Grant O'Neil (poneilgdo@ALPHA2.CURTIN.EDU.AU)
Tue, 3 Jun 1997 00:33:27 +0800
>While I remember signaling being one of the hardest requirements for
>first class while I was growing up (I belive it went away in the early
>70s when skill awards were first introduced), I don't think it is all
>that important today. I would guess that morse code is not nearly as
>necessary as it used to be. Maybe we should have them all learn ASCII!
I am sure Mike Walton could confirm this from a US Army Signal Corps
perspective, but I recall being of the same opinion when I joined the Signal
Corps and was surprised that we were to be taught morse. I later learned
that in poor conditions when voice transmissions are impossible to read,
morse is still readable (at least to those who have learnt it <G>)
I heard that some time in the late 70's the British army discontinued
teaching their signallers morse; however, shortly before trouble brewed up
in the Falklands they re-trained them all in morse and it proved to be an
important factor in maintaining communications for British ground troops in
the Falklands conflict.
>From a scouting perspective, morse has the distinct advantage of being
equally usable visually and aurally. In addition to radio and telegraph, it
can be sent at night with flashing lights, and in daytime using mirrors as a
heliograph. Not to mention "wigwag" flags. I agree it is probably no longer
appropriate to retain morse or semaphore as mandatory requirements, but
there is definitely still a place for these skills in modern scouting for
those prepared to put in the effort to learn them.
Grant O'Neil _r| Ll\
Assistant Venturer Leader | |_|__\
2nd Ballajura Venturer Unit => \ |_|_ /
Swan Valley District ~~ `_'
Western Australia v
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City