel bombs to kill some 200,000 of his own people, will outlast Barack
Hussein Obama. What has our President done?
Compare all of this if you will to what Truman faced during his time in office.
Just on the heels of the world’s biggest war coming to an end, with most of the
world in disarray, economies in shambles, millions homeless in war torn Europe,
and Asia little more than a street beggar on the world stage, North Korea, with
Mao Zedong and Stalin’s encouragement, decided to invade the South.
How did Truman handle this challenge? Did he walk away from the new role America
found itself taking on, as the world’s policeman and shepherd? Did he toss the
ball to China, telling Chairman Mao to do what he wanted with the Korean
peninsula? Did he wail in the night that he had so many, many things that needed
attention at home that he simply had no time to pay attention to the rest of the
world? Or did he develop a clear, precise strategy, and then stand before the
American people and articulate it… before moving on to implement it.
Clearly, Harry Truman did the latter.
Read if you will then this simple announcement President Truman made to the
American people on June 27, 1950, when he explained for the first time
to his countrymen what
happened in Korea and what he was going to do about it.
It is yet another example of clear decision making and leadership, as seen through
the archives of war.
Would that we had leaders like Harry Truman today.
Be sure to join us again next month, when we will bring
you President Truman's full length explanation to the American people of how he
intended to fight the Korean War. Again, it is a masterpiece of simplicity and
what we have come to call clear headed thinking.
Join 2, 3 and 4 word answers together
as one complete word.
For answer key to this month's
see icon at bottom of page
 Technically, five
years in prison for desertion and life imprisonment for
misbehavior before the enemy. According to 10 U.S. Code §
899 - Art. 99. of the UCMJ, misbehavior before the enemy is
defined as: “Any member of the armed forces who before or in
the presence of the enemy— (1) runs away; (2) shamefully
abandons, surrenders, or delivers up any command, unit,
place, or military property which it is his duty to defend;
(3) through disobedience, neglect, or intentional misconduct
endangers the safety of any such command, unit, place, or
military property; (4) casts away his arms or ammunition;
(5) is guilty of cowardly conduct; (6) quits his place of
duty to plunder or pillage; (7) causes false alarms in any
command, unit, or place under control of the armed forces;
(8) willfully fails to do his utmost to encounter, engage,
capture, or destroy any enemy troops, combatants, vessels,
aircraft, or any other thing, which it is his duty so to
encounter, engage, capture, or destroy; or (9) does not
afford all practicable relief and assistance to any troops,
combatants, vessels, or aircraft of the armed forces
belonging to the United States or their allies when engaged
in battle; shall be punished by death or such other
punishment as a court-martial may direct.” –
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 Also known as the Cactus Division. –
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