PS Magazine to Shut Down This Year

PS Magazine to Shut Down This Year

PS Magazine cover no. 1
Photo by: U.S. Army

It was inevitable that Master Sgt. Half-Mast, the cartoon senior NCO with all the maintenance answers, would one day retire.

In a message posted on the website for PS: The Preventive Maintenance Monthly, an illustrated magazine read by the Army’s mechanics, supply specialists and radio maintainers since 1951, Half-Mast announces that the online magazine will shut down by Sept. 30.

The closure is due to reductions in Department of the Army civilian authorizations that “are necessary to right-size the total force, as well as support modernization,” Half-Mast writes in the message.

The magazine’s “end-of-mission,” he writes, has already begun with reductions, reassignments or retirements among the writing staff. This means that reader inquiries will now go unanswered, and the addition of new articles will taper off by spring, the announcement says.

Published by the U.S. Army Sustainment Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, PS Magazine’s archived articles are slated to be available online here for up to three years past Sept. 30. A partial archive is publicly available here.

The magazine, whose last hard copy was published in November 2019 when the content moved online, was once a 64-page publication that provided soldiers with accessible and practical guidance and advice on the care, operation and maintenance of the equipment and supplies they’re responsible for.

PS was an iconic magazine admired by commercial cartoonists for its artwork and popular among soldiers—and officers—seeking advice and current information. In its heyday, PS was distributed to maintainers across the Army and Marine Corps.

Maintenance information has been doled out by a cast of cartoon characters including Master Sgt. Half-Mast, an ordnance NCO who recently was selected for induction into the Ordnance Hall of Fame, and Sgt. 1st Class Blade, the aviation maintenance expert. Bonnie and Connie shared important maintenance tips on a variety of issues, and Cloe was a specialist with infinite knowledge of supply and uniforms. Even the vehicles and equipment were given eyes and voices that they used to prod soldiers into doing things right.

In the fictional character’s message, Half-Mast writes, “On behalf of Connie, Bonnie, SFC Blade, Cloe and the other staff now retired, it’s been our distinct honor to serve Warfighters across all services for going on 73 years. You never know; perhaps someday we’ll be recalled to service. We’ll stand ready just in case.”

“For now, be safe, follow your [technical manuals] and always treat your vehicles and equipment as if your life depends on them. For surely, it will,” Half-Mast writes.