First to Communicate


1st Signal Brigade Association

Merv Norton


The 1st Signal Brigade Association was conceived by Emmett Paige (LTG USA Ret). Emmett was involved with the IWCS System from the beginning as a MAJ and served in the 1st Signal Brigade as a LTC. Emmett incorporated the Association on February 22, 2002. The initial Board of Directors was Emmett Paige, Peter Kind (LTG USA Ret) and Vaughan O. Lang (LTG USA Ret). The Association lay dormant for almost a year.  

In November 2003, Emmett sent an e-mail to more than a dozen retired Generals and several lower ranking 1st Signal Brigade veterans inviting them to a meeting in December 2003. At this planning meeting was Emmett, Alan Salisbury (MG USA Ret), Roy Busdecker (Col USA Ret) and Merv Norton (LTC USA Ret). At this initial meeting we decided to have a reunion in 2004.

At this meeting Roy Busdiecker informed us that he had already created the beginning of our Web Site. Roy expanded and maintained this site up until 2010.

Our next meeting was our first official meeting and it was held in February 2004 and we were joined by Nick Frankhouser (Col USA Ret). There was further discussion on a reunion and discussion of potential additional Brigade veterans that we could get to join with us. At this meeting I accepted the job as Secretary with the understanding that I would maintain Association database but I would not take minutes. I retained this responsibility until 2013.

The following is a picture taken at the February 2004 meeting. From left to right, Emmett Paige, Nick Frankhouser and Merv Norton.


From the beginning until 2013 the Board met Quarterly at the Westwood Country Club in Vienna, VA. The initial Board of Officers consisted of eight individuals, four from the Washington area, two from Pennsylvania, one from Richmond, VA and one from Williamsburg, VA. After a few years we added additional Board members and began including the out of the area members via a conference call.  In 2013, then with 17 Board members, we terminated our meetings at the Westwood Country Club and all members attended the Quarterly Board meeting via a conference call from their individual homes.

The Association has held five biennial Reunions. The first two were in the Washington area, and then in Augusta, GA / Ft Gordon, Tucson, AZ / Ft Huachuca and Colorado Springs, CO. The next Reunion is scheduled for Williamsburg, VA in September 2014. 

1st Signal Brigade Association