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— This Month —
OER Reports, An Officer's Best Friend; and Is The Real Cause Of War Secretaries Of State That Fail?
Our Association is a
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,
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
If you have any suggestions for improvements to this site,
please send them to
WebMaster@ArmySignalOCS.com. We are here to serve you.
The OER Report, An
Officer's Best Friend
avoid sharp edges. Occasionally they are necessary to
You may have seen the quotes below before, they are
certainly not original with us. Even so, we thought that
with the President going all wobbly on Syria; Israel still
fuming about the U.S. not doing anything about Iran… and
worrying that if they go it alone the only thing they can
count on from the U.S. will be a little low level drone
intelligence; the little fat kid with the funny haircut in
North Korea thumbing his nose at us; China tweaking Japan’s
nose by sending armed ships into the Senkaku’s and
threatening to land troops on the islands... and Japan
saying that if they do they will respond militarily;
Pakistan in a state of internal meltdown; the Islamic
terrorists seemingly having found their way back into
America with nary a frown coming from our vaulted Department
of Homeland Security; and everyone including your neighbor
trying to take your guns away from you… well… we thought
that with all of these sad things going on you might be in
need of a little laugher to lighten your day.
You all remember OERs (Army Officer Evaluation Report, DA
Form 67-9), don’t you? That thing you worried yourself sick
would be negative when it came out, and ruin your military
career, or at least embarrass the hell out of you and
confirm your absolute conviction that Major So-And-So didn’t
like you? Well listed below are a few quotes from actual
OERS. You think your OERs were bad, you should be glad you
weren't one of these shavetails.
Oh, and by the way, if you see a comment below that you are
sure you read in one of your own OERs, don’t feel bad. We saw
at least three that we swear came from one of our OERs back
Actual Quotes From Officer Evaluation Reports:
my last report, this Officer has reached rock bottom and has
started to dig."
men would follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid
would not allow this Officer to breed."
well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat
in a trap."
she opens her mouth, it seems that it is only to change
would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle."
young lady has delusions of adequacy."
sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to
Officer is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot."
Officer should go far, and soon, I hope."
certainly takes a long time to make himself pointless."
doesn't have ulcers, but he's a carrier."
would like to go hunting with him sometime."
been working with glue too much."
would argue with a signpost."
has a knack of making strangers immediately."
brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room."
and the Jeep have something in common. They've both gone as
far as they can in this man’s Army."
you see two people talking and one looks bored, he's the
his I.Q. reaches 50, he will have improved."
Is The Real Cause Of War
Secretaries Of State That Fail?
The comments, opinions and views
expressed in the article below are those of its author and
not the Army Signal Corps OCS Association, its
Officers or Directors. A
comment section has been provided at the end of this article
for you to present your own views, if you wish.
Secretary Of State –
A Post Mortem
“To work with all our heart and all of
our might to make sure that America is secure, that our
interests are promoted and our values are respected.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary
- - -
Nice words, too bad they didn’t turn
out to reflect what actually happened.
First, you’re probably asking why a
quasi-military website like this would care enough about the
State Department to offer comments on its former Secretary
of State’s time in office. The answer to that is easy:
usually it’s when a Secretary of State fails in their job
that the U.S. Army goes to war.
Think of Henry
Kissinger’s bungling of his negotiations with North Vietnam,
where the combination of his duplicitous efforts to keep the
South (and often the U.S. military) in the dark as to both
his intentions and the state of the discussions with the
North, and his total failure to fathom the ideological
determination that lay behind the North’s own deceitful
public statements, led to America abandoning 18 years of
fighting (1957 – 1975) for an amorphous “withdrawal with
honor.” Tell that to the 58,209 American servicemen who gave
their lives… tell them that what they thought was a
determined American effort to fight and win that war turned
out to be just another government exercise abandoned by a
Secretary of State for political expedience in order to get
a President elected… and see what they think of the idea of
giving their life for an honorable withdrawal.
Or if you will, recall how former
Secretary of State Powell’s half hearted effort to get
Saddam Hussein to verify that he had no weapons of mass
destruction… or for that matter to prove that there were
weapons of mass destruction before endorsing the war…. or
for that matter his weak kneed effort to stand up to the
President and Vice President and declare the whole thing the
fraud that it was, led to the 2003 – 2012 Iraq War. The Iraq
war… another 4,486 American military deaths chiseled on a
granite wall, for what purpose? For a cause the country is
only too ready to forget today.
