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— This Month —
Have Signed Up For Your Fake Army Benefits Yet?
Part III — in·tel·li·gence – /in’telijəns/
From WWII To The NSA
- - - - -
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.
Have You Signed Up For Your Fake Army
Colonel (Ret) Max Holt, the President of
the Army Signal Corps Officer Candidate School
Association, sent along a memo received from
an Army buddy of his. We thought it important
enough to rewrite and post here:
If you have access to AKO
(Army Knowledge Online) you should be aware that
several websites are posing as legitimate sites
offering information and help with Army
benefits. Most of these sites promote scams by
purporting to offer users access to unclaimed
benefits in order to collect personal
information about the person using the site.
According to officials, one of these (which we
will not name here so that you do not
inadvertently go to it) exists to “collect soldiers' Army
Knowledge Online (AKO) email accounts and
passwords." Since most military people believe
that AKO Online is a secure gateway for
soldiers, civilians, retirees and family
members, they feel safe when providing
information via the AKO service. Unfortunately,
while this is generally true, AKO Online, like
all website portals, can be “spoofed,” causing
unwitting users to think that they are on an AKO
accessed website, when in reality they are on a
clone-site that looks, feels, and acts like the
real site… except that it is not.
What's the purpose of this spoofing? It's to capture personal
data about you, by tricking you into inputing
information that you would not otherwise give to
aware then: if you use AKO, know and watch out
for sham sites that look and feel like the real
thing but are not. One way you can reduce your
risk when using AKO is to not only not open and
read, but also delete eMails that either
look suspicious or are unsolicited. Whatever you
do, do not respond to these eMail or chat
Further, if an eMail has an attachment that ends
in “.exe” (thus indicating that is contains an
executable software program), never ever download it or
run the program/file unless you are absolutely
certain who it came from. Generally speaking, if
you cannot confirm the identities of the people
who send eMails and files to you, don’t open them
even if you recognize the name of the person who
sent it. Either contact that person to confirm
that they sent you an eMail with an attachment,
or delete it.
As for the fake benefits sites,
while in each case what they offer you to pull
you in is different,
generally the scam works based the concept that
the website will help you collect unclaimed and
accumulated benefits that you know nothing about
but are due to you. What they tell you is that
the only thing you have to do to collect these
benefits or money is tell them a bit more about yourself.
In the end, that’s what they are really after:
private information about you, your family, and
your identity credentials.
Don’t fall for it, or
for other similar claims. Especially, don’t fall for
the trick that they have been hired by the Army
to find you, so that the Army can finally give
to you the money you deserve... and that
the Army has so diligently and kindly been
holding for you for all of these years.
careful out there.
As for where the real Army
Benefits site is located, you can get to it by
clicking on this picture:
thanks to Lieutenant Colonel (R) Holt for
bringing this to our attention.
Part III – Signals
4 icon above to play video -
If you‘ve been reading
along with us then you know that this is Part
III of a IV part series of articles on the
evolution of COMINT and SIGINT and the roles
that both the
Signal Corps and the NSA played in that process.
Since Part I we have been following the progression of
these two capabilities, from what they were in the mid 1900s
when they first took substance, to
what they have become today... and the
tradecraft that has grown up around them.
You also know that
what spurred us to write these articles is the
need to establish a foundation from which we can
delve into the strange behavior being exhibited
of late by the NSA, an agency that grew out of
early Signal Corps COMINT and SIGINT efforts.
particular, we are trying to fathom whether the
NSA has abrogated its mission or not… a mission first
developed by the Signal Corps but subsequently
bastardized along the way to the point that
perhaps it’s time to revisit the whole issue of
what exactly America wants and needs out of its
signals intelligence gathering efforts, and what
freedoms it is willing to sacrifice in order to
get it. Before we can do that however,
we need to finish our story of the evolution of
COMINT and SIGINT, and how it led to the creation
of the NSA. When we have done that then we can look more
closely at the NSA itself, and try to
understand not just what its mission is, but whether
the whole Edward Snowden issue suggests that it is
failing at it.
Here in Part III of our
story we continue tracking the process by which
the NSA came into existence, scrubbing from the
story all of the bright, clean sparkling
perspectives the NSA would have you see its
growth as having been, and looking instead at
the truth as we see it… that the NSA evolved out
of a power grab mounted by political appointees
more so than out of the need for a better way to
handle COMINT and SIGINT.
