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From Our Home Page Archive:

     Home Page as originally published in June 2015

— This Month —

War Women

Not Comfort Women, But Comfort Givers


Signal Corps Successes

How Seven Signal OCS Graduates Built The 103rd Infantry Division’s Signal Company
Part III of IV


Dinks In The Wire! Dinks In The Wire!

- - - - -


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 We are here to serve you. 


War Women

Comfort Givers

Not Comfort Women, But Comfort Givers

There’s no doubt women play an important role in war…  but not always because of their increasing presence as uniformed soldiers on the battlefield. No, we’re talking here of the role they play behind the lines… behind our lines. So far behind our lines that you might think of some of them as undercover specialists… under bedcover specialists, that is.

Now before you jump to conclusions over what this article is about, and go off and accuse us of being misogynistic, chauvinist or even sexist, let’s get some facts straight. We’re talking here of women who chose to serve men in uniform by making their time in service… how shall we say it… more comfortable. Not those that are forced to offer comfort to soldiers, but women who chose to do so. Yes, we know, in some cultures, such as that of WWII Japan, women who were forced to provide sexual services to Japanese soldiers were called comfort women. We know that. But those are not the kind of women we are talking of here. And yes, we know that in all likelihood in places like the camps that support ISIS fighters women are still being forced into the "comfort woman" role, without their consent. But we're not talking of comfort women... we're talking of comfort givers. We are talking here of women who, of their own free volition, chose to bring comfort to soldiers.

What kind of women are these, you ask?

They are the ones who, in earlier times, might have been called camp followers. They are the ladies who, today, populate some of the most valuable real estate that exists around military bases… the first quarter mile or so of bars, nightclubs and strip joints that sit just outside the front gate. They are also the women who volunteer to travel to those places where soldiers fight, to bring even more proximate comfort to them, right there on the field of battle. And while the comfort they bring might be no more than the offering of a donut from the soft hands of one of the opposite sex, the level of comfort felt by the solider is diminished the none. It’s still comfort, it still serves its purpose, and it still works its magic.

Donut Dolllies -- Comfort GiversIt’s a strange phenomena… this idea of women opting to get as close to those doing the fighting as they can, ostensibly to entertain them, comfort them, socialize with them, and at every turn work to garner the attention of as many of these men as possible. Why does it happen? Is it purely sexually driven? Is it the ultimate expression of “Kardashianism”, that narcissistic drive that turns women like the Kardashian sisters into publicity whores… except that in this case the need is to consistently seek personal affirmation? Is it just women trying to make money from G.I.s with no other place to spend their money than on local women? Or is it more complex than all of this?

In a recent eMail exchange one of the members of this Association confided that he was working on putting music to a series of slides, for an old buddy of his from his Vietnam days. The slides the buddy sent to him (he indulged me by sending me one or two so that I could see what he was talking about…) included pictures of his buddy's time as a pilot in a chopper unit, and other sundry military pictures. They also included what seemed to be some very candid pictures of nude women entertainers in off-base bars, likely in Vietnam, in the 1960’s. Today these kind of girls would be called “lap dancers”, and more. The truth be told however, in looking at them they brought back memories of the old Duy Than Hotel in Nha Trang. That aside, it was clear from the pictures that the women involved were not being forced into taking part in the activities being photographed.

So what gives? We all know that men will be men. Especially men at war. We also know that women love attention… especially when that attention comes with money, of the kind that can be earned inside one of the juke joints usually found outside the gates of an Army base. How should we classify these girls then? What part of society do they fit into?

Our answer: The normal part.   

Japanese Signal Corps WWII


Signal Corps Successes

103rd Signal Company

How Seven Signal OCS Graduates From Class 42-06 Built The 103rd Infantry Division’s Signal Company
Part III of IV

When we left our story last month (Part II) it was the beginning of January, 1945. Having fought alongside of the 103rd Infantry Division itself, the man of the 103rd Signal Company were by now battle hardened; but it came at a cost. Between the two units “December saw casualties totaling 589 men. Forty-six were killed in action and 218 were counted as missing in action. Eight were seriously injured. Two hundred and fifty-four were slightly wounded in action while 56 were injured. Six died of their wounds.”