Do you see what we are trying to point
out? Whenever one of our Secretaries of State fails to do
their job, whether because they are inept or for some other
reason, soldiers die. It’s because of this that we should
care about who holds that office. It’s because of this that
a retrospective look at Mrs. Clinton’s time in office is
needed. And it’s because of this that you will find an
appraisal of her efforts on this military website.
As for Mrs. Clinton, in the early days
of her State Department work this author thought she hit the
ground running and was making good progress. She seemed to
have a complete grasp on what needed to be done, where, and
how. She even had a few quick wins she could tuck under her
belt… like her success in bringing Myanmar out of the dark
and back into the real world. Now though, looking back at
what she accomplished, there seems to be little good for all
of the travelling she did. Worse, the problems she made
absolutely no progress on cast an even greater pall over the
world today than they did when she took office.
As our quote at the top of this
article shows, when Secretary of State Clinton first took
office she proudly told the world that her goals were to
make America secure, advance our interests and sponsor our
values. On the surface they seemed like laudable goals. But
if one looks at them more closely they seem now to be just
so much window dressing, for while it was nice that back
then she was able to craft such a mellifluous, concise
mission statement of the kind corporations are want to throw
around while they are busy polluting the environment, what
was needed from her was a set of precise, unambiguous
objectives related to each of the ills the U.S. was
facing—the ills she was supposed to tackle and resolve.
Instead we got a feel good “aren’t you glad I’m here…” type
of P.R. statement.
Wouldn’t it have been nice if when she
came into office she started out by speaking with more
specificity about the ills the U.S. was facing—the ills she
was supposed to tackle and resolve? Wouldn't it have been
nice if she began by saying something along the lines of
“Come hell or high water, I’m going to find a way to stop
Iran from getting nuclear weapons or die trying. Granted, it
may take me more than 4 years to do it… and if so you may
find yourself having to reelect my President so that I can
spend another 4 years working to get it done … but believe
me, this is one cause that is going to get my full
attention, and I’m determined to succeed at it, even if I
have to put my career in politics in jeopardy in order to
win this cause.”
If she had, surely some quick witted
liberal reporter would have asked why such determination on
her part? And she might have responded “because if I fail
then by the time I leave office the only option left will be
military… and that means American servicemen and women will
have to die because I failed to do my job.”
Sigh…. where is
Patton when you need him? Where are the clear thinking, tell
it like it is leaders we used to have… like Teddy Roosevelt,
Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and of
course George Washington. Or how about some of the more
effective yet quiet and erudite Secretaries of State that we
used to find leading our foreign policy efforts; people who
got the job done—like Jim Baker, Thomas Jefferson, William
H. Seward, George C. Marshall, and Daniel Webster, all of
whom averted war and thus saved American lives by doing
through diplomacy what the U.S. Army would have been called
on to do through combat if they had failed?
This page last updated 12 May 2013.
New content is constantly being added. Please check back
Posted 12 May 2013
–An NSA sponsored lecture on
the Allied effort to break Japanese encipherment systems in use during WWII is being
presented on May 23 and 24 at the National Cryptologic
Museum, Annapolis Junction, MD.
Check our OCS Notices
page for more info. It's short notice, but the lecture is
free and is expected to be a winner. If you can make it you
Posted 11 May 2013
–Candidate Don Mehl, OCS Class
44-35, sent us a
great reunion booklet from his old unit, the 805th Signal
Service Company. Filled with 13 pages of pictures and
historical information on the unit, it lists many, many
Signal OCS graduates that went through Monmouth's program
and served in the 805th. Take a look at it by going to our
reunion page, scrolling down
the page, and clicking on the picture of the 805th booklet there.
Posted 10 May 2013
–Think you have done well
all of these years since you left High School? Then you are
in for a surprise. Candidate Ron (Romuald) Stone, OCS Class
13-67 sent us a short bio of his life experiences since
graduating Signal OCS. It's scary how much Ron has done in
his career and life. Take the time to read Ron's career
and then get busy pushing your grandkids to accomplish more
in their life! Seriously, if you will forgive the analogy to
race horses, in our mind Ron is a best-of-breed example of
what being a military Officer is all about. Truly, best of
Posted 10 May 2013
–Catching up on old work piled in the corner of
our Editor's Desk... we finally added a few pics from the
2012 Army Signal OCS Reunion. Check them out on our Reunion
page by clicking the Reunion Info link in the left
column above, scroll down the page, and then click on the
appropriate icon. Oh, and if you have any pictures of your
own of that reunion, please send them to us so that we can
add them to our album. Our thanks to Candidate Preas Street
for sending the pics to us nearly a year ago. We may be
slow, but we are diligent in our duties, Sir.
