January to March 1961
I flunked typing in high school so it made sense that the Army
assigned me to the Signal Corps as a Teletypewriter Operator at Fort Gordon, Georgia.
So, how did I pass the typing part of the school?
It was simple. They told us
that if we couldn’t pass the typing test that we would be sent to Pole Climbing School as linemen. To emphasize this graphic picture, they would march us through the Pole Climbing School so we could watch the
When I finished the Teletype Operator School, I was typing like 60
words per minute.
March - September 1961
Redstone Arsenal Communications Center- Teletype Operator.
It was an Army-modified REDSTONE that provided the initial
boost for America’s first manned space flight of Commander Alan B. Shepard. An Army-modified REDSTONE also served as the booster for the Mercury flight of Virgil “Gus” Grissom in July of that same year.
September 1961 - November 20, 1963
Handling and controlling communications traffic and encryption (which is the process of converting ordinary information called plaintext into unintelligible gibberish) while assigned to 999th
Signal Company (Spt), 25th Infantry Division, Helemano Military Reservation, Hawaii and Naha Port, Okinawa; 9th Logistical Command (The 9th Logistical Command was deployed to Thailand to provide assistance in civil construction, and later became the logistical support element for Joint Task Force 116 to counter conflict in the Southeast Asia area the 999th provided communications support). United States Army Communications Center Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa. And Fort Devens Communication Center, Massachusetts.
Separated on November 20, 1963 The end of my
first tour of duty
November 21, 1960 to November 20, 1963
Communications Center Specialist 36 months, Sp4 (E-4)
(Although printing news, messages, and other text at a distance are still universal, the dedicated teleprinter tied to a pair of leased copper wires was made functionally obsolete by the fax, personal computer, inkjet printer, broadband, and the Internet.)