Last month in Part II of
this series we learned that by the end of WWII
there were two groups of American COMINT/SIGINT
organizations trying to figure out what the
world was saying, and what it meant. Though they
did not know it at the time, they were the
precursors of the future NSA. One was a Signal
Corps group called SIS, which stood for Signal
Intelligence Section; the other was a new
organization that had been set up to handle some
of the work the SIS did. It was called the
Special Branch of the Military Intelligence
The Signal Intelligence
Section spent most of its time on COMINT, while
the Special Branch spent most of its time on
SIGINT. Together their goal was to figure out
what the bad guys around the world were
thinking, planning and doing.
Note that we said “bad
guys.” At that point in time in America’s
history (merely 50 years ago) the idea of
listening in on what our allies were saying had
not yet come to the mind of the then George
Bushs or Barack Obamas. Back then, if you and
your country were on our team… i.e. an ally of
America… then that was all we needed to know.
From a policy standpoint,
in those days we simply did not listen in on the
personal telephone conversations of the leaders
of allied countries… or those of the wives of
the leaders of those countries, as America
recently caused to happen in the case of the
wife of the President of Indonesia. More so, in
those days America would never have stooped to
listening in on telephone conversations of
friendly governments discussing topics such
as the position they held on trade relations
talks that might be going on, or their view on
what intellectual properties they should acquire
to grow their country. Back then America still
had integrity. If you were an ally of America,
we treated you like one.
No so today.
friend and foe alike are really little more than
all potential foes. The Bush doctrine
established that fact after 9/11 when it
espoused that “the United States should depose
foreign regimes that represented a potential
threat to the security of the United States,
even if that threat was not immediate…”
On the surface, these
words sound like little more than a tough way of
saying don’t mess with us. But in the hands of a
national leader whose integrity is subject, this
kind of doctrine opens more flood gates for ill
will to be done on those whose friendship we
need than it closes on ‘potential’ terrorists.
By the standard of what is said in this
statement, the fact that nearly every country on
earth has at one time or another been on the
opposing side of a major world issue from
America makes it an almost a foregone conclusion
that every friend we have today is a ‘potential’
enemy for tomorrow, and therefore we should be
monitoring their communication at all time and
at levels... not just in the area of scooping up
what their citizenry is saying over their cell
phones, but most especially what the leadership
of these countries are saying on their own
telephones. Angela Merkel: be warned.
To see how insidious this is, if we take this logic down to
the mundane level and look at what is really being said, we
can see what the Bush doctrine really means and therein
understand how the Obama administration is applying it when
it comes to signals gathering and intelligence: Consider:
Today my wife is my friend. However, in the past we have
fought, and on many major issues she has vehemently opposed
me and broken my heart. Since she has a history of being a ‘potential’ threat to
my happiness by opposing me, ‘even though the threat is not
immediate,’ I should take action today to stop her from
hurting me in the future.
That being the case, I might as well monitor her
every communication, tracking who she talks with and when,
how long, with what frequency, judge the character of those
she talks with, and there from extract the probable cause of
her talking to them, extrapolate from all of this the
likely plans she is forming, and prepare to strike first to depose her,
rather than wait until she hurts me in the future… by
‘potentially’ breaking my heart again and taking my money
along with her beauty to a new beau.
Now that I think of it, while I’m at it, I might as well start looking today
for a new beau for myself.
This then is the Bush doctrine in its most basic form: don’t
cut anyone any slack, no matter how good a fried they were
in the past. Monitor every damned thing they do and plan for
This page last updated
1 March 2014. New content is constantly being added.
Please check back frequently.
1 March 2014 –
Major (R) William Feleciano, Signal Corps OCS Class
12-66, a life member of the Association, signed in
and sent us a short story of how as a Signal Officer
he gained local fame by inventing a rapid fire
device for Claymore mines. The story is fascinating, so be sure
to check it out. Click here
to jump to the page for OCS Class 12-66, then scroll
down to Major Feleciano's name and click on it.
Enjoy! And thanks William for sending along the
1 March 2014 –We've had lots of requests for copies of
the songs played on our
Devotional page, and have had to turn them down.
The truth is, they are copyright owned by the
artists and/or publishers, and while they don't mind
us streaming them here for you in honor of the Lord,
they aren't keen about us giving them away for free.
With that in mind, we've added a little 'perq' to
our website. It's called The Lord's Jukebox.
