Dateline: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 (Day 3179)
Location: United States Armed Forces HQ, Denver
In Today’s USAF Newsletter:
: 1 : War News: When a War Becomes a Training War
: 2 : Media Transition Package (part 2)
: 3 : B-17 Flying Fortress
: Newsreel : US Army Air Forces Training Film AF-181
As outgoing SecMed I'm obligated to produce and submit a "transition packet" which may reduce ramp up time and help my successor hit the ground running. Both Ilene Dover and Paul Proteus are excellent writers and managers, and they really don't need much, if anything, from me, to get an immediate start on doing a fantastic job as your next SecMed.
But.. maybe, I thought.. it might be interesting to the readers, particularly new writers and future SecMeds, to get an inside look at how I do the job. Part 1 (introduction and overview) is in the Monday WHPR, and the series will wrap up in the Friday WHPR.
When does a War become a Training War?
In the case of Latvia-Lithuania, it's when the two warring parties decide there's no profit in hate, but mutual profit in continuing to fight. Do Not Fight in any Latvia-Lithuania conflicts unless directly instructed by a US battle order.
President Yui comments, "We're pleased to hear that Latvia and Lithuania have agreed to turn their war into a Training War for the time being. We hope to see this level of cooperation between these two countries continue in the future."
In the case of the US wipe of the UK... it's when the aggressor (that's us) just loses interest in pushing so hard, and when the defender (them) spends most of their national treasury to defend one region and retake another... in one way you want to say, "boy, those Brits sure got spunk," but in another way you just kinda pity them.
At this point, without taking every UK region, they're beaten. We can just settle back and treat this like a Training War, let the give and take happen as it will, and don't sweat the details. We had been in talks with them, anyways, but the talks broke down, and now it just doesn't matter anymore.
Follow your DOs, check the DoD Orders, use your head and fight smart.
Unless something drastic happens in the next few days, it's unlikely that the US, or any country, will launch a new hot war on the eve of Presidential elections. So get out there and grab yourself a couple medals, gain some experience, but don't spend yourself down because once the election cycle is over someone, somewhere, is bound to bust loose.
Secretary of Media's Transition Packet
by SecMed George Armstrong Custer
Today let's look at form and format. Surely you've noticed that every edition of the WHPR, and this mid-week clone USAF Newsletter, look very much the same one edition to another. Look at your own RL daily newspaper-- same masthead, then headlines, and somewhere on the front page a table of contents. Each story has a picture, byline, then text. Features are where you expect to find them every day. Sure, the actual content is different-- of course-- but the form and format are consistent.
This is by design, this consistent look and feel, to make you feel comfortable with your newspaper.. to develop in you a sense of ownership, just as you do a favorite sports team.. morning starts with coffee in my cup, reading my newspaper. And so, beginning with my very first time at the helm of this newspaper, while working for then-SecMed Israel Stevens, I began to develop a format, one which has not only evolved to the one you see today, but to be picked up and used in variations in many of the popular newspapers you read every day.
Why? Because it works. Mind you, I am not saying I introduced format to eRepublik newspapers, but that I did develop one that could be, and has been, adapted across the board, and with great success.
As it relates to the new incoming SecMed.. this is your newspaper (WHPR, at least, and I'm sure the Newsletter if you want it). You may, at your sole discretion, opt to change the masthead and segment separators, and anything else you see fit. Make your newspaper a reflection of not only the official capacity it serves, but of your own style and feel as well.
The main element of this format are the segments. You can cover any number of stories within an edition-- more stories, shorter segments; less news, go for a long segment.
A segment is not a full page article-- it's a segment. Optimally, a segment is three or four paragraphs, each of those being two to four sentences. Introduce the topic and get all the pertinent facts in right away, then fill out the story mid-segment, and finish with a "hammer" or "hard closer" that makes an impact.
Our readers have-- I should say we all have-- a relatively short attention span. This piece right here is an example of "tl'dr" that'll be wasted on 90% of those who click in to read this edition. Not because my writing isn't absolutely riveting, because it is, but because they wandered off after the first three short paragraphs.
link block from WHPR Day 1494
One more particularly important element of the format system is the row of image links at the very bottom of each edition.. a handy collection of links to every official government newspaper. And I will take full credit for this little bit-- it first appeared in the final edition of The Cavalry Saber, and has since become standard issue on all official publications as well as being utilized in varying forms in many personal newspapers.
It's a mind-numbing, blinding code string, in two parts-- the row of image links, then the text links.
You can either draw the images from eRep's URL codes, as I've done-- the downside is that when their crack programmers change their file protocol system all past link blocks become rows of "bad image link" icons. The other option is to save those little 55x55px images off-game, which puts them more in your control and preserves them.
As for the links, themselves, they'll all stay the same month to month except the President's newspaper... it's first in the code string so you can find it as we change Presidents.
You'll also change the image link: Go to the new President's newspaper, and right-click to "open image in a new tab" on the 55px newspaper logo. That will give you the URL to the image, to slip into your adjusted code string.
You'll find a Shout near the bottom of every edition. Make the Shout, yourself-- check that it fits and looks good within the shout-feed system... make it yourself, because consistency in that is as important as consistency in the product itself.
Make the Shout with seven "x's: where the specific newspaper number should be in the link.
Publish. Grab the exact number from the new URL, reopen Edit and fix the Shout.
Then immediately copy/past your Shout as the first Comment to the article.
I don't know why some morons are still amused by posting "pertamax" or "first" but it's lame shit you don't want as a "second first impression" your readers get when they get to the bottom of your work.
One last thing about the format, as I have it set up and use it.
Note the subtext sized numbers at the very bottom left of every edition of every newspaper I put out. Today's numbers are 3179:322 . That's Day 3177, and as of publication, 322 subscribers. This is so I can track subscription growth, one edition to the next and over the period of my term on the job. I want to know exactly when and how many subscribers I gain or lose, and maybe determine whether it's due to a particularly good or bad edition.
Most other SecMeds have not utilized this system. To me, it's their loss, but it's their call.
There's quite a bit more to my own brand of formatting for consistency, but by now we've lost all but the most hard core readers and I don't want to torture those any further. Thanks for sticking with me.
Tomorrow we'll cover a more broad view of the job of SecMed, and maybe share a story or two.
B-17: The Flying Fortress
In a sense, the story of the B-17 in Europe IS the story of the air war over Europe. The strategic choices, the debates over daylight "precision" bombing vs. nighttime area bombing, the targeting of ball-bearing plants, oil production, & aircraft manufacturing, the staggering losses, etc. could fill volumes. Indeed the story of the air war in Europe HAS filled volumes.
In February, 1944, and especially in the third week, later dubbed "Big Week," the Eighth Air Force launched massive raids against German aircraft manufacturing in Leipzig, Augsburg, Regensburg, Schweinfurt, Stuttgart, etc.. Starting on the 20th, VIII Bomber Command launched over 1,000 Flying Fortresses in an attempt to destroy the Luftwaffe. American losses were heavy - 244 bombers and 33 fighters, but the Luftwaffe's strength never recovered. Its losses in the air were almost as damaging as the destruction of the factories.
The following month, March 1944, Mustangs escorted the B-17s all the way to Berlin. As Goering later said, when he saw Mustangs over Berlin, "he knew the jig was up." Because from that date, the bombers could range all over Germany, not immune from losses, but with fighter escort to keep Allied losses down and to continue to erode Luftwaffe strength.
Read the full article here.
Watch a History Channel video here.
Shout it out, “OOOh-rah!”
USAF members who comment receive 10 q7 weapons!
Plus: Media Transition Packet (p2)
B-17 Flying Fortress