Join Army MARS

Membership application is available at the bottom of this page. Scroll to Instructions below:

Prospective Members, WARNING!

Army MARS (AMARS) isn't easy.

Amateur Radio operators who lack experience operating and maintaining effective High Frequency (HF) radio systems should work within the Amateur Radio service to establish the understanding, skills, and experiences necessary to operate and maintain an effective HF radio system capable of maintaining good communications throughout the entire North American continent before applying for AMARS. A strong understanding of HF radio technology is an assumed prerequisite and is not included in the AMARS Basic Training Program.

The Department of the Army requires it's MARS Auxiliarists to (ref AR 25-6):

(a) maintain radio and computer systems without assistance, including loading and configuring software and operating systems, configuring and operating local area networks, and recover corrupted computer systems.

(b) have unrestricted access to a radio system consisting of a transmitter and receiver (or transceiver), antenna, modem, computer equipment, and associated software. This system must be capable of operating on all radio frequencies between 2 and 30 MHz in accordance with NTIA Manual of Regulations technical standards with an output power of at least 100 watts in order to communicate effectively over long distances. The system shall use single side band as described in MIL–STD–188–141 and the serial phase key shifting data mode described in MIL–STD–188–110A. “Unrestricted access” means the individual may use the radio system on demand and as required to support MARS activities without conditions.

(c) be willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement and submit to a background check. If information is discovered on a background check that prevents the applicant from becoming a MARS operator, the individual may provide mitigating information to the Office of the Chief, Army MARS, who will make a final determination on the application.

(d) be eighteen years of age or older.

(e) be citizens of the United States or individuals who have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence under Title 8, United States Code, Chapter 12 (8 USC Chapter 12).

(f) hold a valid Federal Communications Commission (FCC) amateur radio license (of any class).

(g) agree to operate per the regulations prescribed for participating in the Army MARS Program.

(h) have no prior record of being terminated for cause by another Service MARS Program (may be waived by the Chief, Army MARS, upon review of mitigating information and consultation with the other Service).

(i) be of good moral character (for example, trustworthy, honest, reliable, respects and upholds laws).

(j) have no felony convictions, or under indictment in any court for a felony.

(k) have no associations with known terrorist organizations.

(l) not use illicit drugs.

(m) not have been declared mentally incompetent.

(n) not have been discharged from the Armed Forces under other than honorable conditions.

AMARS operations is integrated with software and personal computers and requires installing, updating and maintaining communications software, the Windows operating system environment, and the local area network. Persons considering membership who lack IT skills should work to establish intermediate level skills and knowledge before applying. IT skills are an assumed prerequisite and are not included in the AMARS Basic Training Program.

AMARS Auxiliarists are required to sign a membership agreement, adhere to operational security and privacy rules, and protect sensitive information. AMARS members will be expected to meet minimum performance standards which include calling HF radio nets according to prescribed procedures, selecting appropriate HF radio frequencies and antenna systems for network operation throughout North America based on the time of day and area of operation, drafting, sending and relaying messages in prescribed formats, loading and updating encryption keys, and maintaining specialized software systems.

MARS Auxiliarists are not paid, are not provided any form of material support such as radio equipment or government surplus, and are expected to donate their time and use of their radio stations for the service of the United States. MARS members may be asked to serve during times of crisis, when their community and personal situation is affected by a complex catastrophe.

Operating as a MARS Auxiliarist is a rewarding and challenging activity in which citizens take part in solving complex communications problems in extraordinary situations. Through experience training and exercising, MARS members become the Subject Matter Experts in HF radio communications. Teamwork is the foundation to success in AMARS, and taking on challenges is what we do. MARS members develop a high level of camaraderie, and most find lifelong friends in the MARS service. While MARS membership is not easy, we hope you accept the challenge to serve the United States by becoming a Army MARS member. Learn about what the MARS community is doing by checking us out on Facebook.


The Application is a PDF form that you complete on your computer. Email the completed form to

Download Form 1 below...

Army MARS Individual Application