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Your Radio Training and the Defense Program
December 1940 January 1941 National Radio News Article


Dec '40/Jan '41 National Radio News

December 1940/January 1941 National Radio News Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]  These articles are scanned and OCRed from old editions of the National Radio News magazine. Here is a list of the National Radio News articles I have already posted. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.

The National Radio Institute (NRI) was one of the first country-wide organizations to offer formal electronics training both as classroom and as self-study courses. Magazines were filled with offers to train men in what was an exciting new career field. The drums of war were beating in the background by December 1940 when this article appeared, and the U.S. military was gearing up for what was sure to be an eventuality. Three months earlier, the Tripartite Pact united Japan, Italy and Germany to formalize the Axis Powers, and Hitler's forces had invaded Western Europe. The push was on to train a large number of engineers and technicians to handle communications and control systems for Army and Navy forces. It is always interesting to read pieces penned at the time events were unfolding, rather than after having been filtered through the worldview of subsequent authors. 

Your Radio Training and the Defense Program

By J. E. Smith
President, National Radio Institute (NRI)

 - RF CafeYoung men look to the future wondering how our important task of creating a defense will affect their lives. Mr. Smith, in this message which he has prepared especially for you, makes it clear that you have a solemn duty to perform for our Nation and that this duty also presents greater opportunities to trained Radio men.

The idea of mobilizing for defense in order to preserve peace is now gripping the attention of our nation. Each person will feel the many reactions from this momentous task. Each person is giving genuine support, thereby knitting our nation more closely together.

But preparations for National Defense are tending to affect our outlook toward the immediate future. Many of us fear that long-cherished plans may have to be laid aside temporarily. In many industries, conditions have changed radically within the last few months, so that new opportunities present themselves.

Radio plays an important part in our National Defense program. Since Radio is also your chosen field, I am taking this opportunity to analyze the manner in which our National Defense program may affect you as a Radio man.

By J. E. Smith, President, National Radio Institute (NRI) - RF Cafe
J. E. Smith

First of all, we have the indisputable fact that the general public in the United States is more interested now than ever before in news broadcasts telling of the fast-moving events in Europe and the Far East. The reactions of our own Government as reported by Radio commentators are likewise eagerly received by the Radio audience.

Another important observation we can make at the present time is that people are listening to Radio entertainment today more than ever before. Perhaps this is being done to counteract the many discouraging news broadcasts. Important speeches each attract additional listeners who might otherwise leave their receivers turned off.

Thus, Radio broadcasting has become a vital influence in our daily lives. More than 45,000,000 Radio receivers are now in American homes, with thousands more being purchased each day. Furthermore, each Radio receiver owner is insisting that his set be in good working condition so that he will not miss a single important broadcast.

Today it is no longer unusual to find a person owning two, three or even more Radio receivers. People like to be near a receiver regardless of where they may be - on a camping trip, at the office, in an upstairs bedroom, or touring in an automobile. Increased receiver sales due to this desire for extra sets means more work for every one connected with the Radio manufacturing industry. Furthermore, the increasing number of sets in use and the desire to have every set in working order is making Radio servicing a more vital and more important profession than ever before. We can therefore conclude that the even which have lead us into a National Defense program will multiply the opportunities in Radio servicing and in practically every other branch of Radio.

Modern Army, Navy and Air forces require reliable and fast communication between each active unit. Radio is the best medium for this communication, as experience in Europe this year has shown. In many cases, Radio is the only means of communicating between moving units.

To provide, maintain and operate a complete modern communication system for an armed force requires thousands of Radio operators and Radio service technicians. To meet this demand, many Radio service men and amateurs have already enlisted in the communication branches of our armed forces. But these will not be enough; many more young men with Radio training will be required.

Many of the men who are now being drafted for one year of military training will be assigned to the Army signal corps and to the other communication branches. Those who have had their Radio training will no doubt be given preference when these positions are assigned. Furthermore, we have been told that those who are now taking a course in Radio training will be encouraged to finish that course, and may be given additional training and practical experience after they have completed their course.

The absorption of trained Radio men by our National Defense program is reducing the number of Radio servicemen available for ordinary servicing work. Added to this is the increased demand for Radio technicians created by the rapid increase in the number of receivers in active use. Never before in the rapid rise of Radio broadcasting has there been a greater demand for trained Radio technicians. Clearly, National Defense is creating greater opportunities in at least one field, that of Radio.

I honestly believe that the future of a Radio man is more promising now than ever before. The relatively new fields of frequency-modulation broadcasting, television and electronic control will develop along with the defense preparation. Trained men should have new avenues in which to find real opportunities for themselves in these busy and rapidly expanding branches of Radio.

There is no reason why a young man who is soon to reach his twenty-first birthday should be bewildered at all by the possibility of conscription in the near future. Likewise, men who are now within the draft age limit should not give up their desire to be trained Radio men, for in both cases this Radio training will be of great benefit to our Government, to the general public and to the individual himself.

Men who cannot qualify for participation in the National Defense program because they are outside the age limit or for other reasons, should not overlook the fact that this country urgently needs trained Radio men to take the place of those who are now serving their country or who will soon be called for service. By furnishing competent Radio service to the public, these men will be helping our nation to maintain its reputation for being the best informed of all nations, and will thereby be helping to bolster the bonds of freedom and justice.

Posted March 18, 2014

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