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— This Month —
By Your Leave... Sir!
Drop and give us
thirty... $30 that is!
you can, Sir?
A Peek Inside The Japanese Signal Corps Of WWII
Not all 18 year
old Japanese Signal Corps girls were Tokyo Rose...
Watch Your Language, Soldier!
- - - - -
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.
By Your Leave...
The Signal Corps OCS Association is still here
and so far still moving forward... Our goal is
to find all grads, to keep track of all that are
found and to maintain a complete TAPS roster for
all Signal OCS "eras" from WWII thru Vietnam...
In addition the Association hosts a reunion each
year.. and though the turn out has never been
GREAT, graduates, cadre and family members show
up in significant numbers to justify continuing
to have the reunions...
Oct 9-12 2015, the reunion will be in San
Antonio TX.. Members will receive their
registration packets sometime in late July or
early August... The Association continues to put
out a great newsletter (3 times a year) and
maintain a GREAT website!
However it goes without saying that this
Association would not exist without the support
of those who are part of our program and I'm
asking you to think about becoming a member or
renewing your membership.... your membership
will help insure that the mission is
accomplished. Please join, or
rejoin as the case may be, with us!!
I'm attaching an application form that I hope
you will use..... you don't need to fill out
DOB, Serial number, grad date, or class
number... I have all that information...
Donations are appreciated also... the Operating
Fund regularly takes some heavy hits.. The
Scholarship Fund at the moment is holding its
own, with over $50,000 in $1,000 grants given so
Join now and get an update on your
classmates and others you may have served
Major Richard Green, US Army Retired.
New or renew, plus working fund donations...
Scholarship fund donations...
Love letters, complaints,
Want A Peek Inside The Japanese Signal Corps Of
World War II?
Read the story of 18 year old—now
We recently ran across a Japanese blog site
where an elderly lady was orally recounting her
life in Tokyo during WWII. At the time of WWII she was a vibrant young
girl of 18 and in what was considered, in Japan,
her fourth year of junior high school. Wanting
desperately to help her country’s cause and
fight the Americans, and not being able to gain
a combat role, she talked a few of her friends
into coming along with her to one of the local
Tokyo recruiting station, where they would all
sign up for active duty service.
While her heart
was set on joining the Signal Corps (日本の信号軍団;
Nihon no shingō gundan), she didn’t expect to be
selected. The reason she thought she would not
make the cut was that of all of the
Japanese military units, getting into the
Japanese Signal Corps was among the hardest, due to
their requirements that recruits have extensive
knowledge of electronics. mathematics, written
and spoken forms of communication, secondary
languages, and the like.
No different than the U.S. Signal Corps, the
Japanese Signal Corps in WWII considered itself among
the best in Japan’s military. As far as they
were concerned, they comprised an
“engineering” combat arm, without whose
help no battle or war could be won.
So much was
this so that before the war the functions of the
Signal Corps were performed by communication
units of the Corps of Engineers… from whose
legacy the Japanese Signal Corps gained its
penchant for walking, breathing, thinking and
living engineering thoughts. Notwithstanding
this, it was clear within the Japanese Corps of
Engineers that there was a difference between
the break-it-and-make-it engineers and
those funny guys with the earphones on and wires
hanging from their heads.
So it was that while the
Japanese Corps of Engineers and the people
within it that performed signal duties were
close, it didn’t take long once World War II
started before the Japanese War Department
recognized that there was a difference between
the two... and that the role the Signal Corps played
was of far greater significance to national
defense than that of the Corps of Engineers. In 1941 that
difference resulted in the Japanese Military
spinning off the Signal Corps from the Corps of
Engineers, increasing its size and established it as a
functioning military arm of its own... under what
was then called the Inspectorate of
Communications. To top all of this off, the new
Inspectorate of Communications was then placed directly
under, and answerable to, the Japanese War Department
In essence then, the people who
comprised the Japanese Signal Corps found
themselves not only being spun off from the
Corps of Engineers—a part of the Imperial
Japanese Army (Kyūjitai: 大日本帝國陸軍, Shinjitai:大日本帝国陸軍,
Teikoku Rikugun; literally "Army of the Greater
Japanese Empire")—but becoming part of an element
that was tantamount to a completely separate arm
of the Japanese military. That is, much as any
nation’s Navy is considered distinctly and
organizationally separate and independent from
its Army, in World War II Japan created a Signal
Corps that was as equally independent of the
Japanese Army and Navy as anything ever created.
