Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Introducing "Young Marines" to Amateur Radio via MARS

Lt. Col. Roman Kamienski, KG6QMZ, who organized the
special event, directs the Young Marines to the field EOC .
(Photo by Tabbitha Brown, courtesy US Army MARS)
A.J. Brown, California state Army MARS director,
instructs Private Pham in microphone use.
(Photo by Tabbitha Brown, courtesy US Army MARS)
When a group of 30 young people (ages 8 through high school) participating in the Young Marines program came to the Army Reserve support unit in Costa Mesa, California for their summer drill, the unit's Army MARS liaison saw an opportunity to introduce them to amateur radio. Lt. Col. Roman Kamienski, KG6QMZ, initially planned a simple antenna demonstration to observe basic radio principles, according to an Army MARS news release, but it quickly grew into a full-scale communications exercise involving multiple organizations, Army MARS headquarters in Arizona and the Navy/Marine Corps MARS station aboard the USS Midway, which was berthed in San Diego. Kamienski reported that each of the young people performed well and that all talked on the radio at least once. The Young Marines is a non-governmental arm of the Marine Corps League.