Training Outlines & Minimum Training Requirements

for Staff in General · Intro for Training Staff · Aspects of training   ·  Grading Correspondence Courses · Correspondence Course Changes · Classified/Restricted Courses
Return to Training Table of Contents

On This Page
Basic Procedures
ECOM Training
Net Control Station Training

The following outlines are intended as a guide for the MARS training staff.  These outlines establish training goals, the objectives within each goal, and methodologies for achieving those goals and objectives.  Notes are listed at the end of the outlines.

Three major aspects of new member training are each covered separately.  They are:  Basic Procedures Training, Net Control Training, and Emergency Communications Training.

These outlines serve several purposes.  They provide a guide for standardization of training of new members.  They lay out the minimum training requirements and materials each student must receive.  And, they may be used as a basis for developing your own training outlines.

  Basic Procedures Training

GOALS Students develop a basic understanding of the

purpose, organization, and logistics of

Navy Marine Corps MARS
OBJECTIVES Each Trial Service member will:

1. Develop an understanding of the basic history, purpose, and mission of the MARS program.

2. Develop a working knowledge of how MARS members train and stay prepared on a daily basis to meet that primary mission;

3. Develop an understanding of the administrative structure and chain of command within Navy Marine Corps MARS.

4. Learn sufficient correct on-the-air procedures to be able to participate; including:

a. net check-in,

b. sending and receiving traffic,

c. how relay instructions are used,

d. formatting messages,

e. kinds of messages they can accept for input into the MARS system and from whom.

5. Develop awaeness of the training available, both required and optional.  These include all requirements for satisfactory completion of the trial service, basic ECOM ops, the Navy MARS Operator (NMO) grades, and where to find information on training available to MARS members, on these and other courses.
METHODOLOGIES 1. As soon as possible assign an Elmer to a new Trial Service member.  Provide each student with information on how to contact their state and region training staff, their state director, and the Elmer assigned to assist them.

2. Provide each student with written materials* sufficient to cover the basics including: matrices and flow charts demonstrating the chain of command within their Area, Region, and particularly their State staff.

information on training available in the member's region including:

• training net times,

• MARS web site training resources,

• alternative methods for obtaining required and optional training.

• your Area, Region, and State Ops Guide(s) (as applicable),

• NTP-8 (series)

•how to obtain Chief MARS and directors' broadcast messages.

Note that some training is only available via the Internet.  It is not necessary to provide a comprehensive list of all available training, only that the member learns where to find information on training

3. Provide on-the-air interactive** instruction to include:

• instruction on how to check into a net;

• Available modes of communication on the air; when and where to use them.

• a brief history of MARS and how it came to be,

• the mission of MARS and how we prepare to meet that mission,

• a description of the Chain of command including State, Region, and  Area Directors.

• The roll of director's assistants to advise and provide guidance withing their area of responsibility.

• Provide references where the member can obtain more details.***

Security and Message Handling

• confidentiality of MARS members personal information,

• the requirements for security of messages,

• the parts of a message

• how to format a message to another MARS member or military command, and to a third party (including to/from families of service members),

• formatting for multiple addressees,

• learn the distinction between an action addee and an info addee,

• What are book messages

• Multi part messages (over 100 lines)


• Who reports participation time, when, where, and how;

• how to check into a net the correct way and how to list traffic,

• how to respond when called on the net by another station or the Net Control Station,

• learn the basic requirements and methodologies for sending and receiving messages on voice net,

• learn about teletype and other digital nets, and RDN switches (tailored to the needs and modes of operation within your State, Region, and Area).

• learn how to acknowledge receipt of a message,

• how to ask for repetitions,

• the correct prowords to use when passing traffic.

• learn the various precedence of messages and the time frames for delivery

•  learn what "breaking the net" means and when it is authorized

• By constant repetition, Instill in each the sense that correct procedures are expected at all times and are the only acceptable practice

• fully understand that accuracy comes first, speed second

  Emergency Communications

GOALS Each student learn more detailed information on the primary mission of MARS.  How it is different and how it is the same as day-to-day operations.

