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August 2015

— This Month —

Mint Julep Humor

Plus... In Defense Of The Stars & Bars

And...

Signal Corps Successes

How Seven Signal OCS Graduates Built The 103rd Infantry Division’s Signal Company
An Epilogue

Plus...

America Needs Real Cyberwarfare Capabilities

The Signal Corps Should Provide Them

- - - - -

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. 


 

Mint Julep Humor

From the desk of the Editor

Plus... In Defense Of The Stars & Bars

This being August, and hot… it’s not too surprising that what most of us want is just to be left alone. Alone to sit on the porch, maybe sip a mint julep … and… well, just be left alone.

One mint julep...Everyone we talk to is just tired of it all… all the crap on TV, the blustering of the politicians, the lies our government tells us, laws that aren’t enforced, illegals taking over the country, political correctness gone mad, the Army recruiting transgenders, government agencies incompetent beyond measure, American citizens turning on each other, and on and on.

It never ends. It’s tiring. It’s summer. And we need a break.

That being the case, here it comes, here’s your break: a little summer humor for you. Summer humor penned by a Northern Yankee... at the expense of our Southern friends.

Long live the South, and the strange way y'all talk.

Florida

A Florida senior citizen drove his brand new Corvette convertible out of the dealership. Taking off down the road, he pushed it to 80 mph, enjoying the wind blowing through what little hair he had left.

"Amazing," he thought as he flew down I-95, pushing the pedal even more.

Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw a Florida State Trooper, blue lights flashing and siren blaring. He floored it to 100 mph, then 110, then 120. Suddenly he thought, "What am I doing? I'm too old for this!" and pulled over to await the trooper's arrival.

Pulling in behind him, the trooper got out of his vehicle and walked up to the Corvette. He looked at his watch, then said, "Sir, my shift ends in 30 minutes. Today is Friday. If you can give me a new reason for speeding—a reason I've never before heard—I'll let you go."

The old gentleman paused, then said: "Three years ago, my wife ran off with a Florida State Trooper. I thought you were bringing her back.

"Have a good day, Sir," replied the trooper.

Georgia

The manager of the golf course at Fort Gordon, Georgia, was confused about paying an invoice, so he decided to ask his secretary for some mathematical help.

He called her into his office and said, "Y'all graduated from the University of Gaa-jia and I need some help. If I wuz to give yew $20,000, minus 14%, how much would you take off?"

The secretary thought a moment, and then replied, "Everthang but my earrings."

Louisiana

A senior citizen in Louisiana was overheard saying, "When the end of the world comes, I hope to be in L'oo-ziana."

When asked why, he replied, "I'd rather be in L'oo-ziana 'cause everythang happens in L'oo-ziana 20 years later than in the rest of the world."

Mississippi

The young man from Mississippi came running into the store and said to his buddy, "Bubba, somebody just stole your pickup truck from the parking lot!"

Bubba replied, "Did y'all see who it was?"

The young man answered, "Nope, but I got the license number."

Japanese Signal Corps WWII



 

Signal Corps Successes

103rd Signal Company

The Final Chapter How Seven Signal OCS Graduates From Class 42-06 Built The 103rd Infantry Division’s Signal Company
Part 5 - Epilogue –

Over the past several months we have presented a four part series that followed the 103rd Signal Company, a unit created to support the 103rd Infantry Division in its fight across Europe, during WWII. Last month we finished the story, following the 103rd right up to the VE Day celebrations that the Company participated in, in Austria. This month we offer you a short Epilogue to the story. In it we follow the men of the 103rd from their wrapping up activities at the end of the war in Europe, to their return home to America.

- - - -

The war was over. Suddenly, everything changed. Where before the men of the 103rd saw dour faces and an enemy around every corner, now they saw smiling faces and welcoming hands from the villagers of the towns they occupied.