Of equal importance was the fact that the General they had fought under, General Haffner, had been relieved, due to stress, and sent home to rest. His replacement was none other than old “Nuts!” McAuliffe, of the famous Battle of the Bulge.

Unlike Haffner, McAuliffe was a no nonsense commander, prone to both hard fighting and hard discipline. If you got out of line in McAuliffe’s unit, you were hit quickly and hit hard, regardless of whether you were enlisted or an Officer. In McAuliffe’s mind there was a war to be won, and the best way to win that war was to stick to your job, keep your nose clean, and pay attention to your duties. In other words, do it by the book and you would be fine serving under him. Act carelessly, disregard rules and regulations, and lolly gag about and you could find yourself on the short end of the stick.

As it turned out, McAuliffe's brand of discipline soon found a mark in one of our Army Signal Corps OCS graduates from Class 42-06... none other than the 103rd Signal Company's Commanding Officer himself, Captain Bernard Beck.

You will recall from Part I in this series that Lieutenant Beck was quickly promoted post OCS to Captain, and then given command of the 103rd Signal Company. A novice at command, in our view he did a masterful job of coming of age and leading his men through not just a year or so of training, but also a series of harrowing combat situations. Notwithstanding this, now, deep in the heart of Europe, having just breached the Siegfried Line and seen his men fight to triumph in support of not just the 103rd I.D. but Patton’s Third Army in the Battle of the Bulge, he found himself being brought up on charges. The cause seemed simple enough, but the risk to his career was evident. Beck was brought up on charges because his Company’s motor vehicles, upon inspection by McAuliffe, were found to be in unsatisfactory condition, from lack of proper maintenance. 

McAuliffe, if nothing else, was being true to form: stick to your job, keep your nose clean, and pay attention to your duties. Beck it seemed had run afoul of this most basic of rules.

The actual order that notified Captain Beck of his dilemma appeared as follows: 

APO # 470    U.S. ARMY

201--Beck, Bernard (Off)
SUBJECT: Disciplinary Action
TO:           Captain Bernard Beck, O1633624, SC,
                103rd Signal Company, 103rd Infantry Division,
                APO #470, U.S. Army.
THRU:       Commanding Officer, Special Troops,
                103rd Infantry Division,
                 APO #470, U.S. Army

1. Preliminary investigation has indicated that an offense against good order and military discipline has been committed by you as follows: On or about 8 January 1945 an inspection of the motor vehicles of the 103rd Division Signal Company revealed that they were in an unsatisfactory condition because of improper maintenance. Previous to this inspection you had been informed at least twice that the vehicles were in an unsatisfactory condition and ordered to immediately improve their condition by vigorous command supervision. You have failed to comply with this order and the vehicle maintenance of your command is still the poorest in the 103rd Infantry Division.

2. It is my intention to impose punishment under Article of War 104. In accordance with Paragraph 107, Manual for Courts-Martial, U.S. Army, 1928, you are notified of this intended action. You will acknowledge receipt of this communication by indorsement [sic] which will include a statement as to whether you demand trial in lieu of action under Article of War 104.

(signed) A. C. McAULIFFE 
Brigadier General, United States Army, 

Many years later Captain Beck told his son, Andy, about being brought up on these charges. In that conversation he admitted that there had been lax motor vehicle maintenance during December 1944, but said that the degree of laxness didn’t seem to justify the severity of the charges.

Instead he opined that the cause of the action against him stemmed from a combination of two factors, first the laxness of the maintenance, and second an incident that resulted in Captain Beck’s jeep being nearly destroyed in a firefight.

Continued at top of page, COLUMN AT RIGHT



Military Privates


Vietnam Campaign Ribbons

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

Update 1 June 2015 If you haven't already registered for the Association's 2015 Reunion, now is the time to do it. Take the time to register now, before all of the best hotel rooms are taken. To register, visit our Reunion Info link in the column at left, above... or just click here. Register for the Reunion

Update 1 June 2015 This past month Richard Griffith of Army Signal Corps OCS Class 12-66 contacted us. Stumbling across this website, he was surprised by how much content we had about so many of his former classmates. Richard was kind enough to send along an update on his own life, and his career in the Army. Read Richard's comments by going to his Class Page and clicking on his last name. His name is highlighted in Bold Army Green, and clicking on it will take you to Richard's personal mini-bio page. You'll be fascinated by his story of being an Army Photographer and member of DASPO. You'll also find on his page a link to a video history of Army Signal Corps photo and videographers from the Vietnam War.

