Two-way radio communication is an art. In this era of mobile phones –it is all the more important for everyone to learn how to communicate over radio; because many of the radio etiquette apply to the mobile communication as well. Radio etiquette are the rules designed to ensure smooth and precise communication over the wireless sets (aka walky-talky). Armed forces use these devices to send across extremely important messages. If these messages are misunderstood, a great loss of life may ensue. That is the reason radio conversation has be be absolutely accurate.
Today, I am writing about how the radio communication should be done. I guess everyone must be aware of these things, you never know when such critical knowledge may come handy!
Before making a radio call, decide about what you are going to say and to whom your message is meant for. If necessary, write down your message before transmitting it. If your message is long, divide it into understandable shorter messages.
Identity yourself upon initiation of call
Radio communication usually occurs among more than two people and they all communicate with each other over a particular radio frequency. Unlike talking on mobile phones, each person does not have a specific phone number which will flash on receiving party's handset.
So, it is very important to clearly identify yourself when you make a radio call; for example “Bravo423, this is Echo5Charlie.”
Don't think that this introduction is funny and it just happens to dramatize a movie scene. Let me repeat, it is extremely important to CLEARLY identify yourself.
Radio is used only for sending and receiving important messages and not for long chit-chat. So, be precise and concise.
Go a bit slow
If you have a long list of points to be delivered to the other side –it is considered polite if you speak one point and then say “break”… wait for a couple of seconds… speak the next point… again say “break”… wait again a bit… so on so forth…
Use of “break” between points and wait of a couple of seconds gives time to the other party to interject if they need to.
When you want other party to speak
To signal that you have finished speaking and now you're waiting for the other party to reply –you should say “over”
Terminating a call
When you want to terminate a call; say “over and out”
If you are talking to your seniors –don't terminate the call on your own. Let them decide and end the call whenever they deem fit.
Once “over and out” has been communicated –nothing more should be said after that.
In radio communication, interrupting the other party's speech is considered very rude. Army guys may as well have to face music for such a mistake. You are expected to patiently listen when it is the other party's turn to speak.
But if there is an emergency and you have to interrupt –you should say “break, break, break”
Don't use “repeat”
In case of military communication, usage of the word “repeat” must be avoided in general communication because a misunderstanding of this word could have grave repercussions (e.g. a repeat attack)
If you could not hear what the other party was saying –you should use “say again” to request the other party to repeat the words.
Use NATO Phonetic Alphabet
Sometimes radio communications are of mission critical nature. A slight misunderstanding can cause an unimaginable havoc. So, it is recommended to spell out key words using NATO Phonetic Alphabet. This alphabet goes like “Alpha Bravo Charlie…”
Avoid saying “yes” or “no”
Saying yes or no could sometimes cause misunderstanding. So, you should say affirmative instead of yes and negative instead of no.
I hope you liked this article and found it useful. Please comment what you think of radio communication. Is it funny? or necessary? Thank you for using TechWelkin.