Copyright Marine Corps Association Dec 1965
If I were Commandant, I would institute
a system for issuing a category "B" MOS for amateur radio operators so
that operators could be transferred to organizations with a requirement
for them. I would then appoint three districts of operation and have a
coordinator for each district: East Coast, West Coast and Pacific
districts. In this way, all problems of equipment, operations or personnel
could be handled in an official manner.
I would direct all Special Services
officers (on Marine bases) to maintain an amateur radio station in sound
working order and have the operator report his traffic total, (Marine
Corps) to the local Commanding General.
There are several problems that are
felt more strongly by Marine amateur stations overseas that are
un-noticeable CONUS. Support of overseas stations by CONUS stations. It is
difficult at times to get schedules with CONUS stations because it is felt
on some bases that there is very little need or justification for the
expenses of maintaining an amateur radio station, or the budget is so
small, if the station has a major breakdown it is out of action until the
next quarter . . . .
The next problem is availability of
operators. There is no system at present to find out who is a licensed
operator or how to get one. Therefore, the stations are at the mercy of
Lady Luck on obtaining operators and when you find a qualified operator
there is a fight to get his local command to release him.
The last problem is the coordination of
all amateur radio stations. At present, there is none. A station overseas
is at the mercy of the whims of an NCOIC of a Stateside station. If he
doesn't like to handle certain types of traffic, then he won't hold a
schedule with the overseas station. This leaves you only one alternative.
Through many hours of calling you finally get a civilian operator to
handle traffic on his leisure time and at his expense.
SSgt H. W. Boggs