Military Amateur Radio System


During the Vietnam conflict there were no individual personal cellular or landline telephones available for soldiers or sailors to use for calling family members back home. To address this, United States MARS (Military Affiliate Radio Service) stations from all branches of the service, Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force, were deployed throughout Vietnam. The MARS system offered soldiers and sailors a way to personally communicate with loved ones back home via the use of a "phone-patch" telephone connection over short-wave radio. MARS stations would allow each soldier a free 5 minute personal radio telephone call home to the United States. In just about all cases, MARS was the only way soldiers could call home. In other words, "MARS was the soldiers’ Telephone Company."