The American Legion Amateur Radio Club
The American Legion has formed a special entity to provide a forum for military veterans who today are engaged in a hobby that can also provide emergency communications "when all else fails." During the May 2011 Spring Meetings, the National Executive Committee authorized the establishment of The American Legion Amateur Radio Club (TALARC). There are estimated to be 700,000 federally licensed amateur radio operators, or "hams," in the United States. Over the years, countless members of the U.S. military were trained as technicians or engineers, and later obtained amateur-radio licenses to continue to use their abilities at home, as both recreation and a public-service commitment.
WHY "HAM RADIO" IN LEGION POSTS?
Decades ago, as early as the 1930s, the American Legion's National Security Commission encouraged posts to form amateur radio groups in support of civil defense. The American Legion even published and distributed an instructional radio course in the 1950s. Posts around the country became involved in ham radio; the American Legion Amateur Radio Network was on the air across the nation. Today, many of those groups have not only survived, but are enjoying a resurgence of prominence that has resulted from a 2010 National Convention resolution. Resolution No. 134, "The American Legion Role in Homeland Security," urges Legionnaires, Posts and Departments to assist in homeland security efforts in communities, for example, by developing emergency kits and plans; by remaining informed and assisting families, schools, workplaces and communities in developing emergency plans and checklists; and by reporting suspicious activity or working with community-based organizations.
In support of this resolution and previous resolutions on the same subject, the Legion's Public Relations Commission published a pamphlet on "Disaster Preparedness and Response," which outlines steps every post can take to be ready to respond effectively during civil or natural disasters. Ham radio is a natural fit. There has been a resurgence of interest among Legionnaires who have been licensed amateur radio operators for many years, and a good deal of curiosity from members interested in obtaining a ham license. Many are military-trained but may have had little reason until now to pursue a ham license. With today's growth in technology, more people than ever before are passing their FCC exams and becoming licensed amateur radio operators - more than 700,000 in the United States.
To learn more about TALARC, go to: www.legion.org/hamradio
Call Sign: NV7AL (NeVada 7 American Legion)
Contact: Robert "eBay Bob" Bencsko