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On Mon, 28 Apr 2003, bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com (Bruce Byfield) wrote:
> Lee Kelley wrote:
> |Hi everyone,
> | I'm new to the list. I have a B.A. in English/creative writing. I've been
> |lurking around in the newsgroup, and of course I am asking for the advice
> |that I assume you all searched for when you were starting out. I live in
> |Salt Lake City, Utah, and am currently seeking any kind of TW position. I am
> |a Signal Officer in the Army National Guard, so I have the technical
> |background. I want to combine writing, which I love, with work, which I
> |cannot avoid. Thanks in advance for any advice, and I hope this is an
> |appropriate posting.
> As an ignorant Canadian, I'm curious. What kind of a technical
> background does a signal officer pick up? In the Canadian army, the
> background would be how to repair sixty year old machinery with duct
> tape and binder twine, but I assume that in the US, the skills would be
> a little different.
In the US Army, at least in all of the units I dealt with, the Signal
Corps was not only responsible for some tricky radios (including
frequency-hopping encrypted FM and sattelite uplinks) but also for all of
the computers in the unit. Specifically, the Battalion Signal Officer
(generally a captain) was basically the 'IT support staff' for the rest of
the battalion staff. And (as of 1997, anyways) an active-duty infantry
battalion staff has upwards of twenty desktops and a dozen-odd laptops of
"lowest bidder" quality and varying age and repair, some of which deploy
with the unit, and very little budget for repairs and upgrades. In short:
an IT guy's worst nightmare.
I even saw one unit tote an HP4 and a small copier to the field with them.
One generator power spike later, they were back to writing operations
orders by hand like the rest of us. ;-)
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