Radio and Television Service, Armed Forces
Begun as unofficial radio stations before World War II in the Panama Canal Zone, the Philippines, and Alaska, the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) was founded in August 1942, at the direction of the army chief of staff, George C. Marshall. Relying on the advice of movie director Frank Capra, Marshall selected advertising executive Tom Lewis to create a broadcast unit to provide the same information and service Capra was to do with the film series Why We Fight. Very quickly, Lewis and his staff concluded he could best attract military personnel for the educational broadcasts by airing the same programs they knew back home. In addition, AFRS produced its own programming in Hollywood, such as Command Performance, with the help of the entertainment industry.
Lewis immediately established the principle that AFRTS would not censor news programs (except for security purposes), or broadcast propaganda messages. Consequently, troops as well as foreign nationals have always been able to listen to criticism of the U.S. government. The broadcast service quickly proved a better purveyor of the American way of life than the more propagandistic Voice of America.
Television became an integral part of the operation in the 1950s after Gen. Curtis E. LeMay established a television station at one of his SAC bases in Maine. Since then, AFRTS has followed the troops wherever they were stationed, carrying the most popular radio and television programs. AFRTS can legitimately be seen as the representative of democracy to the world, as well as the predecessor of Cable News Network (CNN), since foreign nationals have always been able to listen to the over‐the‐air broadcasts. Most important, AFRTS has provided the U.S. armed forces with a familiar voice and image—whether in the jungles of Vietnam, peacetime Europe, or the Pacific Rim.
[See also Proganda and Public Relations, Government.]
"Radio and Television Service, Armed Forces." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/radio-and-television-service-armed-forces
"Radio and Television Service, Armed Forces." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/radio-and-television-service-armed-forces
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.