Signal Corps

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by USMA2016, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey everyone,

    Yesterday, my congressman held a dinner for all of his service academy nominees. At the dinner, I went around and shook hands with almost all the board members who interviewed me. Many of them were career Army and would ask me what I would want to branch after West Point. I've given it light thought before and the Signal Corps sounds appealing because of how it deals mainly with technology. To my surprise, many of the officers told me that Signal was the hidden secret of the army because of great posts and what not. Can anyone explain why the signal corps would be so great? Does anyone disagree? I am really just looking for opinions on it.
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,272
    Likes Received:
    605
    If you want to be somebody else's telephone repairman, it's great. If you want to be part of what makes the Army the Army, I would avoid it.

    Yes, you can be posted almost anywhere, as with most any support branch. Your job satisfaction will likely be low unless you like a desk and staff work.
     
  3. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,000
    Likes Received:
    300
    Well I was about to post an Infantry-centric tongue in cheek answer to this question, but my wife ( a now retired former Signal officer turned CA officer) took me to task so I will post her answer instead. Her answer: "It's a good branch because it is an indispensible one. Just see how critical it is when the Commander can't talk some time. None of the bogus intellectual pretense that the MI branch likes to affect, (now you see where her prejudice plays in- she has a distinct lack of admiration for that branch -which I share:rolleyes:) yet mostly high quality soldiers who like their jobs and do them pretty well."
    So there is a pro-Signal Corps point of view. I will defer to her judgment:wink:
     
  4. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,272
    Likes Received:
    605
    True, that does ring of the old "You can talk about us, but you can't talk without us" Signal motto. I will add, however, that the S6 (Communications Officer) on any staff gets beaten like a rented mule. Commanders will never really go out of their way to praise the combo officer. But wait until his VTC link fails, or a unit doesn't have the right COMSEC fills, or the SIPRNET goes down. The combo officer is the first guy to get m*********ered by the boss.

    Signal is a job in which you succeed privately and fail publicly.
     
  5. BigNick

    BigNick Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    3
    Signal is a good branch but it is not - in my view - a combat branch. Signal officers are important but they are not really combat leaders. If you want a more technically oriented branch then Signal is a good branch. If you want to be a combat leader then that is not the way to go
     
  6. BenjaminZ

    BenjaminZ Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    0
    My friend is a firstie and just branched with the signal corps, if you need someone to ask questions to, let me know and I can hook you up.
     
  7. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,272
    Likes Received:
    605
    With a cadet who knows next to nothing about the actual Signal Corps... :thumb:
     
  8. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    0
    How competitive is getting a signal slot from west point?

    Does being a EE major have any advantage for signal in the new branching system at USMA?
     
  9. jake s

    jake s USMA Cadet

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0
    We've been told that for branches like signal corps or engineers they'll take an EECS or engineering degree into consideration. The new branching system is still being worked on though and I've heard lately that 2013 will use the old system for branching next year.
     
  10. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    377
    Scout, I generally like your pithy responses to statements that are either repetitious or ill-informed or otherwise stupid.

    In this case, the appointee seems to be asking a legitimate question, "what does the signal corps do?" It may come as a surprise to many, but the world is filled with bosses who either m**********r people who shouldn't be or don't m**********r those who should be.

    So what does the signal corps do?

    Establish a link between a four star's G IV and the starter at Happy Valley Golf Club in Seoul?

    Manage data links between a ground spotter hiding behind a rock in Tora Bora and a drone operator in Colorado?

    Engage in Electroinic Warfare?

    Design systems to defend against cyberattack?

    Am I correct in interpreting yours and Bruno's comments as meaning, if one aspires to a career in the army, or the military in general, you better get as close to the fight as possible after you commission? That is, branch into aviation, airborne, infantry, surface warfare, subs, tanks etc.
     
  11. pkneram

    pkneram Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
  12. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's a great table! I'm having trouble reading it though; could you explain what the some of the columns mean?
     
  13. jonafox94

    jonafox94 Parent

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am soooo glad that I'm not the only one.
     
  14. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,272
    Likes Received:
    605
    What do you need to have explained?

    The two letters are the branch. The table tells you which spot in the ink selected the branch first, who got it last without an additional ADSO, who the first cadet was to take an ADSO to get that branch, and where it closed out.
     
  15. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    2,644
    Likes Received:
    263
    ADSO - Active Duty Service Obligation

    Basically-
    If you agree to extend your active duty service obligation by 3 years, then you can have your choice of Branch (BRADSO), Post (PADSO) or Grad school (GRADSO).
    IOW - for your 8 year commitment, instead of 5 years Active and 3 years Reserve, you serve all 8 years AD.
    I understand that ADSO is different for Aviation though. Scout?
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  16. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,272
    Likes Received:
    605
    I think you had a typo. You extend from 5 to 8, not 3 to 5.

    The initial aviation ADSO is 6 years, which doesn't start until after becoming a rated aviator. That usually works out to 7.5 active or so, depending.

    How the USMA ADSO extension works for aviation, I don't know. The ADSO extension came around during the roughest retention years of the last decade. I wouldn't be surprised to see it go away.
     
  17. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    2,644
    Likes Received:
    263
    You're being kind. It was more that I wasn't careful in what I wrote. I was thinking 3 years extension on AD and didn't proof what my fingers actually typed. Thanks for the correction and I will now go correct it. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012

Share This Page