Today we look at G.I. Joe Short-Fuze. He is listed as “Artillery” for PMS and “Infantry Engineer” for SMS. What is interesting is there is not the usual longer space between “Infantry” and “Engineer” like what you see on other other OG13 filecards in regards to SMS. It most likely was a printing error but provided it is not then an “Infantry Engineer” would be in all cases a Combat Engineer (12B MOS). It lists Engineer School further in his filecard.
Provided Short-Fuze started his Army career as a Combat Engineer he went on to re-class as an MOS in the Field Artillery branch. His filecard is conflicting though as it states “Artillery School” yet indicates he is qualified with two different mortars (and comes with a mortar as well as being referred to as a “Mortar Soldier”). The only two MOS’s that would be trained on a mortar are an 11C Indirect-Fire Infantryman (in the Infantry branch) or a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant (18B). I think the likelihood of him reclassing from a 12B to an 11C would be slim though. He could have possibly started as a 12B then went Special Forces 18B which would explain his proficiency with a mortar but why wouldn’t he go into 18C Special Forces Engineer Sergeant which would have similar skills as a 12B?
I like to think he started as a Combat Engineer that re-classed to a 13F Fire Support Specialist. This would keep in his theme of being able to “plot artillery azimuths” in his head as he would be calling the shots on arty fire. Plus the term “artillery” is vague in regards to his PMS so it could encompass any MOS with the Field Artillery branch. Of all of them I think 13F makes the most sense. I do not know if a 13F calls in shots for mortar teams (I am thinking those are called in by an 11C but could be wrong).
Also his M-1 mortar was a WW2 weapon that saw usage until the 50’s. It also had a crew of 8 and weighed 130+lbs altogether so no way a lone soldier would be able to haul that not including his pack and the ammo. He would be winded by the time he found a spot to fire from. Hasbro shorted us seven additional figures to come with Short-Fuze. lol
Also his filecard states “Advanced Infantry Training” and that he is qualified with the M-14. Looks like US Army Basic Training centers stopped use of the M-14 by 1970 with them switching to the M-16. So any Joe qualifying with an M-14 most likely joined the military around the time it was the standard weapon and qualified on it in basic. Later when the M-16 was introduced they probably would have had to qualify on it. With the mention of this and “Advanced Infantry Training” it is quite possible Short-Fuze is also a Vietnam War vet.