As the war began to unfold, the Japanese Signal
Corps held top shelf position, as an independent
arm of the military, answerable to itself and no
When formed the Japanese Signal Corps consisted
of two signal replacement regiments, a number of
signal (telegraph) regiments, line of
communication signal units, shipping signal
units, air signal units and divisions, regiments and numerous battalion signal
companies and sections to support them.
Some of these units were
unlike anything the U.S. Signal Corps ever
thought of. Units like the Shipping Signal Units were military
answerable directly to the Inspectorate of
Communications, and through them to the Japanese
War Department. For the most part, what they did
was oversee ship-to-ship and
ship-to-shore communications. As to why they
needed to exist, in part it was because
Japan is an island nation, and being able to
keep its civilian sea born transportation systems running
was critical to its survival.
With this in mind the shipping
carriers of Japan were given close scrutiny,
supervision in getting their job done. Typically composed of a
headquarters company and two operating
companies, personnel assigned to Shipping Signal
Units were assigned to maintain radio liaison
between transports and shipping establishments.
Strength wise, a company of this type would hold
about 300 personnel, while an entire regiment
had a TOE of 635 officers and
It was this kind of new, high profile
organization that peaked then Ms. Saeko Ehara’s
interest and caused her to organize her friends
and head off to join the Japanese military… and
its Signal Corps in particular. As to why; part
of the reason lay in the simple fact that her
older brother had just joined the Kamikaze corps
(he was drafted). In her mind, it was all really
simple… if her brother was going to die for his
country, so was she.
We won’t ruin her story for
you by telling it all here… instead we encourage
you to click on the video below and listen to
it yourself. It’s a short but heart rending
story, considering that the voice you hear is
that of an older Japanese lady clearly in her 80s if not
90s. Even so, her voice is strong and vibrant, with a sprightly
sound to it...
full of laugh and smiles that come clearly
through your speakers; yet kind as it is, you will not help but notice on occasion her
tone flows to
sadness, as her words reveal memories of a
cheerless, unfulfilled life during this time in her
We all know the outcome of
America’s war against Japan. What you will learn
from listening to this story is nothing new
about war… but much new when it comes to the
resilience of the human spirit. Here today is
the voice of an Obāsan who still laughs, still
remembers, and still cherishes her life… one
that began when she volunteered to become a member of her country’s Signal
Take a moment and listen to her: she speaks with
fondness of the military uniform they
gave her… pants, a skirt, silk
socks and leather shoes. Remember the
specialness of freshly broken starch in your OCS
days? And listen too when within a few
more heartbeats her voice falls, as surely a tear must
be coming to her eyes as she remembers the
sadness of war... as she speaks of sleeping at
her work station in the Signal Corps HQ at
Konoeshidan Shirebu, Takebashi (near
today's Arena For The Martial Arts, in central
Tokyo)—through America's night time B-29 bombing
raids. Missing the connection? Think of your own
long, introspective nights laying in your
sleeping bag in Cần Thơ, along the Chosin
Reservoir, or at Anzio.
We encourage you to listen to this audio-video.
If you do, it is best to make the video full
screen so that you can easily read the English
subtitles behind the spoken Japanese.
Editor's Note: Having researched and found this archive in the
deep web, we have no way of locating Obāsan
Ehara, but wish her a long and healthy
life, and thank her for her memories of a war
both of our countries learned much from.. about
the humanity of life, and how fragile it is.
Length of video: 09:29.0
Want to know more about the
Japanese Signal Corps of World War Two, peruse
our reproduction of a Confidential report on the
structure of the Japanese Signal Corps.
Originally produced by... you guessed it... the
U.S. Army Signal Corps, it outlines how the
Japanese Signal Corps of WWII was organized.
Watch Your Language, Soldier!
It appears that while the Army is enjoying its downtime from
fighting two full scale wars—waiting for the next one to
arrive—it is going to home-in on and try to fix some of the
social ills that it suffers from. You know what we’re
talking about here… those things that the military still
does… the kind that tend to be old school, not politically
correct, and drive Congresspersons crazy.
This page last updated 1 March 2015. New content is constantly being added.
Please check back frequently.
1 February 2015 –Terry Rushbrook, Signal Corps OCS Class
10-67 sent us an update and a short bio of himself.
posted his bio and a few of his pictures on a
special page which we linked to his name on his
Class Page. You can get to it by clicking here
and then scrolling down and clicking on his name.
The best part though is that Terry maintains
his own website, which has lots more content than
what we have posted. On it you can find stories,
poems and lots more pictures of his time in Vietnam.
Some of his pics of Cam Ranh Bay are especially
good. Check out his personal bio page, and then use
the link there to jump to Terry's website.