Posted 1 May 2013
–While you are busy
getting your summer underway, take a moment... please...
take a moment to read this month's devotional. Click on the
Devotionals link second from the top in our menu
list at left. Do it. Do it now. You can come back and read
the political stuff later. For now, take a few moments to
take care of your soul.
Posted 1 May 2013
once and a while we receive information about a Signal OCS
graduate that had a dramatic impact on the world. If you
browse through this website you will find lots of them
listed here. Signal Officers were nothing if they were not
instruments for the betterment of society. The best way to
find these people is to look at the Class Pages on our site.
When you see a last name in bold green text
on a Class Page, click it. Behind that name is a story, bio,
or some other information about the Candidate.
This month Maj. Green sent us an article on Stephen R.
Mason, Class 04-66. A gifted author and poet, his poem "The Wall Within" was read at the 1984
dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Wash, D.C.
And if you think that was a great achievement, then you will
fall off of your chair when you find out that his poem has
the distinction of being the only American work of poetry on
display at the war memorial in Hanoi. Click his name here to read
our brief bio of
Steve Mason, and
after you finish reading it spend a bit of the
rest of your day searching out the bios of other great
OCS graduates we all worked with daily.
Oh, and by the way, if your bio is not yet
on this site, make a mental note to pick up a pencil and
start writing it. Posterity demands it.
Continued from left column...
Today our country seems to be full of
just so many politicians who live for the sake of politics…
as opposed to serving America’s interests as they would have
us believe. Sad to say, but looking back now in retrospect
at her time in office, that may be the case with Mrs.
Clinton. Hillary Clinton, a woman more than capable of doing
wondrous things while she was Secretary of State, more so
than most any modern day person… but who left her legacy
unfulfilled, and in the process left America in greater
danger when she exited than she found when she entered
Let us look at and analyze the
results of her four short years:
First, why only four years, when
there were eight years for the offering? Without doubt, the
things she was working on would have benefitted from a
continuing steady hand and dedication to the cause…
something she could only do if she stayed in office.
Why then did she
leave? Is it because she needs the time from now until 2016
to plan and scheme for a higher office? Did she not realize
that the kind of global problems the Secretary of State
works on usually take more than 4 years to resolve? Did she
not know this before she accepted the position? What then
should we make of the character of a person who knows a) by
virtue of their taking office the country depends on them to
work “the problem” until it is resolved, or Americans will
die, b) was given 8 years of time to work the problem, but
chose on her own to quit after only 4, even though by that
time the problems she was working on were in worse condition
than when she took office?
While we can’t say for sure that Mrs.
Clinton left office so that she could plan for a run at the
Presidency, if that turns out to be the case, it would be a
travesty and reason alone to not elect her. America does not
need any person in Federal office that will walk away from
their job when it is half done. In fact, surely a person who
puts their political future ahead of the country’s should
not be in office to begin with. Yes, we know that the real
world is full of such hucksters, but that doesn’t make it
the right thing to do. If the reason she left after only
four years is because she wants to disassociate herself from
the Obama administration in preparation for her own run for
the Presidency, then shame on her.
As to the idea that four years is
enough, the answer to that is that if every U.S. Army
soldier thought that way we would have a woefully inadequate
fighting force… one full of trainees. One without skilled,
experienced leaders or fighters. The same is true in
government. When someone takes a position such as that of
Secretary of State they should be well aware that many of
the problems they will face cannot be fixed in 4 years, that
8 years and often even more are needed to move the problem
towards a conclusion acceptable to America. If they are not
prepared to stay for 8 years if the option presents itself,
then they should not take the job in the first place.
Why is it so that so much time is
needed to resolve international problems? Because many of
the people and countries that are problematic for the U.S.
know well and good that if they just wait 4 years there will
be a change in our government, and the difficult, stubborn
people they may be dealing with will be gone.
