Up through the Vietnam war MARS primary mission was to facilitate communication between soldiers stationed over seas and their families back home. Their motto, “serving those who serve”, was an understatement to the incredible good they did for the welfare and morale of our troops.
Now that the internet and even cell phones are available to our troops, MARS has taken on a new mission to serve the department of defense here at home. This may be done in time of emergency or for the purpose of training active duty soldiers in HF radio usage.
Although the frequencies used by MARS are military and not amateur frequencies, MARS membership requires a general class amateur radio license or higher.
Every year MARS holds a cross-band radio event where amateurs talk to MARS stations by transmitting on amateur frequencies and listening on military frequencies for the replies.
MARS traffic nets are conducted every day of the week. Messages are sent digitally over HF. All messages are encrypted, something that is not allowed on amateur frequencies.