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PS has evolved quite a bit since its debut,
Henderson observes. In its early days, under
Eisner, the magazine frequently featured a bit of
pinup cheesecake in the character of Connie Rodd,
a vivacious blonde modeled after Lauren Bacall.
Later, as more women began to join the military,
the magazine introduced Macon Sparks, a cross be-
tween Clark Gable and Errol Flynn, who provided
a bit of eye candy.
However, things quickly changed with the advent
of the women’s liberation movement in the 1960s and
‘70s, Henderson notes. To avoid any suggestion of
sexism, Army brass requested that Rodd be dressed
more demurely. In addition, the grossly inept charac-
ters of Pvt. Joe Dope and his friend, Private Fosgnoff,
whose actions (or inactions) often illustrated the
consequences of poor preventive maintenance, were
phased out in 1957.
Rodd and Master Sergeant Half-Mast are two of
PS’s most enduring characters. Others have come
and gone, and today the crew also includes Bonnie,
who joined Connie as a civilian instructor; Sgt. Ben-
jamin “Rotor” Blade, who often discusses aviation
issues; and the Online Warrior, who covers electronics
and computer maintenance.
PS employs a staff of civilian in-house writers who provide editorial
content for each issue. Most are specialized and write regularly on what-
ever is new in their particular field of expertise. The editorial content for Recurring characters in PS
each issue is fairly consistent and typically includes topics such as combat have evolved over time. Con-
vehicles; wheeled vehicles; small arms; missiles; combat engineering; nie Rodd (top), first introduced
aviation; communications; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear in the 1950s as a scantily clad
weapons; soldier support; and logistics management. Every detail of every blonde, is dressed more conser-
article is cleared through subject-matter experts, Henderson notes. vatively today (above).
9 0 M I L I T A R Y O F F I C E R M A R C H 2 0 0 9 IMAGES: CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT, COURTESY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS AND ARCHIVES, VCU LIBRARIES;
COURTESY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS AND ARCHIVES, VCU LIBRARIES; COURTESY PS MAGAZINE
MMar_ps mag.indd 90ar_ps mag.indd 90 22/9/09 7:11:33 PM/9/09 7:11:33 PM
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