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June 2016

— This Month —

Alive And Well...

The Memory, That Is...

And...

Terror In Little Saigon

A War Isn't Over Until It's Over

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MISSION STATEMENT

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 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

Last month we promised you that from now until the fall season we would provide you with a summer of entertainment—a few videos to stimulate your mind, but other than that no more deep thinking cognitive discussions about America’s government, military or the people who lead these things. Just a summer of relaxation.

Still, you can’t blame us if on occasion we point out a few things that you should keep an eye on. This month we have one you may want to be aware of, and we’ll talk of it briefly here, before moving on to the videos and fun stuff.

That item is our recent discovering that Russian schools are in a push to give K - 12 students army training. Yup, the “enemy” is preparing for something, although what it is we can’t quite say.

Our information says that schoolchildren in Russia will soon be taught a variety of military skills, such as maintaining firearms and combat awareness… all part of a new drive by the country's defense ministry. The training will be provided by a revived Soviet-era organization called Yunarmiya, or Young Army, and was launched this past 22 May as a pilot scheme in the city of Yaroslavl. If it works out, the program will go nationwide in September.

What’s up?

We had a chance to take a closer look at the training regimen, and it apparently will include things like assembling assault rifles, shooting and parachute jumping, as well as theoretical subjects such as military history and tactics.

Shooting and parachute jumping for high school kids? Really?

As part of the program students will wear uniforms, and be assigned to units that will have their own "headquarters" and banners. While training will begin at the very earliest level of schooling, the focus will intensify once kids reach 10 years of age, at which point they will receive increasing levels of military skill training until they reach 14. From that point forward the intensity will really kick in, until they reach 18. By the time they are 18, they should be as good at military drills and combat training as any Russian soldier fresh out of boot camp.

Boys and girls will both be included. However, while social pressure will be applied to bring everyone, nationwide, into the program, officials have said that attendance will not be compulsory... just based on peer pressure. All of this, of course will be in addition to normal school teaching and lessons.

What the purpose is, we don’t know… but in some ways we think this might be a good thing for America too. Based on some of the kids we meet these days, America seems full of self-centered wusses with no greater aim in life than to live with mom and dad, stay on their health insurance plan for as long as they can, and become another Kardashian or reality star at some point in their life.

In Russia’s case, whether the aim is raise real people instead of self engrossed egos... or to reinforce and underwrite the surge in nationalism that began with the annexation of Crimea (in 2014), the result is sure to be a more confrontational country once these militarized children reach maturity. Looking down the road, if America intends to hold its own in the world, it needs to start now to strengthen discipline in its own youth, as well as raise the prestige of being a part of the U.S. Military.

Ok, that's enough.

Now back to the summer fun: first on our list is the article below. Based on the military background of Army Signal OCS graduate Don Mehl, OCS Class 44-35, it tells the story in words and audio of how the technology Don helped bring to life as a Signal Corps Officer in WWII is as ubiquitous today as synthesized pop music. Enjoy it, and our thanks to Don for sending the story along to us.

Following that, take a look at the video we have for you on the Vietnam War. “Vietnam War” you ask, “I thought that was over?” Nope, not exactly… well, our part is, but the part where the Vietnamese people stop fighting each other seems to be still going on.

Enjoy.

Managing Editor


 

Alive And Well

Don Mehl, Army Signal OCS Class 44-35

The Memory, That Is...

During WW2 there were about 120 million people in the USA; today there are about 330 million. That means that most of the people who are alive today were not born yet when WW2 ended. WW2 is history to them. Of 16 million people involved in WW2, less than 700,000 are still with us and the number is declining rapidly. As far as I know, I am the only remaining officer who was in the 805th Signal Service Company out of 85. Still interest in the great war seems to be increasing. 

During WW2 the 805th Signal Service Company installed and operated a top secret voice encryption system for the military and government leaders of our country whose existence was secret until 1976. In the three decades following WW2 most of the technologies developed during the war had been publicized. However, because of the secrecy that was maintained, the Signal Corps system known as SIGSALY didn’t get much attention until the 1980’s. Then, I released the book TOP SECRET COMMUNICATIONS OF WW2 that fully described the technical design and applications of SIGSALY as well as SIGTOT, the secret teletype system used by our top leaders. Writers and others got interested.

The many technical breakthroughs and patents developed in the process of inventing SIGSALY led to many new products.  Among these are our modern smart cell phones. The digitization and compression of the cell phone signal evolved from the design of SIGSALY. 

But there was another technology that I or others had not thought of. A radio production company that produces radio programs for PBS read this and decided to produce a radio program about it. I talked to the producer for an hour and a half on the telephone. The result of this and the other research done by the producer resulted in the radio program that you can listen to on this website.

Continued at top of page, COLUMN AT RIGHT

 


 

Who will YOU vote for? 


 

Vietnam Campaign Ribbons

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

Update 30 May – Happy Memorial Day. As you enjoy your barbecue and beers this Memorial Day keep in mind that on this very day—today, May 30, 2016—over 1,800 WWII Vets will die. Think of it: 1,800 today, and then another 1,800 tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that... and so on. That's the rate at which these best of the best are disappearing. Please, take a moment during your day today to find a quiet spot and take a knee. Say a prayer for them... a prayer of thanks that when America needed these men of the greatest generation, they were there for us.

Update 1 May Vietnam Vets are pushing the VA to link Bladder Cancer to Agent Orange. If you suffer from Bladder Cancer, keep yourself informed on their progress. October 2015 reunion pictures

Continued from left column... 