OBJECTIVES Develop and maintain a pool of trained operators ready to provide communications to, from, and within an affect geographical area or in support of US Military or other government operations.


Initial ECOM Training is really a sub part of Basic Procedures (above).  After all, ECOM is the reason MARS exists.

1. Each student must develop a working knowledge of:

• what constitutes ECOM,

• what are the ECOM freqs in your ops area as well as National.

• drills, exercises, and actual events,

• who may activate an ECOM net,

• when MARS is authorized to provide assistance,

• who may accept a request for MARS help,

• who may request it,

• what are the differences and similarities between ECOM traffic and any other traffic on the nets,

• formatting of ECOM messages and purpose of each type:  EEI, Implementation, SITREP, COMCON alert, etc.

• know where to find definitions for EVENT IDENTIFIERS used in EEI messages and how to select the correct one

• the use of "DRILL" or "ACTUAL EVENT" and where to place those terms in a message

• assigning a precedence to an actual event message

• importance of alternative power sources such as generators and deep cycle batteries.

2. Additional ECOM training is an ongoing process.  Everyday operations, drills and exercises, ECOM admin nets, FEMA courses, and much more are all a part of ECOM training.

  Net Control Station (NCS) Training

GOALS Develop a basic working knowledge of the duties
of a Net Control Station (Net Control Station)
OBJECTIVES Learn and practice the skills necessary to activate a net, coordinate passing of traffic according to precedence, maintain net discipline, and process the necessary reports
METHODOLOGIES 1. At least one on-the-air training net will be held to instruct students in the operation of a MARS  traffic net.

This training net will cover:

• the Net Control Station authority on the net

• the role of the Net Control Station in maintaining net discipline

• the role of net managers (not all Areas use them),

• the role of State, Region, and Area Thirteen staff,

• the role of State, Region, and Area Three staff;

• procedures for tuning up and when

• net designators,

• procedures for calling the net

• importance of calling the net on time,

• importance of recording stations checking in and traffic listings.

• importance of the Traffic Rep station(s)

• procedures for distributing traffic on the net,

• prioritize by precedence, organize by destination

• importance of frequent call ups

• net discipline and the role of the Net Control Station in maintaining discipline

• "Breaking the Net" when it is authorized, duty of the Net Control Station when net is broken

• Closing Down the net

• what messages and reports are required

• formatting messages and reports regarding the net's activities

2. Student will Function as a net control on at least two traffic or admin nets (not training nets)

• call a directed net

• acknowledge station check-ins

• determine best route for listed traffic

• correctly direct stations to pass that traffic

• format and send necessary reports

It is acceptable for the student to serve as Net Control Station for part of a net and work in concert with the regular Net Control Station for that net.  However, the student should spend enough time as Net Control Station to have gained some practice and skill in functioning as a Net Control Station

It is acceptable that the messages and reports formatted by the student be sent only to the instructor  or state or region Four and not as the actual report for that net.  However, the text of the messages  and reports must be properly formatted and the student should be required to demonstrate an  understanding of who the action and info addees would normally be.


*** Keep in mind that Tango members are not authorized access to secure area web sites.

+ Additional requirements for Tango members are outlined in NTP-8 Chapter Three.

* via web and e-mail, or on a floppy disc or other electronic media may be considered "written materials", however if a member does not have e-mail or access to the internet then provision needs to be made for them to receive the material.  In this day and age any member who does not have a computer and internet access (including e-mail) is at a serious disadvantage and will not be able to fully participate in MARS.

** it is not adequate for an instructor to simply address a training net for the duration of the net.  Think of the net as a class room.  Members of the net need to have an interactive roll in the net, be called upon from time to time, and be afforded frequent opportunities to raise questions and ask for clarification.
Return to Training Table of Contents