Co C 104th Engineers

Port Murray, NJ

SPC Alexander Martin of Colts Neck, NJ, and PFC Paul Zaballos of Elizabeth work on computer networking devices at the Task Force South Command Center in Warren Grove, NJ.

Signal / Communications

Watchful for the Country

Job training for Soldiers in the Signal career field consists of ten weeks of Basic Combat Training plus 7-14 weeks of Advanced Individual Training (AIT). The mission of the Signal Corps is to provide and manage communications and information systems support for the command and control of combined arms forces. Signal support includes Network Operations (information assurance, information dissemination management, and network management) and management of the electromagnetic spectrum. Signal support encompasses all aspects of designing, installing, maintaining, and managing information networks to include communications links, computers, and other components of local and wide area networks. Signal forces plan, install, operate, and maintain voice and data communications networks that employ single and multi-channel satellite, tropospheric scatter, terrestrial microwave, switching, messaging, video-teleconferencing, visual information, and other related systems. They integrate tactical, strategic and sustaining base communications, information processing and management systems into a seamless global information network that supports knowledge dominance for Army, joint and coalition operations.

Civilian Related
The skills you learn in the Signal career field can be put to use in the civilian workplace as a network support technician, data processing technician or computer programmer with nearly any company that uses or designs communications and electronic equipment. You could also pursue a career with telecommunications and cable companies or communication networks as an equipment repairer, mechanic or installer.

Military Occupational Specialties

25B Information Technology Specialist
Computers are an important part of every division of the military, and Information Technology (IT) Specialists have the responsibility of maintaining military computer systems and operations. IT Specialists' duties include installing and configuring networks, hardware and software, and providing administration services such as passwords, electronic mail accounts and security. They also assist in the design, preparation, editing and testing of computer and system programs.

25C Radio Operator/Maintainer
As part of one of the largest ground forces in the world, the Guard communication maintenance team assures proper transmission of information by making sure that all communications equipment is in top working order. Radio Operator/Maintainers are primarily responsible for all maintenance checks and services on assigned radio communication equipment, allowing the Army to track and direct troop movements.

25L Cable Systems Installer/Maintainer
The Guard communication maintenance team assures proper transmission of information by making sure that all communications equipment is in top working order. Cable Systems Installer/Maintainers are primarily responsible for installing, operating and performing maintenance on cable and wire communications systems, communication security devices and associated equipment, including communications and electric cables between utility poles.

25M Multimedia Illustrator
Multimedia illustrators are primarily responsible for operating multimedia-imaging equipment in order to produce visual displays and documents. They produce graphic artwork that is used in Army publications, signs, charts, posters, television and motion picture productions.

25N Nodal Network Systems Operator/Maintainer
With communication being such an integral and critical part of the Army, Nodal Network Systems Operator/Maintainers are responsible for making sure that the lines of communication are always up and running. They install, operate, maintain and repair strategic and tactical nodal systems, and perform field level maintenance on electronic nodal assemblages, combat net radios and ancillary communications equipment.

25Q Multichannel Transmission Systems Operator/Maintainer
A strong communication network is critical to the Army's success. Multichannel Transmission Systems Operator/Maintainers work directly on communication devices and equipment that communicate through more than one channel. They are responsible for installation, repair, operation and maintenance of these devices, antennae and associated equipment.

25S Satellite Communications Systems Operator/Maintainer
The Army's success depends on a strong communications network. Satellite Communications Systems Operator/Maintainers work directly on multi-channel satellite communications systems and networks. They also install, operate and maintain ground terminals, communication security (COMSEC) devices and associated equipment.

25U Signal Support Systems Specialist
As part of the Guard communication maintenance team, Signal Support Systems Specialists are primarily responsible for working with battlefield signal support systems. Signal Support Systems Specialists install and maintain signal support systems and terminal devices, including radio, wire and battlefield automated systems. They also train signal equipment users and provide technical assistance.

Members of the 44th Signal Company, 44th Division,
NJ National Guard, set up a switchboard in the field
at Fort Dix, August 23, 1941.

Origins of the Signal Corps

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 in the Civil War Signal Corps.

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