Innsbruck, Austria - 1945On May 12, 1945, the unit moved to Innsbruck, Austria, passing through Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Seefeld on the way. What they found in Innsbruck was a tourist-like playground, backed by some of the most majestic mountains and peaks imaginable. Yet in spite of this beauteous scenery, the men had to be careful, as Innsbruck had been one of the key areas where just prior to the end of the war German units had tried to hold the pass to guarantee that their men from the Italian theater could make it back into Germany before the war ended, and now… now that the war was over… those same Germans were trying to surreptitiously help high ranking Nazi leaders sneak back out of Germany to Italy, in an effort to escape capture completely.

Why were these high ranking Nazis trying to sneak through the mountain passes, out of Germany, into Austria and on towards Italy? To escape being recognized for what many of them were… war criminals; for if they were recognized and captured, they would be held for war crimes trial. For these men, instead of facing the Allies in Nuremburg, it was much better to try and sneak out of Germany and into Austria, and from there then find their way on to Brazil, or some other safe haven.

For those of our readers that saw the recent movie Inglourious Basterds, much of the true story behind the escape of the fictional character, Colonel Hans Landa, the Jew Hunter in the movie, to Allied territory, actually took place with the real Jew Hunter crossing from Germany into Austria, through the passes that surround Innsbruck.

The 103rd Signal Company then, being responsible for much of the early stage occupation duty in the Innsbruck area, spent much of its time Nazi hunting. For the men of the 103rd, their duty was surreal… high ranking Nazi officers trying to sneak through the passes at night—usually to Bolzano, Italy, through the Brenner Pass, via a cable car ride to a skiing resort above Innsbruck—while during the day comely local girls would dress in red and white Tyrolean garb, and prance around the town hanging banners, dancing with the soldiers, and otherwise welcoming the Americans.

The entire scene was bizarre.

– Germans from all sorts of units found themselves stuck in Austria, unable to get back into their own country, now that the war was over and Austria was once again a separate country.

– American soldiers found themselves with nothing to do, except make work as part of their garrison duty. Some of them took to making baseball diamonds and setting up teams and leagues around Innsbruck. Others tried to get themselves reassigned to units where their own “points” would qualify them for early rotation back to the States. Still others spent their nights carousing in the bars formerly reserved for German officers, enjoying the local color that frequented these bars, and sleeping off hangovers the next day. Others spent day after day driving around the countryside, policing up abandoned Italian Army signal equipment, and cataloging it. Most however just sat around, worrying about the war in Japan.

Captain Beck, one of the 7 original graduates of Army Signal Corps OCS Class 42–06, and the Commanding Officer of the 103rd Signal Company, spent much of his time capturing his thoughts regarding the lessons he learned via his Company’s most recent work in the concentration camps they discovered. In one of his letters home to his wife, Roz, he told his thoughts. His writing paints a stark picture of the reality of war:

“When the seventh army rolled thru Germany they liberated many thousands of people from concentration and labor camps. Some of these "displaced persons" (DP's as they are called) attached themselves to Army units to work in messes and other duties for the price of assured eating. The Signal Company picked up a few in this manner, also. They work in our mess as KP's, thus eliminated a KP roster made up of the men from the company. Two of these DP's work in the officer's mess. They are all hard workers doing anything they are told. About three of the DP's are Jews; one each Hungarian, Polish and Russian. In my initial interview with these people for screening purposes, I had to know what camps they were in, their family background, education and general information of that nature to determine their integrity, honesty and medical history.

“I have seen a number of concentration and labor camps (a labor camp is called "a lager"). By contact with the DP's I have a fairly comprehensive knowledge and realization of what went on. By actually seeing, hearing and talking to men who underwent all these cruelties, Roz, I have found that the resultant understanding and feelings are relatively different from that which you read in a magazine article or see in the newspaper. It is not a story that someone wrote and I (or you) am reading it back home. I am, instead, experiencing it first hand. 

“Two of the boys [who work in the 103rd’s mess area] are now 18 years old. They were placed in the Levant Organization when they were 15. For three years they were molded into fighting units. Units that were being prepared to fight against the allies. They are Hungarian and escaped shortly before the war ended." 

Continued at top of page, COLUMN AT RIGHT

 


 

No obstacle...


 

Vietnam Campaign Ribbons

This page last updated 1 August 2015. New content is constantly being added. Please check back frequently.

