Training & Qualifications
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This page
New Members
Chain of Command
Requirements participation and capabilities
Staff Call Signs
Training Intro and general information

Related Pages
AS0 Four's page
ECOM Training - Region Ten
Message Samples
Tango Members-just for you
Training Plan Region 10
Training, Basic procedures and advance course studies information.
Training, National NMC MARS Web Site

So, what happens after you apply to join Navy-Marine Corps MARS?
Training, participation, and other requirementsare somewhat different for individual members than they are for active duty and reserve military units. (Military auspices stations).   For more information continue reading this page.  Also see, "Tango Members- Just for you"

 Training of members at an auspices station is the responsibility of the Chief Operator (CHOP) and will not be discussed here.  If you are a CHOP or trustee of an auspices station, you should have written materials at your command regarding MARS participation and requirements for auspices stations.  If not, contact the
Director, Pacific Area Navy-Marine Corps MARSfor further details.  

Please keep in mind that acceptance of a new member is based on the needs of the program.  Membership is not a right simply by virtue of meeting the qualifications.

Regular and Trial Service Individual members are required to maintain at least 18 hours of participation each quarter.

   12 of those hours must be on HF nets.  
   The remaining 6 can be HF, VHF, or off-the-air participation.  
   You must have some participation in at least two of the three months in any given quarter.  
   If you anticipate not being able to meet requirements for some reason contact your state director to request a Leave of Absence.
  Members must be able to get on at least two Region Ten HF frequencies and have a current Amateur license.

Not to worry, most Amateur gear made since about 1990 can be modified to operate outside the Amateur band.  In most cases it's an easy modification to make and information on modifications is available.
  If you were a member of MARS in the past (any service) there are a few additional things your State Director must do.  We do apologize for any additional delay this may cause in processing your application.

Bear in mind, these are the minimum requirements.  To be most effective in MARS you should:
   be able to transmit and receive general coverage, 2 MHz to 30 MHz *,
   have VHF radio(s) capable of transmitting out to 150 MHz *,
   have digital mode capabilities including Pactor, Amtor, and MT63,
   have internet access; and,
   an internet e-mail address.  

Computers are becoming more and more essential to operations in MARS.  If you do not have a computer that is either linked to the internet, or capable of reading CD-ROM disks, you will have a very difficult time accessing the necessary training materials.  Training materials, procedure manuals, and the like are NOT available in hard copy, nor will one be provided should you ask. Everything you need is available on the internet.  If you have a computer, but no internet access a CD containing the necessary materials can be provided to you.

Once your letter of acceptance as a Trial Member goes out a lot of wheels are in motion behind the scenes.  The Region assistant for training, NNN0AS0 Four, as well as other staff, have to be notified that you are on board.  See "Tango Members-Just for you".

Several sources of training will be available to you from the beginning, and throughout your MARS career.  You will receive detailed information on these fairly soon after being accepted for Trial Membership.  

In keeping with paperwork reduction act, and thus to keep expenses down, MARS training materials are virtually all on the internet, will be sent to you by e-mail, or on CD-ROM.  Hard copies of materials are no longer provided.  Some materials can be available in hard copy for a fee.  Sources for your training include:
   the MARS Operator correspondence course (MOC), available on the National page under training;
   on-the-air basic procedures training nets;
   assignment of an experienced member as your Elmer to help you over any rough spots;
   an electronic copy of the policy manuals

   NTP-8 (series), available on the National page.
   a NCS Training Guide (net control station) available on this web site;
   On-the-air NCS training, provided as part of the Basic Procedures training;

   NMO series of courses.  See "NMO" under "training" on the national web site.  
   FEMA courses, 4 of these are required of regular members in order to qualify for a DoD disaster ID card. See "FEMA" under "Training" on the National page
(Tango members are not eligible to take the NMO or FEMA courses)
While a Tango may begin the course work, he or she can not submit it for
grading until they satisfactorily complete their Trial Service Period and
advance to regular membership.  It is recommended  that Tango members
stay with the Trial Service training material as that is quite an undertaking
in itself.

Questions?  Contact your Elmer, your state training staff, or your state director.

  Chain of Command
Like all military organizations MARS is rather strict about following the chain of command.  If you have a question, problem, or suggestion start with your Elmer or your area staff person for the topic.  It's OK to ask a Region staff member, particularly if that is who is available on a net and you need an answer right away, but it is preferred you contact your area staff first whenever possible.  

State staff will go to the State Director or Region staff, and so on up the chain, as necessary.  Do Not go to the Region or Area Director directly without first contacting your State staff or the appropriate Region 10 staff member first.  This isn't because they are aloof.  They are very busy people. Almost always an issue can be resolved at a lower level that is what the State Director and his/her staff are for.  

It's also important that the State and Region staff know what is going on so they are not in the dark.  If you do contact the Region Director by message, letter, or e-mail about anything you should cc your State Director as well as the appropriate State and Region 10 staff person if applicable.

  Staff Calls
In terms of hierarchy the State Director is highest primary staff position you normally should contact.  Their staff call sign is the root staff call for their state.  For example: 
Washington State Director's call is NNN0GCC.  
second in charge is NNN0GCC ONE and
the Washington Area assistant for training is NNN0GCC FOUR.

You can see that the extension on a staff call refers to the same specialty whether at the state, region, or Area level.  (the schema does not continue to National staff, assitants to Chief MARS)

Staff members have  staff call signs in addition to their personal call.  This helps identify them when they are on the nets.  For example, my personal call is NNN0FGN.  My staff call is NNN0AS0 FIVE.  Some members may hold more than one staff position.

The director Pacific Area, NNN0ASE, is usually an active duty Navy chief petty officer.  Our highest ranking staff member in Region Ten is the Region Director, NNN0ASO.  The Region 10 Assistant to the Director for Training is NNN0AS0 FOUR.  

There are a variety of Region staff who serve various functions.  These positions are as advisors to the director and to serve as specialists to assist the members as needed.  Region staff do not make policy, only Chief MARS and the director of the Region can do that.  Staff do provide interpretations of policy when needed and they make recommendations for any changes.

The next lower echelon are the staff for the states within Region 10.  Each state has a State Director.
A full list of the Region and State staff membersin Region 10 is available on this web site.

Training doesn't end with completion of the Trial Service period.  Indeed, the whole purpose of the day to day operations in Region 10 is training in preparation to meet our stated mission:  Emergency Communications.  There's plenty more you can do to further enhance your skills.  Once you complete your trial service period think about taking a NCS or alternate NCS position.  Don't let it scare you.  Look at it this way, as NCS you are in charge of the net.  As such you get to pretty much run the net at your own pace.

Other training and qualifications include the MARS Operator levels (NMO).  Collect all six certifications. And FEMA courses.  Certain of these are mandatory before you can be issued a DoD disaster ID card or be deployed to the field.  

Also check out theECOM Qualifications Pin and Certificate.

Check out the Training chapter in NTP-8, or click on "training" on the
National web site, for details.

More questions?  Contact your Elmer, state or region training staff, or your State Director.
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