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Author Topic: Should I join?  (Read 90372 times)
WB4TJH
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Posts: 193




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« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2014, 07:19:54 PM »

I was a member of Army Mars about 35 years ago and I soon realized it was a snobbish clique and little else that in reality served no purpose other than as a way for the elite to obtain military surplus boat anchors. It was the biggest waste of time I ever got into involving amateur radio. I doubt much has changed now.  On my OWN, I spent many nights running phone patches for U.S. Navy ships at sea. That had no connection to any Mars organization or program what so ever.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2014, 07:23:13 PM by WB4TJH » Logged
WD8DBY
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Posts: 27




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« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2014, 05:08:42 AM »

I was a member of Army Mars about 35 years ago and I soon realized it was a snobbish clique and little else that in reality served no purpose other than as a way for the elite to obtain military surplus boat anchors. It was the biggest waste of time I ever got into involving amateur radio. I doubt much has changed now.  On my OWN, I spent many nights running phone patches for U.S. Navy ships at sea. That had no connection to any Mars organization or program what so ever.

Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with MARS back then...MARS of today has changed significantly both in the missions we support and how the MARS program is run.  MARS today has four missions:  provide contingency HF communications support to DOD and the Services (we just completed a 48 hour exercise with DOD); provide communications support to DOD for Defense Support to Civil Authorities; support to geographic combatant commanders providing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief; and provide morale and welfare support to deployed DOD personnel.   
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NA4IT
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« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2014, 06:16:34 AM »

Was in Army MARS, left because of the seemingly non stop politics of the higher ups.

Also, was irritated that they decided to just hand out served agency licenses and allow non trained folks to operate, when the rest of us had to do the basic training and meet the on air requirements.

Indeed, it is your right to stop serving MARS for your own personal reasons. I can only attest that I've found the best and most dedicated Elmers in MARS.

Oh I agree, as for the general membership, their hearts are in it. It's the upper crust that killed it for me. Once they saw a leader lower than them be a leader, they did their best to tear him down. And they had some of the most elitists ideas there ever were. Example... "You can't run a net unless you have a dual receiver radio and a KW amp." Seriously, they actually told the membership that during KATRINA! The rest of us with our lowly stations were hearing stuff the upper crust couldn't hear.
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AFA6MD
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Posts: 10




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« Reply #33 on: November 06, 2014, 07:38:18 PM »

Oh I agree, as for the general membership, their hearts are in it. It's the upper crust that killed it for me. Once they saw a leader lower than them be a leader, they did their best to tear him down. And they had some of the most elitists ideas there ever were. Example... "You can't run a net unless you have a dual receiver radio and a KW amp." Seriously, they actually told the membership that during KATRINA! The rest of us with our lowly stations were hearing stuff the upper crust couldn't hear.

Dear OM, I am glad you had a good experience with the general membership and regret your negative experiences. I also regret that it swayed you to leave MARS as you seem like a great guy who was in MARS for the right reasons. I regret that I cannot speak for the past or for who is or was in Army MARS, but maybe consider membership in AF-MARS or Navy-MARS? You obviously had a good antenna setup (considering your comments in prior post!) and HAMs with great operating practices are always needed by our country. If you find a good ARES or SKYWARN or SATERN or similar group, then that is fantastic too! Whichever route works out for you - I wish you best of success!
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NA4IT
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« Reply #34 on: November 07, 2014, 04:12:50 AM »

I've been SKYWARN Director for my county and a SKYWARN Rep for 6 counties in E TN for years. Also am currently RACES Coordinator for my county. When I MARS, I helped figure out how to get Airmail to send bulletins in the new WL2K when it first came out. Also have taught many sound card digital and packet radio classes....
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KC2QYM
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Posts: 102




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« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2014, 01:56:28 PM »

It is a boring pastime in my opinion for me..but some may like it.  I've listened to their nets and it appears to be a self serving function but that's about it.  Perhaps many guys in the past joined to get free US military surplus radios and that may have been an incentive.  Forget about that now, uncle Sam is not handing anything out in that category...all that stuff goes to other countries and rebels that we support.  But the key thing about Mars as well as any emcomm group is that it becomes real boring very quickly.  It doesn't always turn out the way you expect it to turn out.  So what if you extend you frequency privledges outside of the ham bands; it's not like you're going to work some exotic DX. Oh you think you're going to talk to some aircraft?  Forget about it.  A ship? forget about it. The Nets sound like a bunch of guys yelping those extended call signs back and forth..wow...really exciting.  Message traffic handling, sure if that turns you on.  Field activities and seminars? Well if your unit is very active I can see that as the only positive side of joining.  But don't think that by joining you're going to rub shoulders with uniformed services.I hear that often Mars guys never go near a base.   Again, in my opinion it's a waste of time.  Others are facinated by it.  Join up and see whether it works for you.
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W1MSG
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Posts: 98


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« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2014, 04:07:37 PM »

I dont believe MARS was an Emcomm entity when it first came into existance, it was for assisting with Morale of the troops providing a link with home via phone patches. Since that has gone to the wayside with todays technology they are trying to cut a nitch for themselves in the Emcomm community. I gave it a shot while I was still in Uniform and it wasnt for me, and now that I am retired from the Army it still isnt for me ...
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