Radio Communications Protocol

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Radio Communications Protocol

Post  Michael Garber on Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:35 pm


The United States Military, even with its advanced communications system, is not safe from hacking. The enemy still manage to find ways to hack communications and listen in on chatter. So, for technical and logistical purposes, certain protocols have been put in place to ensure the security of all assets of the DoD and its forces.

Code names or "callsigns" have been used for centuries to ensure the safety and security of all military operations. To this day, they remain the primary fail safe over the communications. When speaking to another unit, it is appropriate to use your callsign and the callsign of those you are speaking to. If they have no designated callsign, use their nickname to ensure that a potential eavesdropper does not know who to look for. It is also wise to never directly mention who is in command of your forces and your unit over the net. An eavesdropper will then know who to target and eliminate.

Callsigns may also pertain to locations. On maps, it is appropriate to call in the exact position by its coordinates, including the grid of the map it is located in. Some buildings will have callsigns for the use of ground and aerial forces and it is imperative that the you specifically refer to said structure by its callsign. It lowers the possibility of confusion for friendly forces and leaves any eavesdropper in a stump, generally.


Sometimes in high stress/noise environments, it is important to take your time and spell out important tidbits of information. For this reason, the Phonetic Alphabet was developed by NATO.

A - Alpha
B - Bravo
C - Charlie
D - Delta
E - Echo
F - Foxtrot
G - Golf
H - Hotel
I - India
J - Juliet
K - Kilo
L - Lima
M - Mike
N - November
O - Oscar
P - Papa
Q - Quebec
R - Romeo
S - Sierra
T - Tango
U - Uniform
V - Victor
W - Whiskey
X - X-ray
Y - Yankee
Z - Zulu

All numbers remain the same aside from nine, which becomes "niner" phonetically.

Key Phrases and Meanings

You this is Me - Whenever radioing outside of your own AO, the communicator should be sure to identify himself first, and then his target audience.
Ex. "C2, this is Alpha One Actual..."

Over - End of this line of transmission.
Ex. "C2, this is Alpha One Actual, we have entered the AO, over."

Over and Out - End of this line of transmission, end of transmission.
Ex. "All callsigns, be advised: we are RTB, over and out."

Roger - Understood
Ex. "Roger that, moving with haste to Assassin Actual's twenty, over."

Affirmative - Understood
Ex. "Affirmative Assassin Actual, coordinates confirmed. RTB, out."

Say Again - The alternative to Repeat, means “say your last transmission again”.
Ex. "C2, I Say Again, we have contact! Tango's engaging us from our twelve, over!"

Say Again All After… - Say everything again after this part of your last transmission.
Ex. "C2, Say Again All After 'proceed to objective', over."

Repeat - Repeat Last Fire Mission; NOT repeat last transmission.
Ex. "NavGun, repeat on target, over."

Bead Window - Usually exclaimed, this means “immediately cease current communication; exterior communications compromised."
Ex. "All callsigns, BEAD WINDOW, out!"

Standby - Wait while I retrieve further data.
Ex. "Standby, Capone Actual... we are entering the AO in ETA five mikes."

Wait One - Wait a minute while I retrieve further data.
Ex. "Capone Actual, wait one... we are currently due east of Assassin Actual's twenty, over."

Break - Standby for a momentary pause in transmission.
Ex. "Uh, Assassin Actual, break, over."

Break Break Break - I’m interrupting you to make a more important transmission on this net.
Ex. "Break break break, fast movers incoming! Take cover, over!"

Be Advised - Pay close attention to my next transmission, it is important.
Ex. "Assassin Actual, be advised: you have thirty-plus footmobiles traveling fast to your twenty, over."

How Copy? - Did you understand my last transmission?
Ex. "Assassin Actual, this is Alpha One Actual, we are inbound to your twenty. How copy, over."

Solid Copy - I understood your last transmission (precedes the following transmission)
Ex. "Solid Copy, One Actual. Standingby for refit, over."

How do you read me? - How was my last transmission?
Ex. "Assassin Actual, how do you read me, over?"

Broken but Readable - There are gaps in your transmission but I can understand you.
Ex. "One Actual, your transmission came Broken but Readable, over."

Broken and Unreadable - There are so many gaps in your transmission that I do not understand you.
Ex. "One Actual, your transmission is Broken and Unreadable, over."

Static Covered but Readable - Your transmission is covered in static but I still understand.
Ex. "One Actual, your transmission came Static Covered but Readable, over."

Static Covered and Unreadable - Your transmission has so much static that I can’t understand you.
Ex. "One Actual, your transmission came Static Covered and Unreadable, over."

Interrogative - The following transmission is a question.
Ex. "C2 interrogative: what is the twenty of friendly armored battalion, over?"

Send Your Traffic - Send your transmission; also can be shortened to "send it" or "send traffic."
Ex. "C2, One Actual here, send your traffic, over."

What is your Twenty? - What is your location?
Ex. "Assassin Actual, what is your twenty, over."
Michael Garber

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Radio Audio Example

Post  Michael Hobbar on Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:20 pm


Name: Michael Hobbar
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Billet: 2nd Platoon Sergeant
MOS: 0311 Rifleman
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Michael Hobbar

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