America's Chief Apocalypse Officer, a Fed job ad from 1956

In 1956, the US Office of Emergency Preparedness advertised a job opening for someone to plan and oversee the recovery of America after an all-out nuclear exchange, a kind of Chief Apocalypse Officer.

The position description clearly makes distinctions between pre- and post-attack responsibilities of the Chief of the Damage Assessment Division: under "Nature of Purpose of Work", part 1, section A (1) it reads "a pre-attack capability for translating likely patterns of attacks into losses of manpower, industrial capacity, and weapon systems output'. In Section A (2) we see"a post-attack capability for assessing actual losses, for alternating alternate levels of output consistent with surviving resources and for testing feasibility of proposed new mobilization programs". Or in other words, sifting the rubble to see who and what was left and to see where they could be actually plugged into whatever scenarios had already been planned, and alter as necessary. And also on page two, part (3) "development and maintenance of capabilities for both rapid and deliberate damage assessments in event of actual attack..."

Continuing on page two, the Damage Assessment Division would create damage estimates, "disseminate ...estimates of indirect effects including effects...on government, financial and credit systems, and production..." which of course is, well, everything. Except overall assessments of total numbers of people killed, which isn't a necessary statistic for most of the stuff we're talking about here.

The Office: Nuclear Weapons and Management Pre- and Post-Attack (!) Job Description, 1956

(via IO9)