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Posted By: Walt Mathers on: 07/24/2004 17:12:51 EDT
Subject: Will Signals Eventually Be 'X'd Out of Some Staff Positions Due to Incompetent Signal Operators?

Message Detail:

First the key word --

In-com-pe-tent, 1. lacking the qualities needed for effective action, 2. not legally qualified, 3. inadequate to or unsuitable for a particular purpose.

Now the rest of the story --

We sometimes think that our mistakes go away after time. But I've included a slightly doctor'd post from another psrt of the electrons to give an example of how un-trained signal and telegraph operators could damage the reputation of the rest of the true and dedicated achievers.

Here's what was given (slightly modified) as one major officer's reason for not 'currently' having a signal officer on his staff.

* * * *

At a certain event on a certain Sunday,Brigades were given orders at the tent how and when they would attack, while a certain General was on the field, he told his signal officer to order Gen. so-and-so's men to attack, the signal officer started waving his flag, the signal officer with my Brigade, walks up and hands me a message that I am to advance forward, I knew that I was to wait until the far left flank made its attack, but again, I was handed message from signal officer that my Brigade was to advance.
I did and got half way up the hill, when a rider came riding up from the Commanding General informing me to halt and wanting to know why I had advanced, I rode to the general-in-command with the message I was given from signal officer that I was ordered to advance. The problem was that the signal officer with the over-all commander sent the signal to the wrong Brigade.

[he closes with]

We will have problems no matter what we do, at this event I have a large staff of riders that will be riding back and forth with both written and verbal orders.

* * * *

Here's a fellow who has attained a position of higher authority but feels that he was stung by someone who didn't know how to be a signal officer. I'm not sure if he can support the claim in writing, i.e. an after-action-report (?) but from what little this fellow DOES say in his posting, I'd have to agree with him. He was wronged and then embarassed. Where is the signal officer? Maybe serving on someone else's staff for all we know.

I've a few ideas as to what may have happened, but I can say this -- Many would-be CSO's at medium to large scale events neglect to incorporate signature codes during their campaigns. As you can see above... this turned out to be a big mistake, and it may well affect us all for some time to come.

Think about it? Whoever approaching this general officer in the near future will get the brunt of what others were guilty of in the past. Is this how we collectively want to approach what we'd like to consider as being effective let alone competent?

Lets get it to-gether and get it tight. But first..we know who we are. Study the three definitions given at the head of this missive (especially No. 2) and ask yourself what is going on in your particular detachment that needs revamping. Is it time for National qualifications to begin? Some have suggested a name change to reflect this thought. What say ye? Can we finally get to-gether in order to insure that all of the parts WILL work to-gether.

Vry. Respfly. Yrs,
Walt Mathers

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