Update 4 July 2015 Get your copy of the 2015 Association Reunion package TODAY! Click here to Download Reunion Form a hard copy, or click here to go to the Official 2015 Reunion Website to see a list of current attendees, and complete your registration there.

 

 

 

Continued from left column... 

“There are three that have been with us since Bidigen, Germany. Then they were frightened—scared of something. In stripped pants and tunic they were skinny, drawn and had all the indications of malnutrition.

“These three are starting to look good now. All have put on a little weight and their skin is smoother, rather than the parched, drawn layer of epidermis that resembled shoe leather that has been worn out.

Dachau“Ernst is one of the three. He is a Hungarian Jew. He is 23 years old. He has been in six concentration camps and it has been only sheer fate that he is alive today. He was in Dachau—one of the worst concentration camps of all. He said that here 5,000,000 (that figure is five million, make no mistake about it) Jews were burnt to death over a period of 6 years in 12 human ovens. I have seen the ovens, he spoke about, at Buchenwald. Ernst has been beat up so many times that it was like exercise after while. He is blond with blue eyes. His hair is close cropped in crew fashion. Somewhere along the line he picked up a college education. 

“He is very intelligent, very sharp and quick to pick up words in the English language. He has no relatives and all his family have been killed, so until we go somewhere he is content to work in the kitchen.

Lublin“Boris is 20. He was put in the Lublin camp because he didn't believe in Nazism. He is Russian. He is a big husky champ with wavy blond hair and great big hands. He looked like an overgrown skeleton when I first saw him around Shongau. His muscles are gradually taking shape and eventually he'll look like a full-back on a college team. He speaks German with a Russian accent so I have a hard time understanding him. After Lublin, Boris hit the circuit of four more concentration camps. His big hands show the scars where he has been knifed and mauled. He smiles through a set of broken white teeth when he describes how he escaped from one set of SS guards.

“There are more, but, their experiences border on the same brutal, gruesome, hideous and unbelievable happenings. These are those that are left from the many millions that were killed in the slaughter houses of Europe. The Roman empire was a side show to the 20th century rape of Europe and Hannibal was a minor leaguer compared with Adolph Hitler, Vidkun Quisling, Julius Streicher and the hosts of collaborators.

“Europe, because of them, is a continent in ruins. Its countries torn apart; its cities a graveyard of rubble and dead and stink; its people starving, confused, lost.”[1]

Read More

 


 

America Needs Real Cyberwarfare Capabilities

Cyberwar is real...

The Signal Corps Should Provide Them

In late July the White House announced that while it had proof that China was behind the massive data theft of U.S. government personnel records from the Office of Personnel Management, the Obama administration was not going to level public accusations against China, nor take any action against it.[2]

What’s going on here?

A foreign country hacks into U.S. government computers, steals all of the data that it can make off with, and America does nothing about it? “We have chosen not to make any official assertions about attribution at this point,” said a White House official.

This author, hearing of this, went nuclear… wondering what has come of our country… or more to the point, what the hell is up with President Obama, taking no action on something as serious as this? Is this yet another example of his lack of backbone?

Trying to understand what is going on, we embarked on a little research of our own. This article is the result of that research; it talks of why the White House is taking no action, and more importantly, looks into the issue of whether what China and so many others are doing to America is little more than espionage, or what is beginning to be called cyberwarfare. Or put more simply, what is cyberwarfare, and what is it not?

To begin with, what we found is that what China did constitutes nothing short of cyberwarfare. It’s not espionage, nor is it a simple act of hacking. Instead, it’s a brazen example of cyberwarfare, and you, our readers, as former Signal Corps Officers, should take interest in this new world of cyberwarfare because—to a large extent—we are the reason why America has nothing it can turn to except a ham-fisted approach to fighting it.

As regards President Obama and his decision not to directly attack China over its actions, with only minimal investigation we were able to determine that he was right in what he did. Making a Federal case over China being the culprit behind the hacking would have required him to disclose to the public how he knew this to be true… which in turn would have required that he expose details of the U.S.’ own espionage and cyber capabilities… which would in turn would have prompted the Chinese to come up with ways to block our ability to break into their communication systems… which in turn would have hurt us more than them in the end.[3]

That being the case, the President was right to do little more than make it known that we know it’s China that was behind the attack, without going any more deeply into the issue. Our apologies to him—this one time—for having doubted the strength of his spinal column.