Continued from left column...
Apparently, after several recent visits to Army bases by some
of the newer Congresspersons that came into office recently,
some of them returned to Washington and threatened to hold a
series of Congressional hearings on military language, as
used in the Army. They said that in this day and age the way
the Army talks is simply outrageous and intolerable. They
complained that with the U.S. Army well on its way to the
full integration of women into combat roles, gays being
finally fully accepted in the barracks (including the older
open-toilet ones), and transgenders slowly
sashaying (oops) making
their way into useful MOS positions, it is no longer
acceptable for old school military cadre and Officers to be
using derogatory phraseology while on the job.
Seeing the writing on the wall—that if they did not act now
there were sure to be a new series of embarrassing
Congressional hearings— the guys with scrambled eggs on
their hats decided to act now and clean the Army up, before
hearings get started. If they didn’t act quickly, they
feared that the Army would only end up looking bad, perhaps
even to the point of Congress slashing its budget even more.
Since the complaints the new Congresspersons had all seemed
to deal with U.S. Army language, they decided to tackle the
problem head on. Last week they began circulating a proposed
list of phrases that will no longer be allowed by Army
personnel. Among them is one we just used ("head on"), as the
phrase seems to harbor a suggestiveness that new female
recruits might take offense at.
The list is still Top Secret at this stage, but with a
little digging we have been able to find out the following:
1) First Armored Division combat leaders will no longer be
able to use the phrase “chinks in the armor” when talking of
bad tactical plans of attack, especially if they find
themselves involved in combat with the Chinese.
2) Soldiers stationed in Japan will no longer be allowed to
describe the weather on base as having “a little nip in the
air.” This particular phrase was described as troublesome
because it not only could be construed as intending to
insult the height of the average Japanese, but also his
ancestry. Then too, there’s the problem of older Army
personnel thinking that the phrase means an attack by
Japanese aircraft is imminent, although it is not clear if
that also means that they think that all Japanese pilots are
small in stature too.
3) Soldiers stationed in cold climates… like the 10th
Mountain Division (Light Infantry) from Fort Drum, New York,
will be banned from saying they are going to “hit the
slopes” when heading off for routine mountain training. The
concern is that with more and more Asians moving into colder
U.S. climates… like that in upstate New York… this phrase
will incite violence on the part of local people with Asian
ancestry. On this one we agree that the words should be
banned from Army use, after all, everyone knows that Asians
all know kung fu. I’ve been in enough bar fights to know the
last thing you do is pick a fight with some diminutive, 3
foot 2 Asian who can kick the ceiling four times before you
can even get off of your bar stool (are you allowed to say
'stool' in mixed company?).
4) We don’t know why the Congressperson that visited
the Fort Richardson Army Post just outside of Anchorage took
offense when hearing this phrase, but it appears that when
one of the local Colonels assigned to show her around
apologized for it being “colder than a witch’s tit in a
brass bra,” she went apoplectic. We don’t know, perhaps the
phrase hit closer to home than we know. Maybe she wears
brass bras, then again, maybe she’s a
Wiccan. Either way, the Army has now banned the phrase,
no matter where you are, or how hot or cold it is when you
use it. To be honest, we don’t think the brass are worried
about the use of the phrase offending anyone, as much as
they are about preventing an uncontrollable fire fight with
an unknown enemy. In our view, they banned the phrase as a
preventive measure, since to our knowledge there are no
known Army defensive weapon systems intended for use against
offensive hordes of flying monkeys unleashed by a witch with
5) At Army training, administrative, procurement, and supply
bases phrases like “bang for the buck” are soon to be
banned. In this case the concern is that its old usage of
being a reference to getting the best value for the
taxpayer’s dollar on military procurement orders might be
replaced with a new meaning having something to do with linking bargain basement
prostitution services to women soldiers newly integrated
into the military. While a bit of a stretch, we suppose we can
see their point. After all, no one wants to offend our
female mess mates (Ah… are we allowed to call them that?
6) I don’t think we need to explain this one to you. Across
the Army the phrase “slit trench” is to be banned. Period.
Now that we think of it, you're probably not allowed to say
"period" either... not when talking of slit
trenches anyway. Strike that.
7) While none of the Congresspersons who set this whole
thing in motion objected to it, Army brass decided they
might as well act on the phrase “shoot the closest alligator
to the boat” before someone from PETA jumped on the
bandwagon and complained that the military’s lousy spray and
pray firing techniques are sure to injure well meaning local
animals... as evidenced by the phrase. Arguing with them and
trying to convince them that it means little more than “deal
with the most urgent problem first” would be a waste of
8) One phrase that did come up as being offensive was
"putting a finger in the dike". Apparently the
Congressperson who was offended by this wording just
couldn’t see how the phrase could possibly have anything to
do with taking desperate, temporary measures to stop a
problem that may affect your combat readiness.
