MSG Half-Mast makes his debut
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – An early rendering of PS Magazine's iconic character, MSG Half-Mast, who first appeared in Army Motors Magazine in the mid-1940's, created by Will Eisner. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL
MSG Half-Mast has answered questions for more than 70 years
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – An early example of a Soldier inquiry to MSG Half Mast seeking answers to questions about maintenance of vehicles and equipment. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

The Army has lots of vehicles and equipment, from aircraft to wheeled vehicles and gas masks to tool sets. They range from relatively simple to maintain to highly complex. For 70-plus years, PS: The Preventive Maintenance Magazine has been there to help Soldiers, civilians and warfighters properly maintain their equipment by providing them the most current and accurate information possible to stay combat ready.

Since its inception, one of the most important features of PS Magazine has been the Reader Service program where Soldiers, civilians, and warfighters can reach out and ask questions about their gear, as well as share best practices.

Over the years, PS Magazine has responded to tens of thousands of inquiries, mostly in the form of questions that the magazine’s staff often turns into Dear Half-Mast (or other character) articles. In almost every case, the answers are provided by a vehicle or equipment specialist or subject-matter expert, assuring the reader that the information is accurate and approved.

The other type of inquiry is where readers offer best practices or reminders for how to do things right. These typically turn into Dear Editor articles. However, as with the Dear Half-Mast queries, all ideas or recommendations are vetted by the relevant life cycle management command or commodity owner before it appears on the magazine’s website as “official.” For examples of each type of submission, click HERE.

The Reader Service program predates the cartoon magazine. It goes back to Army Motors, PS Magazine’s predecessor publication, also created by Will Eisner.

Back then, the service was called, “Sgt. ’Half-Mast‘ McCanick's Question Dept.” Perhaps it should have been called the Answer Dept., but either way, it was all about responding to Soldiers' questions, so they'd have the latest and best information at their disposal to keep their equipment fully mission capable.

As long as PS Magazine exists, there’ll be a reader service program to assist readers with any questions they might have.

Any reader who has a question about their equipment or wants to submit a suggestion on how to improve a maintenance procedure or task can click HERE and complete an email submission.

The PS staff is committed to providing feedback as quickly as feasible, as most replies must be coordinated with a subject-matter expert first.

Remember that reader inquiries can help not only the individual asking the question or recommending a best practice but the entire force, so keep those queries and ideas coming.

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