Short cut to Richard's personal bio page: Richard Griffith's bio page

Now how about you? Send us a short update of your life and we'll be glad to post it on a bio page dedicated to you too.




Continued from left column... 

JeepSpecifically, it seems that around the 8th of January, 1945, Captain Beck and his jeep driver, a man named Sheldon, were caught in a cross fire between “our troops and the Germans.” As the firefight ensued, Sheldon drove off of the road, and the two of them dived out of the jeep into the gutter and crawled for cover.

As all who have tried to exit a moving jeep coming under incoming fire can attest, the process of exiting is not only not graceful, but usually done while the jeep is still moving. In Captain Beck’s case, the two of them jumped out, while the jeep… presumably now in neutral… rolled on a bit more until it hit something that brought it to a complete stop.

As the story goes, the fire fight raged on for quite a while, as these two Signaleers kept their heads down. The Germans, noting their arrival on the scene, proceeded to rake the area with machine gun fire, which in turn turned the jeep into a piece of Swiss cheese.

Eventually, the Germans were forced to pull back and, after the 103rd I.D. troops advanced up the road to where Captain Beck and his driver were, things eventually settled down. Sheldon and Captain Beck were unscathed, but not their jeep. Fortunately, when they got into it and cranked the switch, the thing started. Full of holes it might have been, and dented from rolling to a hard stop with a bolder it was… but it still ran.

Climbing in, they headed off to return to the Signal Company’s headquarters. There… standing right where they parked, was the Division Ordnance Officer... who proceeded to go ballistic, having just expressed his displeasure with the Signal Company’s vehicles only a few days earlier. Stomping around the jeep he counted over 200 bullet holes, claiming that this again was an example of how poorly Captain Beck maintained his motor vehicles.

Read More




Dinks In The Wire! Dinks In
The Wire!

How many times did that clarion call ring out at 0300 hours… along with the clanging sound made by a perimeter guard banging as hard as he could on an empty 155mm artillery casing? Remember that billionth of a second in time that passed, when your inert mind picked up that sound, recognized that something was happening, knew immediately that you were not in control of it, and decided to wake you? Remember how your instincts kicked in and your body went from resting in a deep sleep to pumping out more adrenalin than you knew you had? Remember springing from bed in the dark, grabbing your flak jacket, gas mask, .45 and M16… or maybe grease gun if you were lucky… and sprinting for your post?

If you heard it once, you heard it a thousand times and probably still do in your sleep today. The sound of alarm… of combat about to happen.

But why the adrenalin rush? Why the panic to get to your post before the firing started? Why the fear tinged pre-combat hypersensitivity?

Answer: because Charlie was good at what he did. He was a worthy and dangerous opponent… and when it came to fighting him you had to respect his capabilities… especially when he initiated the fight. Haul your ass out of bed, get to your position, assume command, and take him on as aggressively as possible. If you didn't you or your men could find yourself going home in a body bag.

Charlie knew how to fight.

Interestingly, studies today say that this is not the case with all armies. Take for example our favorite whipping boy, China.

If you recall, China has had a one child policy for ages now… restricting families to only one child unless special circumstances merited a family having more than one.[1] Originally promulgated in 1979, while the law certainly helped curb excessive population growth for this country of 1.3 billion, it also did one other thing: it caused parents to abort female fetuses in favor of males.

Little Emperor... combat ready?This in turn caused the parents of these cute little penis-sporting only children to go out of their way to protect and shelter them… after all, each precious little boy was the only child that family would ever have.

Smothered with love and tenderness… given anything they asked for… coddled to the point of absurdity, the male children China brought into the world over the past 36 years have come to be known as Little Emperors. And while this may be all well and good, the net result is that today China’s military worries that its one child policy has led to only-child recruits that are, in simple English, “wimps”. 

No Viet Cong like fighters these boys… after a lifetime of coddling, China’s millions of only children are turning out to be terrible soldiers. The facts are these: China’s military is made up today of military aged men from the “one child period”. And of these, fully 70% of them are the only children in their family.