Beginning this month, if you take the time to read
our Devotional Page, you'll find a jukebox at the
bottom of it. If you click on it, you'll jump to a
new page where you can hear a compilation of all of
the Devotional Music that appears on our website.
Enjoy it... and don't forget to read Chaplain Max's
Devotional while you are at it.
1 February 2014 –
A few new pics of the 361 Signal Battalion and their
LLBN Signal Site at Cam Ranh Bay were sent in by
Specialist Arthur White, who served in the Unit. Our
thanks to Art for taking the time to send his shots
along, they are great pics to add to our archive.
You can see them on our Scrap Book page by clicking
on its link in the upper left column of this page.
Thanks again Art!
1 February 2014 –
Two excellent copies of discharge documents have
been received and posted. These documents were
originally issued to enlisted men who had
successfully completed their Signal Corps OCS
training, just prior to their being commissioned as
2nd lieutenants. The documents you will see here are
for Candidate John Cason of OCS Class 42-11. They
were sent in by his son John, who is in the process
of scanning and sending mini-bio information on his
Dad's time in the service. As we receive the
information we add it to a special page we are
building to hold John's Dad's files and pictures.
Our thanks to John for his dedication in archiving
his father's time in the service. To see the
documents, click this icon then scroll down the list
of names until you find John Cason. Click on his
last name and enjoy.
1 February 2014 –
Finally uploaded a new class picture for OCS Class
43-14. Sent in by Tom Kneeshaw back in May of 2013,
it somehow got lost in the clutter on our desk. It's
now loaded, along with identification of the members
of that class. Check it out... and thanks Tom. Our
apologies for the delays, age is slowing us down.
Continued from left column...
Why do we care about the Bush Doctrine? Because it sets the
tenor for what kind of COMINT and SIGINT should be being
scooped up and analyzed. It provides the guiding impetus and
authorization for not only the Presidential initiatives we
see taking place today, but the efforts the NSA is taking
when it snoops on us Americans.
The logic is clear, out there somewhere there is an American
who might ‘potentially’ turn on his government someday. To
make sure we find that person before he takes such action,
‘even though the threat is not immediate,’ we had better
vacuum up as much private information about every American
as possible, and store that meta data in a file somewhere,
so that we can get busy parsing that data via algorithms
until we finally uncover this potential,
One can only wonder, what has America come to?
But this was not always the case. Back at the end of WWII,
again, a mere 68 years ago, these kind of 'snoop on your
fellow Americans while you are surfing the world's airwaves'
things simply were not done. Back then, when the Signal
Corps was the primary collector of COMINT and SIGINT, the
only people that were spied on were those who posed a real
and existent threat to America. As a matter of policy, this
form of COMINT and SIGINT applied across the board… not just
to the Signal Corps and its military intercept and analysis
efforts, but also to any civilian government agencies that
found themselves listening in on the bad guys too. With that
in mind, it cannot be said that the reason American
civilians were not spied on back then was because it was the
military that was doing the spying, and not civilian
government agencies. The reason American civilians were not
spied on back then was that it simply was not done...
because there was then (and is now) no probable cause to
suspect that an unnamed American using his or her telephone
might be involved in a traitorous activity.
The fact is, as we said earlier, back then there were
actually two separate—but conjoined—organizations that were
tasked with working on the problem of data and communication
intercept and analysis. The Signal Corps’ SIS formed the
military side of this two sided equation, while the Special
Branch, nominally military in nature, formed the
civilian side of the equation, focusing on foreign traffic
from unfriendly countries, of the kind the U.S. State
department might be interested in.
For the most part, these two groups worked well together.
But, as one can imagine, the work they did often led to not
just a duplication of effort but an inefficiency that
reflected on the quality of the output they produced. And
here, in what seems like a minor issue, was born the bug
that eventually led to the establishment of the NSA... an
all powerful, overarching COMINT and SIGINT agency able to
go beyond the bounds of the Constitution.
The simple fact was that since the output these two agencies
were working on related to the interception, analysis and
decryption of enemy signals, a lower and slower quality of
output was not acceptable. Once this became clear to the
boys with scrambled eggs on their caps, it was inevitable
that these two groups’ separate efforts would be combined
into work to be done under the auspice of one agency.
