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Author Topic: MARS Ahead 101?  (Read 2104 times)
N9KWW
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Posts: 86




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« on: March 26, 2009, 09:27:50 AM »

I am a NAVY MARS guy, but the Army MARS program seems like what we had BEFORE we changed to the tri service format.
Did i miss something?
Ron
NNN0VAG/N9KWW
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W3LK
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2009, 11:34:38 AM »

The tri-service SOP is based, in large, on the NMCM operating procedures. We had to do very little in the way of adjustment to the new procedures compared to what the Army folks have had to adjust to. I am on the NE Area Army MARS net almost daily and some of their folks STILL can't get adjusted to the new procedures.

If you are referring to the new ARMY training program, itself, it will be interesting to see what happens to the membership numbers if they do actually enforce the training requirements. I do agree that we used to do virtually all our training on the air, but I think this has fallen by the wayside in many states, especially for Tango members. I remember being REQUIRED to attend the weekly training net, run the net, originate, pass and deliver traffic (several times, BTW) before I could drop the Tango. I don't hear too much of that any more - to our detriment. I know a couple of states that have a member or two that STILL can't conduct a coherent net, although they been members for several years. Sad

Lon - NNN0OOR (Former MDE SMD, Deputy SMD, Assistant For Net Operations)
Southern New England Navy-Marine Corps MARS
Proudly Serving Those Who Serve
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W3LK
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2009, 11:39:41 AM »

BTW ...

It is my understanding that Army MARS will soon require a General Class amateur license for membership - no more Technicians.

Lon - NNN0OOR (Former MDE SMD, Deputy SMD, Assistant For Net Operations)
Southern New England Navy-Marine Corps MARS
Proudly Serving Those Who Serve
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K3WVU
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Posts: 491




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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2009, 04:02:47 PM »

As a current Army MARS member and a former Navy MARS member, I can tell you that the net format is the same, IAW with the SOP.  We're doing a lot of on-air training now, with a lot of discussion, as part of the MARS 101 program.  Membership requirements are getting a little tougher, such as completion of FEMA courses, email and internet access, etc., but so far, it hasn't seemed to affect the membership numbers.  If anything, the members seem to be energized by it.  We usually have 25-30 members participate on every net, and the nets, especially when we're doing training, fill at least an hour.
A General license will be required of all members, and at this point, everyone is being given a year to upgrade.  Not sure at this point whether a General license will be required to JOIN Army Mars, but there will certainly be a requirement to upgrade once you're in. One very good reason for this is the possibility of a member being in a deployment situation where he or she may be required to operate BOTH on MARS and Amateur HF frequencies.  You couldn't do that with a Tech license.
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WA3MEJ
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2009, 02:05:02 PM »

MARS 101 is a good thing.  We finally have some direction that makes sense and there is going to be a payoff.  Eventually we will end up being able to deploy with government agencies.  Stu Carter has done more for Army MARS in specific and MARS in general than anyone ever has.  In fact before he came into the picture MARS (at least the Army program) was about to close its doors, literally!

Now we have a purpose, customers and a sense of self. While it is true that some members will not make it though the new program, thats on them.  If their priorities are to be a viable part of the MARS program then they will work to complete the 101 course and the FEMA courses. If not.. well they will not make it in the program.  And to be blunt, we dont want them here.  I dont want this to sound self serving or for it to sound like an elitist organization but we ARE headed for better things and that is to become part of the EMERGENCY apparatus in this country.. and it is about time.

Navy and Air Force, dont think you have escaped this 101 program (some derivation there of) because to stay relevant you will have to get on the wagon.

Army has over 2800 members, this is up from the 2500 members we had when I started as State MARS director from Maryland. So something must be working somewhere.

In region 3 Army MARS is alive and active.....Live in Maryland and wanta join the best?  Wanta be part of the action? Want to be part of solution and go where the emergency is? Send me an email lets talk.

Jim AAA4MD/AAT3OK
State State Director
U.S. Army MARS

Send me an email
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KL7YK
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WWW

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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2009, 04:29:24 PM »

State State Director?Huh?



I want that title!


ROn Keech, ALM7AK
SMD Alaska Army MARS
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N9KWW
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Posts: 86




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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2009, 07:12:16 PM »

“MARS 101 is a good thing. We finally have some direction that makes sense and there is going to be a payoff. Eventually we will end up being able to deploy with government agencies. Stu Carter has done more for Army MARS in specific and MARS in general than anyone ever has. In fact before he came into the picture MARS (at least the Army program) was about to close its doors, literally!”

   I am not going to say who’s MARS program is better, that is up to the individual. However, Chief MARS for the army has a different view then the other services. An example is ALE Air Force and Navy MARS are onboard along with FEMA, The Army pulled out of that program, and took the frequencies with them. So much for cooperation!!!  As far as tickets are concerned, tell me why you need a general license for MARS? Most of the service folks have NO LICENSE what so ever, so how does general VS. A technician class license going to provide a better MARS program? I would think if you deny the all the Tech. Class holders an opportunity to join, you are reducing your pool of the next generation of operators. God did not make you I or anyone else an instant ham, the service nurtured that. We took it from there; in far too many cases if it were not for the MARS program in the services a lot of us would be hams!!!
   My point is this; we need folks, if you deny the new hams a chance, who will take your place when you become a silent key? We need new blood, if not we will die.