9) As you can imagine, there will be no more Chinese fire
drills… not even in OCS programs. From now on taking all of
a unit’s beds and mattresses out of the barracks in the
middle of the night, in your underwear, will be called
something less offensive to those from the middle kingdom
than "Chinese fire drill." One only wonders if the PLA refers
to this kind of midnight discipline drill as a Yankee fire
10) One of the nice things about the Vietnam War was that
lots of lessons were learned from it; many of them being
turned into pithy phrases that say it all in only a few
words. One of them is the phrase “the gook in the wire,” a
phrase having to do with any kind of problem that pops up
suddenly and has the ability, if not addressed, to screw up
a key part of an important tactical plan. The idea is that
if the tactical plan is to continue to have relevance, it
will be necessary to deal with “the gook in the wire.” From
now on, while this may be strategically true, this phrase
will not be used to explain the situation to the troops
responsible for getting rid of the gook in the wire.
11) Finally, we come to NATO. In readiness for this trend of
politically correct military speak taking root inside
of NATO itself, Army brass have dispatched a team to Europe
to begin seeking out offensive phraseology that needs to be
done away with there, before it infects our relations with
NATO allies any more than they already are. Thinking that as part of
U.S. efforts to counterbalance Putin’s military posturing in
eastern Ukraine, the next President may decide to move a few
American units from their stations in Germany to permanent,
new bases in Poland, along the Ukraine border, the team
spent most of their time surveying Polish military reaction
towards a closer relationship with the U.S. Army. Within
only a few days of starting these talks the team sent back a report saying that
the U.S. Army needed to immediately root out and
stop use of the phrase "the long pole in the tent."
Now for the good news: the Army has decided it will continue
to allow use of the phrase "fire in the hole."
As for the Marines, they will initially be exempted from
this new set of regulations, as if a list is drawn up for
them it will likely only end up banning them from all oral forms of
communication. The Navy too will be exempted, as they are
still mastering the art of speech… having only recently
moved on from grunting and hand signals to vowels.
Unfortunately, those we hold most dear to our hearts...
OCS TAC Officers and First Sergeants... will be required to
adhere to the new list when it is published. On the good
side though, they will still be allowed to call you an “asshat”
when giving you an order.
Editor's Note: Our thanks to
the humor blog site duffleblog.com for the idea for this
article. It stems from a similar article they ran there.
An Archive of War - Part IV
Examples of effective American decision making and leadership, as seen through
the documents of war.
In our continuing effort to show you how in the not too distant past great
leaders did not need to interject politics into everything they did and said, and
that often the most profound things that happened in the world were made known
to us via the most simple, clear and concise language possible, we bring you
this simple one page document demanding from Germany an armistice to World War
On Nov. 11, 1918, representatives from Germany and the Allied forces signed the
Armistice Agreement reproduced here. That brought an end to fighting in World
As you may recall, World War I was known as the Great War. It began in 1914, and
dragged on for years in a stalemate. The war’s turning point came in 1917, when
the U. S. ended its neutrality and pledged its support to the Allied forces.
In the spring of 1918, Germany launched an offensive to cripple the Allies
before a significant number of U.S. troops could arrive on the Western Front.
While they made some progress, by September the Germans had retreated back to
the Hindenburg Line, one of their final lines of defense. On September 29, after the
U.S. pierced the Line, German General Erich Ludendorff told the German government
that it should sue for peace.
On October 4, Kaiser Wilhelm II instructed Max von Baden to seek peace. Things
dragged slowly until the end of October, when it became clear that the German
public’s support for the war had ended. German sailors began to mutiny, and her
allies abandoned her. Bulgaria surrendered on September 29, Turkey on October
30, and Austria-Hungary on November 3. Ludendorff himself resigned on October
27, and Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated and fled to the Netherlands on November 10.
Finally, the German delegation that remained signed the attached Armistice
Agreement on November 11… the 11th day of the 11th month of 1911.
The armistice, which was set to expire after 30 days, was continually renewed
until the peace treaty, known as the Treaty of Versailles, was signed. What we
ask you to pay attention to here is the utter simplicity of this Armistice
Agreement… a most simple, straightforward document with uncomplicated sentences…
bringing an end to one of the most brutal, complex wars of all time.