Sunday, July 24, 2011

22 – Army’s Grand 60th Birthday Party for PS: Part C

There can be no doubt about it. A grand time was had by all!

If you don’t believe me, look at the pictures. Everybody has a smile. Smiles here! There! Everywhere! A truly Joyous Occasion.

Look at the image above, taken by Pete Carlsson and showing his boss, Joe Kubert, in the early stages of the U.S. Army’s grand 60th Anniversary celebration of PS Magazine. Talk about ill-concealed, mirthful enjoyment!

Much of the Happy Face that I put forward throughout the pleasurable event derived from a renewed awareness that the PS operation is a respected and admired element of the Logistics Support Activity (LOGSA) headed by Colonel Robert P. “Pat” Sullivan. And, Colonel Sullivan marches under the four-star aegis of the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC), the overarching embodiment of a unifying logistics concept that was yet to exist in the balkanized technical terrain of the mid-Twentieth Century when PS was picking its precarious way through its first two decades of existence.

Smiles, indeed!

And, in the two-step cake-cutting sequence below, also snapped by Pete, there’s no cloud on anybody’s horizon.

From left: LOGSA Sergeant Major Timothy Shelton; Lieutenant General Dennis L. Via, Deputy Commanding General of AMC; Jonathan Pierce, Acting Editor of PS Magazine; and Colonel Sullivan, LOGSA Commander.

At this point, we were firmly convinced that Colonel Sullivan and his Sergeant Major were truly enjoying the event.

The Keynote Address was delivered by General Via.

General Via’s awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal; the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster; Defense Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters; Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; Joint Service Achievement Medal; and the Army Achievement Medal. He is authorized to wear the Master Parachutist Badge and Army Staff Identification Badge.


Lieutenant General Dennis L. Via

Deputy Commanding General United States Army Materiel Command

60th Anniversary Ceremony for PS Magazine

June 27, 2011, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama

Good morning! What a great day to be a Soldier. Colonel Sullivan - thank you for the kind invitation to participate in today's ceremony.

I want to also welcome all of our distinguished guests - and especially the Department of the Army civilians who make PS Magazine possible. It's good to see all of you here.

Mr. Fitzgerald, I'm honored— Sir!— to meet you and join you in this great celebration. Our Army is forever indebted to you and Mr. Will Eisner for your role in establishing an incredibly valuable resource for our Soldiers and our Army.

And to Mr. Kubert, you know many of us grew up reading Sergeant Rock, Hawkman, and other DC Comics. And today, we all have the opportunity to meet the artist who brought us so much enjoyment in our younger years, and who continues to entertain and educate us with your current work on PS Magazine. Thank you for being here.

This month, June 2011, marks the 60-year anniversary of PS Magazine, The Army's Preventive Maintenance Monthly. The idea for PS Magazine was formed in April 1940 when Army Motors—a small monthly mimeographed publication on automotive maintenance was first introduced by the Quartermaster Corps.

A short time later, in May 1942, Private Will Eisner was inducted into the army. Private Eisner was already an established comic's artist with his The Spirit strip appearing in newspapers. Mr. Eisner began drawing for the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, post newspaper, and it wasn't long before the Ordnance Corps, which now owned Army Motors, recognized the potential of having Mr. Eisner join its staff, and the rest is history.

Corporal Eisner (eventually Chief Warrant Officer Eisner) initiated a graphic makeover ofArmy Motors, polishing existing characters such as Connie Rodd and Master Sergeant Half-Mast McCanick and adding Privates Joe Dope and Fogsnoff. Circulation of Army Motors shot up to 1.5 million copies monthly.

With the start of the Korean War, the army soon realized it needed a publication similar to Army Motors to promote preventive maintenance. PS, The Preventive Maintenance Monthly, would be the name of the new publication. The army awarded a contract to Mr. Eisner to design and draw what would come to be popularly known as PS Magazine—one of the oldest and most successful publications using "sequential art" as an educational tool to present information in short, clearly-written, highly-focused text and illustrations, the magazine illustrated proper maintenance methods with a comic book-style art form that has proven to be very effective for six decades.

As the Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Material Command, I'm proud to say, the magazine's main character, MSG Half-Mast, is still in uniform even though his tour of duty began during WWII. He and his counter-part, Connie Rodd, still encourage Soldiers to practice preventive maintenance on their vehicles, weapons, and equipment. His famous question – “Would you stake your life . . . right now . . . on the condition of your equipment?” – is as relevant today as it has ever been.

