Lt. Robert D. Cirri, Sr.
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Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS)

The Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) is a Department of Defense sponsored program with separately managed and operated programs by the Army, Navy, and Air Force.  (Note: You may not join or belong to more than one MARS service at the same time.)

MARS consists of licensed amateur radio operators who are interested in military communications and provide auxiliary or emergency communications on a local, national, and international basis as an adjunct to normal communications. 

MARS applicants must: 

  1. Be 18 years of age or older.
  2. Be a United States citizen or resident alien.
  3. Possess a valid amateur radio license issued by the FCC
  4. Have digital capability, i.e., Packet, Amtor, Pactor, or G-TOR.
  5. Possess a station capable of operating on MARS HF frequencies which are outside the FCC ham bands. 
  6. Agree to operate a minimum of 12 hours  per calendar quarter, with 6 hours in their primary HF assignment.

MARS members stations meet periodically in scheduled nets on military frequencies outside of the amateur bands. There are various types of networks and each accomplishes a specific goal. For example, administrative networks to take care of much of the day-to-day management of the program; traffic networks which exist solely to pass third party traffic; and of course, emergency networks which are established to provide for communication needs during periods of emergency. There are also technical nets and training nets. MARS nets operate in different modes. Although high frequency (HF) single sideband (SSB) voice is predominant, there are RTTY, VHF, PACKET, other digital modes and even slow scan TV nets. 

To find out more about the program and membership, visit these sites:


We are working to become an AF MARS station. Currently two members are applying for membership.