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Tuesday, March 27, 2012


(In order to read some of the text in the above slide show graphics, use the PAUSE ("II" button.)

I spent 3 years in Uncle Sam's Army back in the 1950's in Uncle's Super Secret Cloak and Dagger outfit, the ASA, which was better known and still known today as the Army Security Agency. I was trained as a radio intercept operator, originally assigned MOS 1717, and later changed to an MOS of 058.3. (The 3 being the level of proficiency in receiving Morse Code. I finished with 32 WPM (Words per Minute) and my buddy Eric Wilkinson beat me out with 35. The regular army guys didn't like us too much. To counter their disdain for us, we would sing this song every morning on our way to the big red signal school building at Fort Devens. It is to the tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean:"

"They call us the campus commandos,
Just Boy Scouts in Khaki are we,
But you ought to hear when we shudder,
Whenever they mention K P.
Boy Scouts, Boy Scouts, just boy scouts in khaki are we, are we,
Boy Scouts, Boy Scouts, just boy scouts in khaki are we."

I spent 9 months at Fort Devens, Massachusetts learning the ins and outs of the Collins R390 radio receiver and the various Hammerlund short wave receivers,at the same time learning to type as I learned the Morse code and upped my speed week by week. My typing speed had to keep up with my Morse receiving speed.....'twas a challenge, but being musically inclined, I was told by my instructor that my proficiency in reading Morse code was directly related to my musical abilities. I will be forever grateful to the U.S. Army for teaching me to type, for giving me the ability to get my amateur radio license, and for making a man out of me. GO ARMY!

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