Iran knows this. North Korea knows
this. China knows this. Russia knows this. Venezuela knows
this. The world knows this. If they just wait, then they can
be assured of one thing: any new administration that comes
into office will take 18 months to get up to speed, at which
time if they too prove to be difficult to deal with the
problem country need just sit back and stall a while longer until "lame duckism" sets in, and the U.S. administration that entered
office with so much promise is unable to do anything of
consequence until after the next election.
Doubt this? Compare if you will
Putin's 13 years in power to Obama's 5 so far... or Mrs.
Clinton's 4. Does anyone really think Putin cares what these
people say or do about geopolitical matters? From his
perspective, he'll just wait them out and do what he wants
in the mean time.
From this perspective at least, in
analyzing Ms. Clinton’s efforts as Secretary of State, she
begins with a failing grade for having left office after
only 4 years when she had the ability to stay the course for
8 years and
perhaps resolve one or two of the problems our country
faces. Short of personal illness… which we most certainly
pray is not the cause of her leaving office… there is no
excuse for a person like her taking such a high office
knowing that she would abandon it before the job was done or
the time expired to do it.
Still, buy now you are probably
asking "Never mind when or why she left office, did
she do the job
she was supposed to do?"
Are we really that old?
Serve in the Vietnam War did you? Grandfather serve in WWI?
Got a daughter, son or grandchild with a newborn on the way?
Then right about now you have an interesting scenario taking
place in your life.
Likely as not, the end of the Vietnam War is as far in the
past for that newborn on its way to your family as the end
of WWI was for you when you were born.
As you grew up as a kid, did you know anything about WWI?
Did your grandfather talk to you about it? No, huh? Same
How about you? Do you talk to your grandkids about the
Vietnam War? No? Why not?
Oh, we don’t mean talking to them about killing and
shooting… combat or the politics of the time; we mean about
what it was like for you… what you remember about the
weather, the Vietnamese people, leaving home for the first
time, the close “mates” you met, the monsoons, the food, the
things you learned about life… like how to think critically,
lead others under pressure, the value of a good education,
discipline, how a love for your country slowly sneaked up on
you as you worked your way through war and life… and, the girl
you left behind.
If you have the time, you might even include a thought or
two about what war is… why it is needed, when, and what
responsibilities both you, our government, and the American
people have when it is undertaken. It doesn’t matter what
your views are on war… for or against it, love it, hate it,
or could care less… what matters is that you pass your views
on to your grandchildren, rather than letting them gather
their views from TV’s talking heads. Explain to them what
you know, with logic, reason, and within the context of your
thoughts having matured in part because you were there… on
the field of fire while war was happening.
Children today live in a complex world, without a foundation
based on fact able to help them find the context within
which to form reasoned opinion. More often than not the
views they form are based on technology driven social
networks populated by their peers, rather than fact driven
educators. With this kind of perspective on life, how can
they possibly derive a rational, lucid view of the world?
Talking to your grandkids about the Vietnam War won't solve
all of their problems, but it will help them begin to
understand what purpose war serves, and the outcome that
society can expect from it.
Very few WWI veterans did that for us Vietnam vets when we
came along as kids. Maybe if they had the world would be
Oh, and by the way, if you are wondering who the "enemy" is
in this scenario, the enemy that we are waiting to appear...
it's not war. It's ignorance. Talk to your grandkids about
war, and the enemy will never be able to sneak up on them.
Nearly everyone’s seen the pictures of the great 1,400 year-old Benedictine
monastery of Monte Cassino, turned into rubble during a series of battles named
after it. What few know though is that the Battle of Monte Cassino involved four
costly assaults by the Allies… four separate battles in their own right… before
it was captured.
Why fight to take a building like the abbey? It wasn’t so much because of its
height, although that certainly mattered. Instead it was because it held down a
key spot on what was then known as the
Winter Line in Italy. The
Winter Line (aka Gustaw or Gustav Line) was the strongest line of defense held by the
Germans, and it had to be breached if the Allies were to make their breakthrough
Another thing that few people know is that the battle took four months to
conclude, and left a quarter of a million dead or wounded. Part of the reason
for the high loss of life was that the Ally forces were made up of a mixed group
of Americans, British, French from North Africa, Indians, Gurkhas, New
Zealanders, Canadians and Poles. Some of the toughest fighting was done by the
Poles, as they took the abbey itself.