For 60 years, mechanics, supply clerks, and a host of other Soldiers who operate the Army's equipment have used PS Magazine to stay up-to-date with changes to Army technical publications, repair parts, national stock numbers, and maintenance and supply policy. In every motor pool, and at every army post, camp, and station throughout the world, you're likely to see copies of PS Magazine in the office, posted on a wall, or being used at the workbench. The characters and themes in PS Magazine have changed in appearance over the years to reflect war scenarios and changes within the Army and society at large. However, while our equipment has evolved tremendously over the past 60 years, the need to properly maintain that equipment has not. Corrosion, metal fatigue, sand and mud, and simple wear and tear continue to take a toll on Army equipment. Finding and fixing these problems when they are still faults remains the most economical way to keep equipment combat ready for our Soldiers. PS Magazine's dedicated promotion of preventive maintenance will continue to play a significant role in the future.

Today, the magazine's writers, including the PS Magazine Office at the Tank and Automotive Command (TACOM) in Warren, Michigan, visit units regularly at installations across the world to keep in touch with Soldier concerns, pick up article ideas, and discover solutions to maintenance and supply issues. We are now a decade into the Twenty-First Century, and Half-Mast now has a Facebook page as well. As always, he keeps Soldiers up-to-date on late-breaking hot topics, articles that will be appearing in the next issue, and when the newest issue has been posted on the magazine's home page for viewing.

As we begin the next decade, we look forward to what PS Magazine may become as you apply technological advances to better illustrate technical art and to make the magazine as fully available electronically as it is in print. We can be assured that as history and the Army's demands continually change, PS Magazine will be at the forefront of the Soldier's need for supply and preventive maintenance issues.

The writers and the artists of PS Magazine are a team that has put together a 60-year winning streak. Not many teams can boast of that kind of record... Not even the great football teams here in Alabama.

Again, PS Magazine – Congratulations on your 60th Anniversary . . . and best wishes for much continued success.

Army Strong!

Welcoming Remarks were presented by Colonel Sullivan, above.

Colonel Sullivan’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster); the Meritorious Service Medal (five Oak Leaf clusters); the Joint Service Commendation Medal; the Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Achievement Medal (two Oak leaf Clusters; Master Parachutist Badge; Parachute Rigger Badge; and other service awards. He is authorized to wear the Australian, Canadian, and German Parachutist wings.


Colonel Robert P. “Pat” Sullivan

Commander, Logistics Support Activity (LOGSA)

PS Magazine 60th Anniversary Celebration

June 27, 2011, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama

Good morning: Lieutenant General Via; Mr. Rogers, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army; Mr. Taylor, President of the Huntsville-Madison AUSA Chapter; distinguished guests; LOGSA team; and fans of PS Magazine.

PS Magazine's first issue was published in June 1951. In the first two years the magazine functioned with one editor and its editorial staff. And now, here we are 60 years later celebrating not only the publication of PS but, even more importantly, the incredible dedication and commitment of those pioneers and currently serving professionals who have created an enduring maintenance capability that has outlasted any other Army program of instruction or technical manual.

Today we will hear remarks from two icons in the comics industry: Paul E. Fitzgerald, the first managing editor of the magazine: and Mr. Joe Kubert, current artist for PS Magazine.

We are also honored to have joining us, Lieutenant General Dennis Via, who even though he is the longest serving active duty member here today, his thirty years only represent half a lifetime to Half-Mast, Connie Rodd and the crew.

We are honored by the presence of these leaders.

So today we'll hear a great deal about the legacy of the magazine and great accomplishments over the years. And that is essential to ensure we sustain the character and identity of this great training guide.

But before I relinquish the podium, I didn't want to lose sight of the team we have today who diligently work to carry on the cutting edge task of a previous generation. The 11-person staff of PS Magazine represents over 160 years with the magazine and over 238 years of government service. I ask that this team led by Jon Pierce, acting editor, stand so that the audience may recognize you for your contributions.

Thank you.

So let's enjoy this opportunity to celebrate the past and the incredible promise for PSmagazine as it has served Soldiers past and present and will serve future generations of America's greatest treasure.

‘Twas a most lovely and lively affair . . . the proprieties were observed at all times . . . and inevitably with a smile and a twinkle! (The “signing” photos and those of General Via and Colonel Sullivan were taken by Clay Fitzgerald.)



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