Army

March 22, 2013

Moments in MI History

Tags:
Lori Tagg, Command Historian
USAICoE Command History Office

SIGINT — WAC’s springboard into military intelligence

Personnel at Arlington Hall Station study IBM runs to determine traffic characteristics.

World War II served as the springboard for women’s entry into the intelligence field, especially Signals Intelligence, or SIGINT. Beginning in mid-1943, Women’s Army Corps, or WAC, personnel served in the Signal Security Agency, or SSA, the U.S. Army’s SIGINT agency. Chosen for their intelligence, character, and loyalty, women worked alongside male counterparts assembling a picture of the enemy situation, intentions and capabilities.

Small detachments of WACs served at the SSA’s two “listening posts” at Vint Hill Farms, Va., and Two Rock Ranch, Calif., primarily as radio intercept operators. Most of the women in these detachments were enlisted and had been carefully screened and chosen for the duty. They spent their days copying Morse transmissions and transcribing intercepts from both the German and Japanese armies.

WACs work side-by-side with civilians to prepare traffic intercepts of the Japanese Army for eventual analysis.

Intercepts of interest were sent to Arlington Hall Station where the largest of the SSA’s WAC contingent served as cryptanalysts, traffic analysts and clerk-typists. They processed and evaluated nearly 4,000 intercepted messages daily. By 1945, the SSA was reading nearly every message, usually within hours of transmission. Messages often were intercepted, decoded, translated and placed in the hands of the Military Intelligence Service, or MIS, before their addressees might be presumed to have read them. For example, the MIS knew the Japanese had accepted the Allied terms of surrender several hours before the State Department.

At the end of the war, the WAC detachments were disbanded, although some women were reassigned with U.S. occupational forces overseas. The Army’s SIGINT field closed to women until 1971, when the SSA’s successor, the Army Security Agency, was granted authority to enlist women.

This information is taken from a historical interpretive panel on Fort Huachuca. To see this and nine other interpretive panels featuring MI Soldiers throughout history, visit the MI Soldier Heritage Walkway, located between Prosser Village and the Academic Complex Headquarters.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Maci Hidalgo

Army makes significant strides in energy programs

Maci Hidalgo Steven Lyman, a worker with Triad, a company working on the utility-owned solar array at Fort Huachuca, welds a part onto a support shaft for a solar panel at the 68-acre solar array park adjacent to the Thunder Mo...
 
 

Fort Huachuca showcases energy audit program

October is Energy Awareness Month and it is an appropriate time to describe the programs and services available to those responsible for managing Fort Huachuca’s various facilities. As part of the Army’s Net Zero Program, Fort Huachuca personnel are working to both reduce its energy consumption and to produce more of what people do use...
 
 

Ebola Virus Disease outbreak — know the facts

Ebola Virus Disease, previously known as Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, was originally discovered in 1976 in what is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and since its first discovery has appeared sporadically through Africa. It is still unknown how the first human became infected; but, it is suspected the first person was infected...
 

 
Dr. Randal Schoepp

Dempsey says combating Ebola a national security priority

Dr. Randal Schoepp Soldiers working at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-based 1st Area Medical Laboratory, prepare to leave to set up laboratories to support Operation United Assistance, the U.S. response to the Ebola outb...
 
 

Nominations sought — Lt. Gen. Sidney T. Weinstein Award for excellence In Military Intelligence

Nominations are being accepted for the 2015 Weinstein Award through March 4, 2015. To be eligible, a candidate must be a Military Intelligence officer of the rank of captain in the Active Army, Army Reserve or Army National Guard. He or she must have performed actions which positively promote, impact, advance and bring honor to...
 
 
Maci Hidalgo

Six retirees honored Oct. 17 during ceremony on Brown Parade Field

Maci Hidalgo Members of the 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion deliver flowers to spouses and Family members during the Fort Huachuca installation retirement ceremony on Brown Parade Field Oct. 17. Flowers were given in recogn...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin