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Chapter 7


7-1. Background

Each unit commander is responsible for managing the information created and used in his unit. The signal office is the primary office/staff supporting the commander in his information management responsibilities. The signal office/staff has three primary functions. They are--

  • Advising and aiding the commander as a coordinating staff office.
  • Supporting the operational needs of the headquarters by providing signal support to the commander's unit and to tenant units in the area.
  • Supporting and managing the informational needs of the headquarters staff.

This last function requires expanding the traditional roles for signal support. This chapter covers the signal support role in information services. It also provides an organizational breakdown of the corps' Information Services Support Office (ISSO). The division ISSO is the same as the corps in organizational structure. It differs only in the number of TOE authorizations of personnel. Refer to Appendix E for more details on brigade, battalion, and division signal support guidelines.

The signal officer uses the ISSO to coordinate and to support IMA functions requiring centralized management internal to the headquarters. An ISSO is set up at every echelon, from theater to division. It functions under the control and direction of a signal support officer. At brigade and battalion levels, the unit S1 accomplishes the ISSO function. At support units with no organic supporting signal unit (such as DISCOM, COSCOM, and TACOM), the signal officer is the proponent for information services on the staff. However, the fictional staff officer remains responsible for its execution.

7-2. The Corps ISSO

Operational Concept. The CSO has staff and technical supervisory responsibilities for information services functions in the corps. The corps ISSO serves as a tool for accomplishing these functions. It also aids in coordinating pertinent information services management and operational data with higher, lower, and adjacent information services support facilities. The ISSO is organic to the HHC, corps signal brigade.


The ISSO provides--

  • Specified information services support to the corps staff.
  • Advice concerning corps information services functions.
  • Technical assistance to information services support facilities and subordinate units within the command.

As a staff and technical supervisory agency, the ISSO establishes and monitors commandwide programs for--

  • Management/control.
  • Implementation and maintenance of correspondence.
  • Files and forms.
  • Classified documents.
  • Privacy Act/Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) activities.
  • Distribution, printing, and publications supply.
  • Official mail.
  • Reproduction.
  • Information services training.

The CSO is responsible to the corps commander for operating the ISSO. Within the overall plans and policies formulated by the general staff offices, the ISSO performs and carries out its assigned operations. The CSO maintains effective staff/command relationships with general and special staffs and supported commanders. The CSO's staff supervisory role to the corps staff is support, coordination, cooperation, and resolution of problems of mutual concern. The CSO is responsible for supporting and managing the information services needs of the headquarters staff. He also serves as the central point of contact for information services functions that benefit from economy of scale and centralized operations. These functions include TOP SECRET repositories for classified document control.

Equipment and Composition.

The ISSO is authorized a unit-level computer/word processor, medium-volume reproduction/copying equipment, and storage facility for classified material. This provides the essential information services support for the command. The ISSO requires a 1 1/4-ton vehicle for distribution and C2 mobility.

The ISSO's composition should include one officer and about 15 enlisted personnel. Most of the enlisted personnel consist of record telecommunications center operators (MOS 74C). It is expected that the 74Cs will perform a full spectrum of information services tasks. Initially, the ISSO may have to operate with administrative specialists (MOS 71L). The 71Ls over the long-haul should migrate to MOS 74C. The 74Cs will eventually replace some of the 71Ls in activities providing centralized information services. All personnel will require a TOP SECRET clearance.

7-3. The Corps ISSO Organization

Headquarters and Operations Section. This section provides staff supervision over the information services support program within the corps. This section--

Establishes policies and prepares the ISSO SOP.

The ISSO SOP explains the corps policy and procedural guidance on--

  • Correspondence management.
  • Files and forms management.
  • Classified document control.
  • Privacy Act/FOIA.
  • Distribution.
  • Printing services.
  • Publications management.
  • Official mail management.
  • Reproduction services.

The SOP may contain an official mail pickup and delivery schedule, a routing guide, and information on procuring printing and duplication services. It may also include--

  • The ISSO's organization.
  • Guidelines on preparing, coordinating, routing, and dispatching correspondence through the ISSO distribution center.
  • Local policies on preparing corps publications/directives (pamphlets, circulars, memorandums, supplements, bulletins).
  • Policies on centralized copying services, reproduction services, and for the classified correspondence repository.

Performs staff supervision of correspondence. It recommends policies, procedures and conventions, and local procedures governing authentication (who, what, when, how), and reading files. Each user/staff section prepares and authenticates correspondence and implements and manages reading files.

Prepares routine correspondence and documents to support internal ISSO operational requirements. This includes letters, consolidated reports, and statistical data. It also prepares administrative reports (except personnel reports) and reports assigned to other elements of the corps and signal staffs.

Performs staff supervision of Privacy Act/FOIA. It recommends policies, procedures and conventions, and serves as the central point of contact within the command for Privacy Act/FOLA requests. It refers related requests, as applicable, to the proper staff element or personnel services support activity. Users are responsible for managing and maintaining their own Privacy Act and FOIA programs.

Provides technical assistance to subordinate units of the command It establishes and monitors commandwide programs for the battlefield information services support. It provides technical assistance to the G3 for training information services support personnel.

Receives official information services communications and assigns them to the appropriate ISSO section for action.

Keeps the corps staff and command group informed via the CSO, of the corps information services support situation.

Manages and approves procuring expendable supplies for the ISSO.

Maintains a current reference library of ARs, published command guidance, and other regulatory guidance on all battlefield information services. These references are needed to perform staff supervision functions, to setup policies, and to prepare the ISSO SOP.

Maintains appropriate files to support operational requirements.

Printing/Publications and Reproduction Section. This section will be required to operate two 12-hour shifts during sustained 24-hour operations. This section--

Performs staff supervision of printing reproduction, and publications and forms management. It recommends policies, procedures, standards, and conventions. In elements owning pinpoint forms accounts, the functional staff is responsible for the staff supervision of forms management by compiling ordering and distributing forms.

Establishes and operates the corps printing and duplication control program in accordance with applicable ARs.

Serves as the central point of contact within the command for high-and medium-volume printing support requests. It verifies the format of user printing requests and forwards them through channels to the proper signal theater reproduction team or sustaining base printing support activity. Users establish their own printing priorities. They also install, operate, and maintain organic printing devices to support their own low-volume printing requirements. These include user-owned and -operated printing equipment and peripheral printing devices connected to user-owned and -operated computers and BAS. Signal has no involvement in user-owned and -operated printing equipment such as that used for topographic, PSYOP, and PA printing applications.

Assists users in procuring user-owned and - operated reproduction/copying equipment. It reviews user requests and provides information and advice on the different classes and technical specifications of such devices. It also provides information on sources through which the devices may be procured. Users are responsible for determining their own reproduction/copying requirements. They also procure, install, operate, and maintain their own reproduction/copying equipment. Once the user identifies his reproduction/copying requirements, this section validates them.

Provides reproduction support to meet the operational requirements of the ISSO. It also provides limited emergency and special purpose reproduction for the corps, signal headquarters, and subordinate units when necessary.

Operates the corps headquarters publications and forms control programs. It prepares an index of headquarter publications and establishes and maintains distribution schemes for headquarters publications. Along with corps staff elements, this section prepares and submits requisitions for information services support, doctrinal, and technical publications for the headquarters staff elements. In coordination with functional staff elements, it approves user requests for new forms. Functional users are responsible for adhering to forms usage policies, including use management and requesting resupply. This section effects initial distribution of publications through a pinpoint distribution procedure to the corps headquarters staff and other headquarters elements attached to the corps headquarters. It also effects initial distribution of corps regulations and publications.

