Talk:Signal Corps (United States Army)

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"This is from Fort Gordon is the home of the U.S.Army Signal Corp I was a31S , so I know (unless they changed it, but Ft Gordon agrees with me)"

Does this really belong in here? I understand citing sources and all, but it has a somewhat defensive and non-encyclopedic tone to it. Mojodamm 02:39, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Use of military shorthand is confusing to me[edit]

Does "BG Myer" mean "Brigadier General Myer" or does it mean "B.G. Myer" and those are his initials? I am not familiar with military jargon so I am confused. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 00:37, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Brigadier General. "Myer" is the same Albert J. Myer referred to earlier.
—wwoods 02:46, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
The US Army currently abbreviates Brigadier General as BG with no periods. SSG Cornelius Seon (Retired) (talk) 18:39, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Copyrighted material?[edit]

The history section appears to be a cut and paste from: "The Signal Corps and the U.S. Army Regimental System" by Dr. Kathy Rae Coker, command historian, Signal Center and Fort Gordon, November 1989. Is her work considered not copyrightable because she is a government employee? [1]

Signal Corps History Albert James Myer, an Army doctor, first conceived the idea of a separate, trained professional military signal service. He proposed that the Army use his visual communications system called "wigwag" while serving as a medical officer in Texas in 1856. When the Army adopted his system June 21, 1860, the Signal Corps was born with Myer as the first and only Signal officer.

MAJ Myer first used his visual signaling system on active service in New Mexico during the 1860-1861 Navajo expedition. Using flags for daytime signaling and a torch at night, wigwag was tested in Civil War combat in June 1861 to direct the fire of a harbor battery at Fort Calhoun (Fort Wool) against the Confederate positions opposite Fort Monroe. Until March 3, 1863, when Congress authorized a regular Signal Corps for the duration of the war, Myer was forced to rely on detailed personnel. Some 2,900 officers and enlisted men served, albeit not at any one time, in the Civil War Signal Corps.

Myer's Civil War innovations included an unsuccessful balloon experiment at First Bull Run and, in response to McClellan's desire for a Signal Corps field telegraph train, an electric telegraph in the form of the Beardslee magnetoelectric telegraph machine. Even in the Civil War the wigwag system, dependent upon line-of-sight, was waning in the face of the electric telegraph.

The electric telegraph, in addition to visual signaling, became a Signal Corps responsibility in 1867. Within 12 years, the Corps had constructed, and was maintaining and operating some 4,000 miles of telegraph lines along the country's western frontier.

In 1870, the Signal Corps established a congressionally mandated national weather service. With the assistance of LT Adolphus Greely, Chief Signal Officer BG Myer, by the time of his death in 1880, commanded a weather service of international acclaim. The weather bureau became part of the Department of Agriculture in 1891, while the Corps retained responsibility for military meteorology.

The Signal Corps' role in the Spanish American War of 1898 and the subsequent Philippine Insurrection was on a grander scale than it had been in the Civil War. In addition to visual signaling, including heliograph, the Corps supplied telephone and telegraph wire lines and cable communications, fostered the use of telephones in combat, employed combat photography, and renewed the use of balloons. Shortly after the war, the Signal Corps constructed the Washington-Alaska Military Cable and Telegraph System (WAMCATS), introducing the first wireless telegraph in the Western Hemisphere.

On Aug. 1, 1907, an Aeronautical Division was established within the office of the Chief Signal Officer. In 1908, the Wright brothers made test flights of the Army's first airplane built to Signal Corps' specifications. Army aviation remained within the Signal Corps until 1918, when it became the Army Air Service.

The Signal Corps lost no time in meeting the challenges of World War I. Chief Signal Officer MG George Squier worked closely with private industry to perfect radio tubes while creating a major signal laboratory at Camp Alfred Vail (Fort Monmouth). Early radiotelephones developed by the Signal Corps were introduced into the European theater in 1918. While the new American voice radios were superior to the radiotelegraph sets, telephone and telegraph remained the major technology of World War I.

A pioneer in radar, COL William Blair, director of the Signal Corps laboratories at Fort Monmouth, patented the first Army radar demonstrated in May 1937. Even before the United States entered World War II, mass production of two radar sets, the SCR-268 and the SCR-270, had begun. Along with the Signal Corps' tactical FM radio, also developed in the 1930s, radar was the most important communications development of World War II.