When it was done however, to assure that nothing stood in
the way of the interception and analysis of enemy
communication, the people that brought them together
arranged for the leaders of the new group to hold near
dictatorial control over the task at hand…. that is, because
of the fact that the work being done was secretive,
oversight of the work would move from both the civilian and
military spheres of influence into the sphere of influence
of those who ran the agency itself. In other words, the fox
would now become responsible for the behavior of the
chickens in the henhouse it occupied.
What was this new agency? No, it was
not the NSA. Establishment of the NSA would come in the next
step of the progression of COMINT and SIGINT. For now, the
new agency would be called the Armed Forces Security Agency
(AFSA), and it would be established within the new
Department of Defense, the successor to the old Department
In all of this however, there is one key fact that runs
through the story of COMINT and SIGINT… for the most part,
all of the agencies involved were, up until this time,
military agencies, if not military units themselves. This is
important, because the reader should understand that from
its very earliest existence until today every group
involved, the NSA included, was formulated to meet
military needs. Even today, the NSA is an agency within
the Department of Defense whose job it is to support
military intelligence needs. One wonders then how it
seems to have grown to act like a self supporting,
independent agency akin to the Department of the Interior or
This time of day it’s always quiet. Looking out through the
fence, the tree line is still, as is the air… but more than
either of these is how quiet the world is. Not a sound.
When Charlie comes, he will bring the noise again. And the
air will be filled with sharp cracks, stomach churning
thuds, commands being hurled along the line, shots fired,
the rapid clatter of automatic weapons, M49s whumping, the
steady, staccato clack of AKs singing in unison, the shrill
screech of RPGs passing over head, Claymores going off, and
the sound of clumps of dirt raining down on the sand bag
covered corrugated roof that protects my head.
If the noise continues long enough the sound of Hueys will
join the tumult, and maybe a few 'go fasts' will
join in the fun too. And of course, by then, the drone of
the Birddog calling shots for the Arty boys over in Dalat
will be heard, as will their answer to his call, a steady
stream of 105s exploding 10 yards up in the air, outside the
perimeter. Then, after the artillery quiets a bit, the noise
will broaden all along the line… it will deepen and take on
dimensions… it will take on not three but four dimensions of
But I won’t hear any of it. Nothing.
For me combat has no sound. It is full of inestimable detail
but no sound. I can write of the details, like lines of
defense broken and shattered by a charge from outside the
wire… and how the men closed up, shook themselves off,
reformed and drove the sappers back. I can write of seeing
the Infantry Captain that commands our Signal site walking
the line as though it were a Sunday afternoon, patting my
Signal boys on the back and telling them how well they are
doing… laughing with impunity at the enemy, even as the
Captain’s face dripped blood from shrapnel, and his left arm
dangled unsteadily by his side. I can write of others and
their courage, and I can write of what I saw… the chaos that
a breach in our midst brings to the men around me. My eyes
are sharp and every detail is seen, catalogued, and filed in
my soul. But I cannot hear the noise that comes with it.
In combat I see things that no man sees. I see the curl in
the decal insignia on the front of the UH-1, flapping as
though it will rip itself off of the forward section it is
glued to, as the chopper skims over my head, the door gunner
smiling as he fires round after round into the dirt just
outside our perimeter, the paint on the skids beneath him
peeling. And the three little brown pebbles on the sandbag
to my left… sitting there for no known purpose, merely
waiting for a chance to annoy me when I lean my forearm on
that same spot, to support my M14 whose muzzle seems to
shake more with every minute that passes. And the lizard
that’s crawling along the ground not 3 meters from the
Claymore to the left of my position. I see things that no
other man sees. But I hear nothing.
While the world around me erupts in madness, I am untouched
by the disorder. My clothes are not cut, my skin is intact,
no blood sullies my body, no incident befalls me in this
firefight… nor those firefights that have passed, and as I
pray, none to come. I can write of the pain of others, but
of my own experience I only remember the exquisitely finite
march of one detail after another, searing themselves into
my brain… I know of the things I saw; but I remember no
If it were that combat were sound alone, then the whole
event would escape me… the fight would pass in absolute
silence. The yell of the enemy, the shouts of men along the
line, the noise of disorder and mayhem would go unnoticed by
my senses. They would go unregistered by my brain.
