Legion 'hams' organize

With 700,000 federally licensed amateur radio operators, or “hams,” in the United States, 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 Spring Meetings May, the National Executive Committee authorized the establishment of The American Legion Amateur Radio Club (TALARC).

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.

“The beauty of amateur radio is that it attracts folks of all career interests, from doctors, Ph.Ds, engineers, rocket scientists to mechanics, housewives, construction and office workers, students and everything in between,” said Robert L. Morrill, chairman of the Legion’s Public Relations Commission. “Hams provide backup communications to emergency management agency offices across the country when ‘all else fails,’ and have done so with distinction in virtually every major disaster, when cell towers and commercial communications have been knocked out after earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and man-made disasters.”

The club has established an amateur radio station at National Headquarters in Indianapolis in order to conduct special operations on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, and to conduct regular “nets” of licensed hams who will be able to ask questions about veterans benefits and how participants might get help with their claims. To that end, TALARC is looking for HF and dual-band VHF/UHF transceivers, and associated gear donations. Any hams who may have upgraded their station and are willing to donate their old one to TALARC may receive a tax deduction, as the Legion is a nonprofit 501(c)(19) organization which has a 501(c)(3) subsidiary trust entitled “American Legion Charities.” Contact your tax consultant for details. If you have radio gear you are willing to donate, please email k9tal@legion.org.

In January 2005, the Legion signed an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to support emergency disaster preparedness. Subsequently, the Disaster Preparedness Booklet was made available to posts. Amateur-radio support was an integral entity.

“The potential to serve here is limitless,” Morrill said. “Legionnaires who are hams can help others get licensed, coordinate with local emergency authorities, provide counseling and assistance to schools, and a whole array of other support.

“While some people may think that ham radio is an old technology, the simple truth is that hams were working with digital transmissions long before folks had home computers, and they provided the impetus to make ‘wireless’ happen. They were transmitting emergency calls from their cars long before anyone had a mobile phone to do the same. Today, hams are conducting broad spectrum experiments on the ham bands, that may eventually become routine ways to communicate for all of us.”

Membership is free to members of The American Legion family. Reports will be made available via Legion media as progress is made on developing the station.

Posts interested in establishing an amateur-radio communications station at their post can contact k9tal@legion.org for details.


  1. Greetings to my fellow HAM operators. I was recently accepted into the group and look forward to networking with same. You can also look me up on qrz.com 73, Hector M. Diaz-Colon, K6DCI Post 508 Los Angeles, CA
  2. I see many asking on how they can join. You need to do what I am doing to get Amateur Radio Participation and that's by holding licensing classes. In the last three years, I've held at least 10 classes at my post. Granted, there have only been around one or two legionnaires per class but I also use the classes to recruit new members for the Legion, SAL and Auxiliary. When not teaching ham radio license classes, I teach Radio Merit Badge Classes to Boy Scouts. Besides promoting Amateur Radio, it also looks good on your Consolidated Post Reports. Get certified as an instructor and VE. 73's ELDEN MORRIS, N1MN Post 264 Mableton, GA
  3. This is a great thing. The VHF/UHF equipment purchased for K9TAL by the SMD SAL is on its way. Good luck and 73, Al Rhodes KJ4TDG SMD SAL Finance Officer
  4. Post 0201 in Shiner Texas. I read the proclamation to the Group. I am drafting a proposed equipment list with cost, for approval. They are interested, and have a few that will study for the Tech, .....Baby steps...KC5UTA
  5. <b>Kudos for starting up this ham club!</b> I passed the invitation along to fellow veterans at FCC HQ. <em>FB & 73,</em> Life Member, Post 290, Stafford, Virginia Trustee, FCC Amateur Radio Club, WA3FCC <em>Chief, Stafford EmComm Team</em>
  6. To join The American Legion Amateur Radio Club just send your name, call sign, address and Legion/Auxiliary/SAL membership number to: k9tal@legion.org. You will receive a colorful membership card by mail. Your club membership will remain active as long as your Legion or Legion family membership is up to date.
  7. Good day, Sir. I am a member of Post 275 in Maryland, active in Navy Marine Corps MARS, former SEC for MD/DC and part of the NCS SHARES management team. I am interested in supporting this action, please advise. 73 Doug Lindsey, Jr. KZ3H/NNN0PXJ
  8. I am the Post 275 "Disaster Preparedness and Response" committee chairman. Last year our Post established a " Community Emergency Response Team" (CERT), and an amateur radio communications team. Our CERT team is currently active in the Glenarden community. And our amateur radio communications team currently operates mobile/portable as situations dictate. We are setting up an hf/uhf/vhf station at the Post home. I look forward to participation at the national level with TALARC. Pro Deo et Patria Ken Greenhouse KB3IIE Post 275 Glenarden, Maryland
  9. Tried to get RACES and ARES interested in using our 7 acre, somewhat secluded, Post area for an emergency operations pad. Our pavilion has electricity, lights, and water. For some reason, they only came out once. With this program I may be able to entice them back. How do I join? Need some clout to open the door. Richard Beckwell N3KGZ Disney-Bell Post 66 Bowie, MD Just renewed, so I'm good till 2021.
  10. I am a member of Post 1450 in Halfmoon, NY. I am also a radio Amatuer - W2NU involved in Army MARS and local ARES and RACES. How do I join? Thank you, Diana
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