But what of America not fighting back against something as obvious as an act of cyberwarfare? What are the rules of engagement on issues like this, and how did they come about? Perhaps more to the point, if America is going to retaliate, who is going to do it? The Signal Corps?

At this stage, that's not likely... but why not? What has become of our role of being the “go to guys” when it comes to all things having to do with communication and the means by which information is generated, stored, protected, sent and received?  

The Interview - movieIn December 2014 Sony Entertainment's computers were hacked by North Korea, and its private data stolen... presumably in an attempt to stop Sony from releasing a worthless, lame comedy (The Interview) about North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-un. With that incident America lost its first cyberwar. At the rate we are going in preparing for the next one, we will continue to lose every one we face for decades to come.

We think it's time America do something about taking cyberwar seriously, and create a cyberwarfare unit capable of addressing the threats we face, not to mention the attacks that are taking place daily. In our view, the amateur response America has put together so far, in the form of what is being called Cyber Command, is going to lead to disaster. Cyber Command's very existence shows how little we understand about what cyberwarfare is. If something is not done soon to create a new form of  integrated civilian-military war fighting and defense capability—aimed at cyber activities—America could find itself relegated to the scrap heap of has-been countries unable to adjust to the changes of time. Strangely, in this case, a change that America's own DARPA brought to the world when it brought the internet to society.[4]

As we stand today cyberwarfare enacted by our enemies puts our economy at threat, our political system, our ability to govern and manage ourselves, our privacy and security, our system of beliefs, and in fact our very way of life. Think not? Then read on, and see how America's enemies can use social forms of communication to undermining all of these... including what your children and grandchildren think.

Read More

 


 

OCS Wisdom

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Jul 15     Aug 15     Sep 15     Oct 15     Nov 15     Dec 15


August Crossword Puzzle

Army Signal CorpsTheme: German War TermsArmy Signal Corps
Game 2 of 2

Hint: Join 2, 3 and 4 word answers together
as one complete word.

 For answer key to this month's puzzle,
see icon at bottom of page




Footnotes:

[1]  Quotation from the excellent book 103d Infantry division Signal Company Remembrances; 1918 – 1945, by William F. Barclay. The book is currently in the process of being placed online, and is available in partial form at this link: Jump to this link. Text and pictures are being added to the online version by the son of Captain Beck, a graduate of Army Signal Corps OCS Class 42-06. It is believed that the text quoted above originally appeared in the private letters of Captain Back, now in the possession of his son. - To return to your place above, click here. Return to your place in the text.

[2] July 22, 2015, 1:02 AM, US not accusing China in data theft, won't retaliate, Washington Post.  - To return to your place above, click here. Return to your place in the text.

[3]  In other words, we know the Chinese did it because we were able to break into their government data centers and find the files that were stolen. Thus, telling the world we could prove the Chinese did it and providing proof of what they did would only have ended up with our showing the Chinese the extent to which our own hacking capabilities extend, and how they work. Doing such might have made good press, but we would have shot ourselves in the foot in the process. Put simply: Obama made the right call. - To return to your place above, click here. Return to your place in the text.

[4] The key phrase in this paragraph is "integrated civilian-military war fighting and defense capability." It's important, because it gets to the heart of the fact that unlike other forms of warfare, cyberwar can not be fought without bringing the civilian sector into the equation. Cyberwar can not be fought by the military alone, it must also have civilian "soldiers" working within civilian organizations, playing the role of cyber-warriors, if this form of combat is to be effective. This means that America must embark today on building a new, hybrid form of Army unlike any that it has created in the past. One need only look at the necessity of protecting the digital control systems that operate America's oil and gas pipelines to see the truth in this... or if you prefer, the need for the U.S. military to know and be able to control the extent to which American automobiles can be hacked such that third parties, using nothing more than computers connected to America's mobile telephone network, can drive them off of the road.  - To return to your place above, click here. Return to your place in the text.

 


 

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