Maintains (in coordination with the corps staff) a stock of DA publications (excluding technical publications). It also keeps other official forms for the corps staff and other headquarters elements attached to the corps headquarters. These functions are performed by the functional staff/user in organizational elements within corps boundaries without organic ISSOs and not in a category described in the preceding sentence. The corps staff maintains a stock of technical publications and other publications and forms in accordance with its operational needs, but will effect resupply through the ISSO. In coordination with the ISSO, functional staff elements requisition, tracks receipt of requisitions, and disposes of expired publications and forms. This section routes publications and forms to the user.

Maintains a stock of information services specific publications for the headquarters staff. In addition, it maintains an internal ISSO library of information services specific publications (at least one copy per type of publication) in the amount and types necessary to provide staff supervisory support to associated ISSOs, functional information services activities, and other users as required Users must identify their own publications requirements and manage their own pinpoint publications accounts. Users must consolidate, order, and distribute subordinate unit requests through the pinpoint distribution system at the echelon owning the pinpoint account. There is no Army requirement for maintaining a central reference library, but staff sections may maintain their own publications reference libraries in accordance with local or command requirements.

Maintains an internal ISSO stock of official forms (one copy per type of form) in the amounts and types necessary to provide staff supervisory support to associated ISSOs, information services support activities, and other users as required.

Records Management and Distribution Section. This section will operate two 12-hour shifts during sustained 24-hour operations. This section--

Performs staff supervision of files management, classified document control official mail control program, and distribution. It recommends policies, procedures, standards, conventions, and inspections as applicable. This section serves as the primary point of contact for the same within the corps. In organizations with no signal officer or supporting signal units, the fictional staff performs the associated management functions in coordination with this section.

Establishes and monitors the corps records management program. This program includes correspondence and official mail management, document reproduction control, and the maintenance, management, and disposition of files. Monitors adherence to the program and suggests corrective measures as needed. Maintains liaison with records management staff elements throughout the command.

Approves files listings and electronic conventioning. The fictional staff/user is responsible for maintaining his own files and for transforming them to the records holding area.

Advises users/functional staffs on files management as it applies to FOIA.

Analyzes and evaluates micrographic system proposals, micrographic studies, and micrographic equipment requests.

Recommends classified document control policies, procedures, standards, and inspections in all phases and areas of IMA. This includes correspondence, printing, reproduction, distribution, and mail and file management. Functional staff/users must act as their own classification authority. They are responsible for storing and controlling classified correspondence, files, and documents within their functional organizations/activities. However, centralized regulatory and classified document repositories will not be accomplished on the battlefield.

Operates a classified courier system (in coordination with the G2) or effects the distribution of classified documents through approved channels.

Advises the G2 on headquarters classified document destruction and evacuation plans. Users/functional staffs are responsible for destroying their own secret documents.

Provides internal headquarters distribution for the corps headquarters. It operates the corps headquarters central distribution center and serves as the primary point of contact within the command for internal headquarters distribution. Headquarters staff elements must pickup their own distribution from the distribution center.

Provides external distributions services. It recommends policies, procedures, and conventions. It also prepares guidelines on preparing coordinating, routing, and dispatching correspondence through the ISSO distribution center. This section receives, controls, and distributes all official publications and correspondence (except electrically transmitted messages) by pouched distribution to the intended action agency(cies). It coordinates requirements for messengers and classified document couriers as required.

NOTE 1: External distribution is the movement of official mail (including publications) and distribution between CPs. DOD postal operations are responsible for moving official mail. AG postal units are responsible for delivering official mail on the battlefield to the postal unit in direct support of the headquarters (corps and division). The G1 and S1 are responsible for coordinating the delivery of official mail to lower echelon units at division and below. The WAN and record traffic should be considered as the first means of distribution between CPs. Messenger service will be the primary means of moving lengthy or bulky items between CPs.
NOTE 2: Messenger service is currently an unresourced signal mission (FM 24-1). Until the mission is resourced, the signal officer will ensure that messenger service is provided with augmentation by supported units. He will determine messenger routes and schedules and will coordinate messenger resources with the G3. The G3 will task units for vehicles and personnel needed to establish messenger service. Maximum use will be made of existing delivery systems (for example, Class I, V). ISSO assigned personnel are not resourced to be the corps area messengers. As long as the messenger mission remains unresourced, ISSO personnel may be tasked to deliver distribution to corps headquarters sections at the corps main and alternate CPs. However, once resourced, the ISSO at corps and division may be responsible for managing and controlling the messenger mission.