Not surprisingly, this figure is giving many of China's military policymakers heartburn. They are worried that their military may not be up to the task of fighting a real war.

“Soldiers from the one-child generations are wimps who have absolutely no fighting spirit,” warned the Study Times, an ideology-focused government publication.[2] But the problem doesn’t end there. Chinese defense experts are now debating whether they even have an army to speak of... that is, Chinese troops haven’t been in combat since 1979, so what makes one think they are up to a hard fight today. Similarly, when it comes to training, while military leaders worry that their Officers spend almost 40% of their time in “political training”, the Central Communist Party continues to mandate it, as they worry even more about a bunch of liberal, independent minded young Officers turning against the Central Government.

So what do you do? Spend time training the military's Officers in combat, or spend time making sure they stay loyal to the Communist Party? And what, if anything, can you do about the wimps that the country is supposed to depend on to do the actual fighting? 

China's next secret weaponOriginally the Chinese government thought that the one child policy would be good for the military, as it would mean that the men who joined had higher levels of education and would, presumably, be more at ease with advanced technology. This was supposed to make them “quick to understand modern warfare in a high-tech era.”

But that hasn’t turned out to be the case… and anyway, while it’s nice if your soldiers are comfortable with the technology of modern warfare, it is far more important that they be comfortable with—and embrace—the rawness of combat… killing people, enduring pain, fighting when your spirit and body are defeated, and willing yourself to win no matter what. Coddled children tend not to have this trait… and today China’s army is full of coddled children.

Whether that is the case or not, China’s military leaders certainly believe so. Recent publications in China have taken to reporting that the PLA is now running special training programs to toughen up what they readily admit are “spoiled” soldiers. Not surprisingly, this view is also held by western analysts of China's military. Dean Cheng, an analyst with the Heritage Foundation in Washington, says that because China can't depend on its soldiers to fight a kinetic war, the military has turned its focus away from combat scenarios to scenarios that favor psychological and cyber warfare. The simple fact is, that while China’s soldiers may be men in the physical sense of the word, they are in reality little more than children. Pampered and psychologically brittle, many of China’s soldiers are not capable of handling stress, making them wholly unable to deal with the pressures of war.

If you remember former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld saying “you go to war with the army you have”, then you can see our pleasure with this scenario. Compared to how tough Charlie was back in the day, American's serving today that might find themselves someday facing the PLA may not even bother getting out of bed when they hear the cry in the night of “Dinks In The Wire! Dinks In The Wire!”


OCS Wisdom

Jan 15     Feb 15     Mar 15     Apr 15     May 15     Jun 15    

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

June Crossword Puzzle

Army Signal CorpsTheme: Military SlangArmy Signal Corps
Game 3 of 3

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



[1]  As opposed to what most people think, the one child policy is not as rigorous as it is portrayed to be in western media. Ethnic minority groups like the Uyghur (10 million), Miao (9.4 million), Yi (8.7 million), Tujia (8.3 million), Tibetan (6.2 million), Mongol (5.9 million), Dong (2.8 million), Buyei (2.8 million), Yao (2.7 million), Bai (1.9 million), Korean (1.8 million), Hani (1.6 million), Li (1.4 million), Kazakh (1.4 million), and Dai (1.2 million) are allowed to have more than one child. So too are farmers. Families where the couple has just one child who is handicapped or unable to work because of non-hereditary diseases can have more than one child, as well as families where both parents are only children themselves, and have just one child so far. If a couple adopted their first child because one of them was diagnosed as infertile, then they too can have a second child. Similarly, parents who “inadvertently” have a second child are not put in prison, instead all that happens is that they are levied periodic, annual fines equal to the extra cost their second child places on society, as it passes through life. Barically, they are "taxed" for the second child, until it is no longer a financial burden on the State. As an example, while all children go to school essentially for free in China, parents of second children must pay an additional fee to cover the cost of the education that they are selfishly burdening society with… so that they can have a second child. Similarly for college or vocational training, subsidized housing, and many of the other entitlements that the Communist state of China pays for as part of its socialist society undertaking. - To return to your place above, click here. Return to your place in the text.

[2]  Kenji Minemura, Correspondent, The Asahi Shimbun; an Asia watch publication.  - To return to your place above, click here. Return to your place in the text.



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