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.
"The beauty of amateur radio is that it attracts folks of all career interests, from doctors, Ph.D.s, engineers, rocket scientists to mechanics, housewives, construction and office workers, students and everything in between," says 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 with the call sign K9TAL (K9 The American Legion) in order to conduct special-event operations on The American Legion Birthday, Veterans Day, etc.; operate SKYWARN during local severe weather; and provide members an opportunity to operate the station during visits to National Headquarters. A special QSL card is provided to all amateur radio stations that work K9TAL on the air.
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 says. "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 ham bands that may eventually become routine ways to communicate for all of us."
Membership is free to members of The American Legion family. For information, or to join: firstname.lastname@example.org
20 METERS: 2ND SATURDAY OF EACH MONTH, 14.275 MHz, 1800 UTC (1:00 p.m. EST) with Net Control, Bill, KI0CW, and Asst. Net Control, Everett, WA3DVO.
40 METERS: EVERY SUNDAY: The California American Legion Amateur Radio Service (CALARS) meets every Sunday on 7.278 MHz at 2100 UTC. All TALARC members are welcome to check in. Dan Curry - K6DLC, American Legion Post 585, District 26 - Amateur Radio Coordinator.
40 METERS: 3RD SUNDAY OF EACH MONTH, TBD MHz, Terry, KE6RWB, brings 40-meter LSB to our list of nets. Please point your antennae to Cottonwood, Arizona and check in with Terry and American Legion Post 25 every third Sunday of each month at 2300 UTC (6:00 p.m. EST).
80 METERS: EVERY WEDNESDAY, K5TAL Net of the Gautier-Vancleave Post 1992, Gautier, MS holds a net on or near 3.815 MHz at 6:30 PM CST (0030 UTC). TALARC members from MS, AL, LA, AR, TN and TX (and anywhere else) are welcome and encouraged to join in.
IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Project) www.irlp.net. IRLP provides worldwide communication using standard UHF/VHF radios. Great network!
The combined IRLP/Echolink net is held 2nd Wednesday of each month at 0200 UTC (9:00 p.m. EST) at the IRLP Node 9735 (Crossroads Reflector)/Echolink *CROSSRDS* Conference, courtesy of Dave, K9DC.
D-Star also provides worldwide communication with D-STAR capable transceivers and access to the internet.
The TALARC D-Star Net is held the first Monday of each month at 8 p.m. EST (0100Z) at Ref56C, Net Control operators are from our own Kentucky American Legion Post 46/ Wilderness Road Amateur Radio Club W4CDA.
The EchoLink net is held the second Saturday of each month at 1700 UTC (12:00 noon EST) for those hams unable to transmit via IRLP or other digital/VoIP modes on Conference Node *FMCA-ARC*. Download Echolink to your PC or mobile device
TALARC Monthly Nets
National EchoLink and 20-Meter Nets meet the 2nd Saturday of each month.
Echolink NCS is Marty, W9WMJ, 20M Net Controls are Bill KIØCW, SD and Everett WA3DVO, MD.
National 40-Meter Net meets the 3rd Sunday of each month.
40M Net Control is Terry, KE6RWB, AZ.
National/Regional 80m Net meets every Wednesday.
80M Net Control is Don KA5DON, MS. (Post 1992 Radio Club K5TAL)
National combined Echolink and IRLP Net meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month.
IRLP Net Controls are Marty W9WMJ, Mike W9MNA, and Bill NZ9S.
The National D-Star Net meets the 1st Monday of each month at 9 p.m. EST [0200 UTC]. D-Star Net Control is George, KM4QOY, and members of American Legion Post 46/ Wilderness Road Amateur Radio Club W4CDA.
Interested in taking on the challenge of starting a national or regional TALARC net and acting as net control, either HF or VHF/UHF, including IRLP or modes such as AM, CW or digital? Contact Bill Sloan, NZ9S, at the Legion National Headquarters via email: email@example.com. Let him know your idea for a particular region, what might be the best time/day schedule for you, and what mode and bands you'd like to try. We'd be particularly interested in finding an American Legion post amateur radio program that would like to anchor a permanent TALARC net. We'll post your schedule here!
Updated: Feb 5, 2018
The American Legion Post 110
Port Charlotte Florida