The Signal Corps' Project Diana, in 1946, successfully bounced radar signals off the moon, paving the way for space communications. On Dec. 18, 1958, with Air Force assistance, the Signal Corps launched its first communications satellite, Project SCORE, demonstrating the feasibility of worldwide communications in delayed and real-time mode by means of relatively simple active satellite relays. Meanwhile the Korean conflict cut short an all-too-brief peace.

Korea's terrain and road nets, along with the distance and speed with which communications were forced to travel, limited the use of wire. The Signal Corps' VHF radio became the "backbone" of tactical communications throughout the conflict.

The Vietnam War's requirement for high-quality telephone and message circuits led to the Signal Corps' deployment of tropospheric-scatter radio links that could provide many circuits between locations more than 200 miles apart. Other developments included the SYNCOM satellite communications service and a commercial fixed-station system known as the Integrated Wideband Communications System, the Southeast Asia link in the Defense Communications System.

Today communications systems and facilities are still evolving as the Signal Corps continues the commitment to its regimental insignia's motto, "Watchful for the Country." A major program in 1988 was the initial production and deployment phase of the mobile-subscriber equipment system. MSE, along with other innovations, in LTG Bruce Harris' words "exemplify the dynamics of ... [the Signal Corps'] ever-increasing mission and responsibilities in supporting our Army. The professional challenge that these initiatives represent in not new to our Signal Corps. Our history is dominated by rapid change. ..." As in the past, the Signal Corps (Regiment) "will continue to ... [meet] these challenges with distinction."

The answer is: no U.S. Army's work is copyrighted but it can be used as long as it is credited as such. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Signaleer (talkcontribs) 19:09, 8 December 2006 (UTC).
Copyright doesnt work that way. On Wikipedia that's not allowed. Only small snippets of copyrighted text are allowed under fair use, and those must be in quotation marks and attributed to the author. I am working on rewriting it to avoid using the plagiarized material, please leave the copyright violation tag on until I am finished. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 21:44, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
According to WP:C, "Works produced by civilian and military employees of the United States federal government in the scope of their employment are public domain by statute." That is the reason, for instance, that a number of the Wikipedia American Civil War battle articles originated as direct copies of National Park Service battlefield preservation material. I think is most responsible for us to footnote usage of this type, but I do not believe it is a copyright violation to extract the material verbatim. Alternatively, the text I wrote in Signal Corps in the American Civil War can be summarized for part of this article. Hal Jespersen 23:05, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I haven't seen the book to tell if it was written during her employment. Google Book Search in their copyright section are not listing government publications in their public domain section. They are listed in their copyrighted section and you can only get a snippet. Anyway the rewording is almost complete. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 00:59, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Just so everyone here knows, US Government documents are NOT copyrighted. They are - by definition - in the public domain. There are caveats about commercial use, but that is the only provision. SSG Cornelius Seon (Retired) (talk) 18:57, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

To chime in - that's true. Even papers I wrote myself for an Army War College assignment aren't my own anymore (not that they were any great shakes). The products of my time spent on the Army's timeclock belong to my employer - the US public. LTC David J. Cormier (talk) 19:32, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Italics in blockquote[edit]

The Manual of Style says: Wikipedia:Italics#Quotations

There is normally no need to put quotations in italics unless the material would otherwise call for italics (emphasis, use of non-English words, etc.).

Its a manual, just like a military manual. Your supposed to follow the rules, not make new ones. Cheers. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) 18:47, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Agree. Blockquotes should be in normal font, not italics. You should consider the Template:Quotation template for this quote and then you could cite the source for it. Hal Jespersen 19:15, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Vietnam War[edit]

I started to add some information to flesh out the Vietnam War info somewhat, but then realized I wasn't signed in. No one ever said officers were very bright... I'll be adding some more as I get time and valid source material. LTC David J. Cormier (talk) 04:20, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Date of Foundation[edit]

The birthday information was deleted as non-germane. I re-inserted the data. It might be just as fitting in the early history, but deleting it in toto is a loss of information. LTC David J. Cormier (talk) 03:46, 29 March 2010 (UTC)


A good bit of explanatory information about JASCOs - properly referenced - was deleted from the World War II section, and I don't know why. I re-added it, and am curious why it was deleted in the first place. LTC (Ret.) David J. Cormier (talk) 19:46, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Created redirect page pointing Army Pictorial Service to this article[edit]

Created redirect page pointing Army Pictorial Service to this article--Iloilo Wanderer (talk) 06:08, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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