Recently I was working on some film and video records from the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) and came across an interesting news program. Television Journal was a program produced by AFRTS that reported and broadcast armed forces news to U.S. military installations around the world. This particular broadcast includes stories on Army Rangers, missile defense systems and construction of a new Navy boat, to name a few. These stories are typical of armed forces news broadcasts, which date back to Combat Bulletins from World War II. What really interested me though was the feature, “Project Transition”, which describes training opportunities designed to help servicemen transition to civilian life. The story also references Congressional budget cuts and the effect on the Department of Defense’s budget, specifically programs to help transitioning veterans. Did I mention this film is from 1970?
Television Journal,Volume 2, Number 6, 1970 National Archives Identifier: 7400290 / Local Identifier: 330-AFRTS-57
I was struck by how these same topics are in the news today. I personally know servicemen and women making this transition from active duty to civilian status, and know it isn’t always easy or simple. It’s heartening to see that the military has been concerned with this transition throughout history.
Sometimes people ask why they should care about “stuff” in archives. This film was a reminder to me that you never know what you’ll come across that has meaning for you.
What have you found in the Archives?