The United States Army Signal Corps develops, tests, provides, and manages communications and information systems support for the command and control of combined arms forces. It was established in 1860, the brainchild of United States Army Major Albert J. Myer, support for the command and control of combined arms forces. Signal support includes Network Operations and management of the electromagnetic spectrum, while serving as a medical officer in Texas in 1856, Albert James Myer proposed that the Army use his visual communications system, called aerial telegraphy. When the Army adopted his system on 21 June 1860, the Signal Corps was born with Myer as the first, Major Myer first used his visual signaling system on active service in New Mexico during the early 1860s Navajo expedition. For nearly three years, Myer was forced to rely on detailed personnel, although he envisioned a separate, myers vision came true on 3 March 1863, when Congress authorized a regular Signal Corps for the duration of the war. Some 2,900 officers and enlisted men served, although not at any single time, even in the Civil War, the wigwag system, restricted to line-of-sight communications, was waning in the face of the electric telegraph. Initially, Myer used his office downtown in Washington, D. C. to house the Signal Corps School, when it was found to need additional space, he sought out other locations. First came Fort Greble, one of the Defenses of Washington during the Civil War, the size and location were outstanding. The school remained there for over 20 years and ultimately was renamed Fort Myer, Signal Corps detachments participated in campaigns fighting Native Americans in the west, such as the Powder River Expedition of 1865. The electric telegraph, in addition to signaling, became a Signal Corps responsibility in 1867. Within 12 years, the Corps had constructed, and was maintaining and operating, in 1870, the Signal Corps established a congressionally mandated national weather service. Within a decade, with the assistance of Lieutenant Adolphus Greely, Myer died in 1880, having attained the rank of brigadier general and the title of Chief Signal Officer. The weather bureau became part of the U. S. Department of Agriculture in 1891, the Signal Corps role in the Spanish–American War of 1898 and the subsequent Philippine Insurrection was on a grander scale than it had been in the Civil War. In 1908, on Fort Myer, Virginia, the Wright brothers made test flights of the Armys first airplane built to Signal Corps specifications, reflecting the need for an official pilot rating, War Department Bulletin No. 2, released on 24 February 1911, established a Military Aviator rating, Army aviation remained within the Signal Corps until 1918, when it became the Army Air Service. The Signal Corps lost no time in meeting the challenges of World War I, Chief Signal Officer George Owen Squier worked closely with private industry to perfect radio tubes while creating a major signal laboratory at Camp Alfred Vail. Early radiotelephones developed by the Signal Corps were introduced into the European theater in 1918, while the new American voice radios were superior to the radiotelegraph sets, telephone and telegraph remained the major technology of World War I. A pioneer in radar, Colonel William Blair, director of the Signal Corps laboratories at Fort Monmouth, even before the United States entered World War II, mass production of two radar sets, the SCR-268 and the SCR-270, had begun
Standard Issue Civil War Signal Corps Kit, complete with flags and torches.
US Army Signal Corps automobile at the Manassas maneuvers in 1904
Radio operator Cpl. John Robbins, 41st Signal, 41st Infantry Division, operating his SCR 188 in a sandbagged hut at Station NYU. Dobodura, New Guinea on 9 May 1943.
Argosy Lemal c. 1940, one of two Australian vessels acquired by the SWPA chief signal officer for the SWPA CP fleet.