Three pebbles, a green lizard, a loose decal… things seen to
the smallest degree… but no sound. Only silence. Is it
possible for the whole of a man’s faculties to be
concentrated in the squint of his eye along the barrel, the
grip of his left hand along the stock and the curl of his
trigger finger through the guard, to the point that no other
The squint of your eye along the barrel, the grip of your
hand on the stock, and the curl of your finger through the
If you remember from OCS the principles of trajectory and
optics you know that with a rifle sighted in for 200 yards,
sighting-in two inches high at one hundred yards causes the
high point of the trajectory (top of the curve) to occur at
about that distance, (see graphic below). This high point is
referred to as the mid-range trajectory. We won’t talk of
military weapons here… instead we’ll try to be politically
correct and only speak of typical hunting caliber weapons,
of the kind we use here in upstate Vermont to hunt deer. Our
apologies to you liberals in the group, but we didn’t have a
hand sketch of a deer, so in the graphics below we
substituted one of a female VC. At 100 yards, from the
front, they look like they're about the same height as a
decent Vermont white tail buck anyway, so they'll do for our
For a decent hunting rifle, sighted-in to hit two inches
high at 100 yards, the first time a bullet fired from it
crosses the line-of sight will be at approximately 20 yards.
The next time it crosses the line-of-sight will be around
200 yards, and it will still be in the ascending
part of its trajectory.
As you may have learned in Vietnam, with your sights set up
this way you can hold on your normal aiming point out to
approximately 220 yards. While doing so may cause you to
strike your target an inch or two above or below your point
of aim, you will still strike your target and make a clean
kill... at least, for any distance within that range. The
kill zone this range covers is known as the
“point-blank-range,” since you can aim at the spot on the
enemy deer's chest that you
are trying to hit. As the bullet gets beyond that range, it
drops at an ever-increasing speed such that you will likely
miss your shot if you don’t compensate in aiming.
When you sight-in a rifle for 100 yards (below), the
mid-range trajectory occurs before the bullet
reaches the 100 yard mark. So, even though the bullet will
strike the point-of-aim at 100 yards it will be on the
descending side of its trajectory. In this case the
parabolic arc of the trajectory is already tilting downward,
as compared to that of a rifle sighted-in for 200 yards.
Because of this, if you’re aiming for a white tail deer that
inside your perimeter fence and charging up the hill at you
(or a VC for that matter), remember, for a
rifle sighted-in for 200 yards this significantly
shortens the point-blank-range and makes it necessary to for
you to use hold-over aiming points when aiming at targets at
much shorter distances.
Finally, don’t forget that as the space between the
hold-over aiming point and the point of desired bullet
impact becomes larger, it becomes more difficult to determine
how much to hold over the target. In these cases you are
severely limiting your ability to make most long range
shots. While this might not matter for the buck, since in
sport shooting it's o.k. to miss a few shots now and then,
if you're shooting at a female VC you might as well drop your rifle and
switch to an M79.
Trajectory data provided courtesy the DeerHuntersClub.com.
March's Crossword Puzzle
Parts of Rifles & Guns
Join 2 and 3 word answers together as one complete word.
For answer key to this month's
see icon at bottom of page
 Quoted from Wikipedia's
definition of the Bush Doctrine. See:
To return to your place in the
text click here:
 On September 18, 1947, the
Department Of War was dissolved and its duties reassigned to
the Departments of Army, Air Force and Navy. There, the
civilian administrative work done by the old Department Of
War fell under the auspices of an umbrella organization
called the National Military Establishment, or NME. In 1949
the NME changed its name to the Department of Defense, and
the military aspects of the administrative duties of the
then existing Departments of Army, Air Force and Navy were
turned over to the new DoD. Why all of this name changing
and assigning and reassigning of duties? In 1948, concurrent
with the establishment of the U.N., a requirement was put in
place that its members acknowledge the promulgation of “war”
as being illegal. Since promoting war was illegal, and since
none of the U.N.’s members were able to promote such wars,
this meant that the only resource left to them when it came
to the matter of the use of arms was to wait until a war
started and then defend themselves from the
aggressor nation. This in turn meant that nations no longer
would have wars, just actions related to defending
themselves. Ergo the requirement that the word “war” be
dropped from the name of any government agency that had it…
lest some other nation think that that agency had the
purpose of promoting war. As an aside, at the time of the
U.S.’ changing of the name of its DoW agency to that of a
DoD, every other member nation in the world changed their
War Department/Ministry to “Defense” too.
To return to your place in the
text click here:
To perform a
quick search for a VIETNAM, KOREA or WWII era class (such
a graduate (such as: Green), or a similar 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"