Distributes official mail internal to the corps headquarters. It coordinates resources to effect distribution and develops and maintains an official mail pickup and delivery schedule. The ISSO does not engage in the control/metering of outgoing mail. Metering of official mail is normally not required on the battlefield In instances where it may be done, the ISSO will coordinate the metering of outgoing official mail with the PERSCOM postal organization while in the field and with the DOIM/post office while in garrison. Official mail contains military information and is normally addressed to a military commander or organization/activity. Official mail for the headquarters is considered delivered when the ISSO receives it. Once the ISSO receives official mail it becomes normal distribution.

NOTE: Mail may be categorized as official and personal. Personal mail contains personal information, subject to censorship, and is the responsibility of the G1. Personal mail remains personal mail, subject to postal regulations, until delivered to the intended recipient (soldier). In the field, the ISSO picks up the mail from the Army postal unit and passes it to the corps headquarters' mail clerk. The mail clerk then distributes the mail to the soldier. If the mail is not delivered, the corps headquarters mail clerk reroutes the mail to the APO. Personal mail is considered delivered when the soldier receives the mail.

Provides advice on postal matters to corps subordinate commands after coordination with the PERSCOM postal organization.

Coordinates with corps telecommunications activities on receiving controlling and delivering electrically transmitted messages addressed to the ISSO.

7-4. The Corps ISSO Key Personnel

Figure 7-1 shows a conceptual representation of the corps ISSO. This is how the ISSO should be organized. However, the corps ISSO is not physically divided into three sections.

The ISSO chief supervises the activities of his functional elements. He coordinates their activities with the operational requirements of the CSO and the headquarters staff elements. Either the ISSO chief or his designated assistant--

Performs the duties of command information services support officer. He provides commandwide staff supervision of, and oversight over the battlefield information service. For example, he recommends policies, procedures, standards, and conventions to facilitate information services support. He acts as the information manager in accordance with AR 25-1.

Performs the duties of battlefield information services automation officer. He attains required interface, operability, and interoperability among information/automated systems. In coordination with the corps automation management officer, he reviews and recommend requests for word processing equipment/systems for the headquarters and the command.

Performs the duties of information systems security officer. He attains required security among and within manual and automated information support systems and related activities.

The ISSO NCOIC assists the ISSO chief and the CSO and staff on information services support matters as required. He plans, organizes, and conducts technical and nontechnical inspections. He prepares reports and recommends improved methods and procedures. He also performs information services systems analysis, security of manual and automated information support systems, and related activities. He supervises enlisted personnel performing information services support duties and provides the commander with information about enlisted matters.

The shift supervisor/senior operator ensures the implementation of the information services support functions in the assigned section and shift. He serves as the subject matter expert in the respective assigned area. He provides verbal and written guidance and direction for the IOM of specified battlefield information services. He also provides technical assistance and problem guidance to associated information services support personnel, functional staffs, and functional users. This resolves problems encountered with the same. He answers inquires from the staff and advises personnel on information services support matters. He composes correspondence, sets up and maintains--

  • Logs.
  • Rosters.
  • Status boards.
  • Charts, graphs, and view graphs.

He also supervises subordinate enlisted personnel performing information services support duties.

The record telecommunications center operator (E4 and below) performs battlefield information services duties and clerical duties for the corps ISSO. These duties include--

  • Operating computer terminal devices using word processing, spreadsheet, and other off-the-shelf utility software.
  • Typing correspondence and documents including letters, reports, and statistical data.
  • Maintaining files and records.
  • Generating reports, directional guidance, and other documentation required by the ISSO.
  • Operating assigned vehicle as required.

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