Click on the Audio Player below to listen to the radio broadcast of the story “VOX EX MACHINA” (voice from a machine)...

 

...or better still, jump to our supporting webpage that provides this audio, plus the written story that goes along with it.Jump to Vox Ex Machina webpage

The memory of WW2 is still alive and well.

Don Mehl, Class 35-44.

- - - - -

Editor's Note:

Copies of Don's excellent book TOP SECRET COMMUNICATIONS OF WW2 are available on our PX page. Just click the title underlined in green above to get there.

And when you finish, be sure to read Don's personal biography by clicking here.  
 


 

Terror In Little Saigon

•   •   •   •

A War Isn't Over Until It's Over

This month our article comes to you courtesy of ProPublica, an online journal that conducts truly excellent investigative journalism.

Of interest to us is a story they did back in November, 2015, on how after us American troops came home, the South Vietnamese government collapsed, and the "organized" war in Vietnam ended, many South Vietnamese civilians and former ARVN soldiers just kept on fighting.

It turns out that their thinking was that just because everyone said that the war was over, that didn't make it so. From their perspective, as South Vietnamese civilians and ex-ARVN military men now country-less in their own homeland, if they were going to have to live under a repressive government bent on taking revenge on them, one that they despised, then maybe they should just keep on fighting.

And many of them did.

Not surprisingly, this kind of behavior happens at the end of many civil wars. One war ends, while another begins, just in a different form. Those on the losing side of the war take to the woods, and take on the role of revolutionary or guerilla fighters.

In Vietnam’s case, this was the situation, with many ex-ARVN and pro-South Vietnam civilians taking on the role that the old Viet Cong used to have… one of fighting against the incumbent government. Except this time it was no longer the old Viet Cong guerillas fighting against the Republic of Vietnam (Vietnamese: Việt Nam Cộng Hòa), but the new losers of the Vietnam War—the ex ARVN soldiers and those civilians that still wanted freedom from the North—against the Hồ Chí Minh founded Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The Vietnam War EndsFor those of us who at the time were freshly back in America, none of this seemed important. First, we were no longer in Vietnam, crawling around with an M16 across our chest, looking for Charlie; and that was good. Second, the war itself was over, and in a way that was good too… although it didn’t sit well with us that our side lost—lost as in our government in Washington crumbled before the world, turned yellow, turned its back on those who gave their life in the Vietnam War, and told Kissinger to toss in the towel the next time he met with his buddy Lê Đức Thọ.

Even so, for us, being safely home and undergoing an occasional incident where some do-gooder spit on us because we served, was far better than getting ready for another deployment to Nam. It was of little interest to us then whether our former Vietnamese allies took to the jungles to carry on the war, or not. It was now their war, and maybe it should have always been so.

The swamps of VietnamWhat never occurred to us though... never in a million years... was that these same allies that we left behind might carry their counter-revolutionary revolution to America. That is, if they—our former South Vietnamese allies—were going to take to the woods of the Central Highlands or the swamps of the Mekong Delta (Vietnamese: Miền Tây) to continue the war, and try to do to the new North Vietnamese rulers what the Viet Cong did to them for the past 25 years, then that was their business, not ours. Our war was over.

What we didn’t expect though was that they would bring their counter-revolutionary revolution here, to America. Yet that’s just what they did.

The story of what the consequences were to this new Vietnamese civil war coming to America are told below, in a joint report written by ProPublica and put to video by Frontline. Enjoy it.

Thinking back on it now, it makes sense that with so many South Vietnamese refugees coming to America when the war ended, it was only natural that many would bring with them not only a hatred of the Hanoi regime, but a determination to win back the country they were being driven from. Some were bound to arrive with an unwavering commitment to form alliances in America, among similar minded refugees, aimed at destabilizing and destroying the newly forming government back in their homeland. After all, we Americans may have stopped fighting, but that didn’t mean they had to too.

Consider the situation: where does it say that if you lose on the battlefield you have to put your weapons down and start saluting the new leader? If you believe in your cause, then by all means, go on fighting… every way you can.

Isn’t that what George Washington did after his disastrous summer of 1776 New York Campaign? He didn’t give up and go home, he rallied his troops and prepared to take it to the British in the coming spring. And in the mean time, he dispatched his guerilla fighters to harass the British's Hessian Mercenaries and lure them south to Trenton, where he famously defeated them on December 26, 1776, in one of the most decisive victories of the Revolutionary War... a war that the British thought they had just won in the battle for New York.

The fact of the matter is, when a revolutionary wars end, more often than not the two enemies just swap sides. The old revolutionary is now the new government, and the believers in the old government become the new guerilla fighters.

 Time: 00:53:01 

That’s just what happened when the Vietnam War ended… except—as we said—the new South Vietnamese guerillas not only fought on in Vietnam, they brought their fight here to America.

Watch the video above; you’re sure to be shocked when you learn about this American Vietnam War redux going on in your own back yard all these years—one you probably never knew anything about. You'll gain a new perspective on the people you both fought along side of and against: the Vietnamese people.

U.S. Army Signal Corps

Our thanks to both ProPublica and Frontline for their allowing us to reproduce their joint article here. ProPublica granted us this license under their Steal Our Stories policy, a Creative Commons license which allows organizations like the U.S. Army Signal Corps OCS Association to reproduce the content and media they developed. You can read the original online three part ProPublica story, in full, by clicking here.Link to ProPublica

     

 

 

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