Loss of life also occurred because of bad generalship on the Allies part. Most were inexperienced
and had a demeaning view of any fighting in Italy… after all, Italy was just a
subsidiary theatre of war to them, and no general was going to earn honor or
decorations in some lousy theater at the bottom of Europe. From their
perspective, Italy was hardly worth the effort. Worse, their view of Italians as
fighters was demeaning. They felt that the Italians, and the country of Italy,
represented the soft underbelly (as Winston Churchill liked to call it) of
Europe, and therefore any battle in Italy would likely be a cake walk, and
hardly worth the effort.
Well, as Monte Casino proved, it isn’t good to underestimate your enemy. When
you do, you do dumb things… like order badly coordinated attacks that are
massively wasteful of human life, and end up nearly losing the war in the
The question has always been asked: was the bloodshed of Monte Cassino worth it?
We’ll let you answer that question. For now, let the BBC radio broadcast made
on the day the Poles took the abbey take your soul back to those days,
and know what it was like to be in World War II... for some of you, again.
As you listen to it, note too that the first knowledge of the taking of the
abbey came by carrier pigeon from the abbey itself, with a note signed by the
Lieutenant of Signals, a British Signals Officer trained by the U.S. Army Signal Corps
at Fort Monmouth.
May's Crossword Puzzle
Join 2 and 3 word answers together as one complete word.
answer key to this month's puzzle,
see icon at bottom of page
American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and
Statistics, a report completed by Hannah Fischer.
- To return to your place in
the text click here:
on the way these famous leaders and Secretaries of State
used hard nosed positions to avoid war follows:
• Andrew Jackson displayed how fiercely he fought for the
things he believed in with this famous quote upon leaving
office: “I have only two regrets: I didn't shoot Henry Clay
and I didn't hang John C. Calhoun.”
• George Washington may have looked mild and cultured, but
after a particularly tough battle during the American
revolution, a battle where it was miraculous that he was not
wounded, he wrote a letter to his brother detailing his
experiences. He described being surrounded by bullets and
death and concluded by saying “I heard the bullets whistle
and, believe me, there is something charming to the sound of
bullets.” When he caught news of this, King George III
reportedly remarked that Washington's attitude would change
if he'd heard a few more. But King George III didn't win the
war, did he? Washington did.
• Thomas Jefferson served President George Washington
as America’s first Secretary of State (1790-93). As
Secretary of State he established a host of diplomatic and
administrative precedents and, when war broke out between
France and Britain in 1793, subsumed his own sympathy for
the French Revolution to successfully administer a policy of
• William H. Seward served Presidents Abraham Lincoln and
Andrew Johnson as Secretary of State (1861-69). He helped
keep France and Britain from recognizing the Confederacy
during the Civil War, persuaded France to withdraw her
troops from Mexico after that war ended, and successfully
engineered the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867.
• George C. Marshall served as Secretary of State (1947-49)
for President Harry Truman. The first professional soldier
ever to become Secretary—and the man who held the post for
the shortest time among the top ten—he helped establish the
postwar policy of containment. He promulgated the Truman
Doctrine that provided military aid for Greece and Turkey,
developed the Marshall Plan for rebuilding postwar Europe,
and helped foster the Organization of American States and
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
• Daniel Webster, one of only two Secretaries of State to
hold non-consecutive terms, served under three Presidents:
William Henry Harrison, John Tyler (1841-43) and Millard
Fillmore (1850-52). He negotiated the Webster-Ashburton
Treaty of 1842, averting war with Britain over Maine’s
boundary, and asserted America’s right to recognize Hungary
and other popular governments in Europe. .
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the text click here:
what “the problem” is that she should have spent the next 4
years working on, take your pick: Continuing violence in
Iraq and a loss of influence over what happens in that
country, the ongoing war in Syria and how its outcome could
dramatically affect America’s position in that part of the
world, Iran’s increasing influence over Iraq, Iran’s
continuing influence over Afghanistan’s governing leaders,
Iran’s nuclear efforts, North Korea’s nuclear ambitions,
China’s aggressive bullying efforts to gain control over the
islands in the South China Sea... you have read it all here
before. The problem is that while the problems continue, no
one in the State Department seems to be doing anything about
them. Are we really that ineffective on the world's stage?
Have we become another France? - To return to your place in
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To perform a
quick search for a VIETNAM, KOREA or WWII era class (such
a graduate (such as: Green), or a site search, follow
A search, for example, for Richard
Green, will result in all the "Richard" entries,
all the "Green" entries, and all the "Richard Green"