Us Military Communication


1.   Communication has become the most important aspect of the U.S. Army.   As you will see in Chapter 1 of Getting the Message Through, communication was becoming one of the most important tools in war time situations, especially in Europe.   So, in 1860, Congress approved the first appointment of a signal officer.   This occurrence would ultimately institute a separate communication branch of the Army.   Through the hard work, knowledge, and dedication of a young brilliant doctor, new communication techniques were established.   Through these new techniques, the Army could communicate quickly from multiple locations.   This brilliant surgeon was Albert J. Myer and he is recognized as the Father of the Signal Corps.  

2.   Military signaling dates back as far as 490 BC when a Greek runner delivered the news of victory over the Persians at Marathon.   In fact, this is where we get the term “Marathon Runner”.   During the American Revolution, the Continental Army adopted the British Army’s techniques of field music from drums, horns, and other types of instruments to provide communication.   It would signal the beginning of a battle or victory.   With the invention of the telegraph in the 1840s, the Army began to make changes.   However, the telegraph was unreliable and the messages were usually accompanied by a letter.   Furthermore, European nations were advancing and needed to communicate quickly.   They were engaged in the Crimean War from 1854-1856 and began using the electric telegraphy as a primary means to communicate; but, telegraphy equipment was easily damaged during battles. So, they resorted to other means of communication by opening and shutting window shutters, plus raising and lowering arms.   These methods could deliver messages in a matter of hours instead of days; thus, providing a valuable tool before and during battles.

3.   While Europeans were making strides in communication, a young scholar, Albert J. Myer was working at the...