The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) is an organization of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensed Amateur Radio Operators who are interested in military communications and electronics. The three MARS organizations are sponsored by commands in the three services -- Army, Air Force, and Navy. MARS provides a potential reserve of trained radio communications personnel to provide auxiliary communications for military, civil, and/or disaster officials during periods of emergency and provides Department of Defense sponsored emergency communications on a local, national, and international basis as an adjunct to normal communications.
MARS provides a volunteer manned communications system for handling MARS
administrative traffic, morale and quasi-official record and voice
communications traffic for U. S. Armed Forces and authorized
Army MARS is sponsored by the United States Army Signal Command (USASC) and is considered to be an integral part of that command structure. Army MARS is dedicated to the mission of emergency support and the mission of health and welfare communications support for military personnel and their loved ones.
1. Add to the enjoyment of your Amateur Radio hobby through the expanded
horizon of Army MARS.
2. Become part of the Army MARS world-wide communications system. There
are Army MARS stations in
Japan, Korea, Panama, the Virgin Islands,
Puerto Rico, Germany, and, of course, each of the . United States
3. Increase your communications skills and capabilities. Learn more
about your hobby. Extension courses in communications-electronics
subjects are free to all Army MARS members.
4. Operate and experiment on specially assigned military radio
frequencies in voice and digital modes of communications.
5. Join a group of dedicated fellow radio amateurs participating in
meaningful public service.
6. Affiliate with the United States Army and become part of the
professional military communications family.
The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) is an official Department of Defense and Department of the Army sponsored communications system. Therefore, it has official status, is assigned missions and functions, and authorized the use of assigned military radio frequencies.
Army MARS is directed and managed by the Department of the Army through the United States Army Information Systems Command and is a world-wide organization. It is comprised of both military and civilian personnel. In fact, the majority are civilian volunteers. Each volunteer Army MARS member is required to hold a valid Amateur Radio license from the Federal Communications Commission. These volunteers are under no service obligation, but must meet a 12-hour per calendar quarter minimum participation requirement. A volunteer may resign from Army MARS at any time without difficulty or prejudice by simply submitting a written resignation.
In November, 1925, the Army Amateur Radio System (AARS) was initiated by a few dedicated pioneers in the United States Army Signal Corps led by Capt. Thomas C. Rives. His original intention was to enlist the talents of volunteer Amateur Radio operators as a source to train soldiers in the then new technology of radio as well as pursuing radio research and development to improve radio equipment within the Army. His efforts were very successful.
organization continued until the
5600 of those Amateurs were members of the AARS. About 20% of the pre-World War
II AARS members eventually entered the service of their country either in the
Army or in a civilian capacity. The U. S. Army recognized the great importance
of reactivating the AARS to train vitally needed communications personnel at a
relatively inexpensive direct cost to the
MARS has grown in all of the services throughout the world. They rely on our civilian and military MARS members to be available in case of emergency or disaster to provide communications support. At such times, they need all of the support MARS can provide. Amateur Radio collectively with MARS has made its mark in American history. Each year provides new evidence of the important role Amateur Radio with MARS plays in the service of the nation.
The applicant must:
be 17 years of age or older.
citizen or resident alien. United States
hold an Amateur Radio station license issued by the Federal
MARS has certain eligibility participation requirements such as maintaining a minimum of 12 hours participation time each calendar quarter and keeping MARS officials updated on the status of station and changes of address.
You are issued a MARS station license and Army MARS call sign. The station license expires on the same date as your FCC Amateur Radio Station license or when revoked for any reason. Upon acceptance, you are provided a manual on MARS communications operation procedures, message forms, logs, and other material needed for operation of your station. The manual, being U. S. Army property, must be returned if you leave the Army MARS program.
You will also receive an Army MARS Basic Training manual which you will study for the completion of an open book test on its contents. This is an excellent guide for operating your Army MARS station.
used in the Army MARS program are those assigned by the Joint Frequency Panel
You may join Army MARS by contacting any MARS member who can then guide you to acquisition of the proper applications or you may contact the following MARS Representative:
Jackson, AAA4KY (State Army MARS Director for
525 Circle Drive
To Kentucky MARS Home Page