Ron Henry
N9KWW/NNN0VAG
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N9KWW
Member

Posts: 86




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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2009, 07:12:35 PM »

“MARS 101 is a good thing. We finally have some direction that makes sense and there is going to be a payoff. Eventually we will end up being able to deploy with government agencies. Stu Carter has done more for Army MARS in specific and MARS in general than anyone ever has. In fact before he came into the picture MARS (at least the Army program) was about to close its doors, literally!”

   I am not going to say who’s MARS program is better, that is up to the individual. However, Chief MARS for the army has a different view then the other services. An example is ALE Air Force and Navy MARS are onboard along with FEMA, The Army pulled out of that program, and took the frequencies with them. So much for cooperation!!!  As far as tickets are concerned, tell me why you need a general license for MARS? Most of the service folks have NO LICENSE what so ever, so how does general VS. A technician class license going to provide a better MARS program? I would think if you deny the all the Tech. Class holders an opportunity to join, you are reducing your pool of the next generation of operators. God did not make you I or anyone else an instant ham, the service nurtured that. We took it from there; in far too many cases if it were not for the MARS program in the services a lot of us would be hams!!!
   My point is this; we need folks, if you deny the new hams a chance, who will take your place when you become a silent key? We need new blood, if not we will die.

Ron Henry
N9KWW/NNN0VAG
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W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2009, 07:38:39 AM »

FWIW, I have heard NO mention of MARS Ahead 101 in Navy Mars, neither verbally nor in traffic from Chief, Navy MARS. That doesn't mean it won't happen, but it doesn't sound like it's very high on NNN0ASA's list.

<< fact before he came into the picture MARS (at least the Army program) was about to close its doors, literally! >>

I think the last part of that statement is unsupported by any facts that have been promulgated to Navy MARS and is, more likely, simply propaganda.  Maybe Army MARS was (still is?) on its last legs, but that's not the case with the MARS program over all or Navy MARS in particular.

<< Stu Carter has done more for Army MARS in specific and MARS in general than anyone ever has. >>

That statement is open to debate, especially about the "MARS in general" part. I tend to agree with the last poster on the matter,

Having said all that, I participate in the Region 1 Army MARS net on an almost daily basis and I am not particularly impressed, compared to my Navy MARS experience of the past 12 years. In 12 months, I haven't heard a single piece of traffic passed (at least on the 1600L net) and it's a constant rehash of the now-two-years-old Voice SOP.

I could go on and on, but I don't want to start an internecine battle between the services.  I'll just say that I see NOTHING in Army MARS that would make me want to jump ship and consort with a bunch of land lubbers. Smiley

Lon - NNN0OOR (Former MDE SMD, Deputy SMD, Assistant For Net Operations)
Southern New England Navy-Marine Corps MARS
Proudly Serving Those Who Serve
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K3WVU
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Posts: 491




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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 04:05:03 PM »

Lon,

I'm sure that there are a lot of differences within each service from region to region.  I also agree with you that there's no point in starting any type of squabble between the services, because we're all part of the same program. I had a lot of good experiences and got to know and work with a lot of good people in NAVMARCORMARS.
From my perspective here in Region 3, I've been impressed with the level of participation and professionalism on the nets.  I think it's safe to say that we average about 25 participants on our voice nets daily, and the MARS 101 training has really sparked discussion on the nets.  Having experienced both Navy and Army MARS, I've seen a world of difference.  The training requirements to shed your 'Tango' are more stringent in Army MARS, and to get one hour of participation on an Army MARS net, you need to be on the net for an hour (which isn't a problem, since our nets last at least that long).  We do pass traffic by voice, MT63, Olivia, EasyPal, etc., but much of that now is also handled via WL2K off-net.  The capability to run WL2K is becoming mandatory in Army MARS, as is email capability.
As far as the requirement to have a General Class license to belong to Army MARS, that doesn't seem to be a big deal to anyone, and there are operational reasons for that, as I explained earlier in the thread.  Besides, passing the General isn't that difficult. It's also become a requirement that everyone take four FEMA courses with a view toward interoperability.

I don't know whether Navy or Air Force will go toward a 'MARS 101' concept or not, but it's working well here in region 3 Army MARS.

Take care and 73,

Dwight AAR3DK
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N3ZH
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Posts: 23




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« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2009, 12:27:28 PM »

The new Mars requirements fall into two groups:

The one time requirements (for example obtaining a General Amateur license and taking some FEMA courses)

And recurring requirements (for example a yearly 12 week course similar to Mars101 followed by final exams, and more/different quarterly participation requirements)

For some the biggest challenge is the one time requirements.

For others (particularly those who are not yet retired) the recurring requirements.

For some - it's just demanding too much from their life.  They are volunteers, not employees nor service members.

Army Mars is loosing members - either because of the new one time requirements, or the recurring requirements, or simply because of fear of failure (I heard one quote on the air - "It's better to resign than be removed for just cause").

Army Mars will end up better - better qualified and capable to take on additional roles and missions with government entities at all levels of government.

But it saddens me to conclude that Army Mars will certainly become smaller as a result.  I'd speculate at least 1/3 smaller nationwide.

I wonder if these members who quit Army Mars are joining Navy or AF Mars?
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W3JKS
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2009, 10:47:23 AM »

We are trying to make the process as painless as possible.  

The final exam for 101 is on the Web, can be taken (and resumed if you're interrupted) at any time 7x24, and it's "open book" and pretty straightforward.  Anyone who is familiar with taking the FEMA EMI on-line courses will have no problem taking this exam.

I am hoping to get an online version going "real soon now" on www.armymars.net.  The lessons learned from the first round of the course are being incorporated into the course materials by the Tiger Team now.  

73,
john
W3JKS/AAT3BF/AAM3EDE/AAA9SL
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