Soldier Combat Skills

Chapter 11-2 – Radiotelephone Procedures

Radio, the least secure means of communication, speeds the exchange of messages and helps avoid errors. Proper radio procedures must be used to reduce the enemy’s opportunity to hamper radio communications. Each time you talk over a radio, the sound of your voice travels in all directions. The enemy can listen to your radio transmissions while you are communicating with other friendly radio stations. You must always assume that the enemy is listening to get information about you and your unit, or to locate your position to destroy you with artillery fire.


11-1. Radio procedure rules, listed below, will help you use transmission times efficiently and avoid violations of communications.

  • Prior to operation, assure equipment is properly configured. The TM is a good place to begin. Examples of items to check include tuning, power settings, and connections.
  • Change frequencies and call signs IAW unit signal operating instructions (SOI).
  • Use varied transmission schedules and lengths.
  • Use established formats to expedite transmissions such as sending reports.
  • Encode messages or use secure voice.
  • Clarity of radio communications varies widely, so use the phonetic alphabet and numbers.
  • Transmit clear, complete, and concise messages. When possible, write them out beforehand.
  • Speak clearly, slowly, and in natural phrases as you enunciate each word. If a receiving operator must write the message, allow time for him to do so.
  • Listen before transmitting to avoid interfering with other transmissions.
  • Long messages risk becoming garbled and create increased electronic signature. The use of prowords is essential in reducing transmission time and avoiding confusion.
  • Minimize transmission time.


11-2. Stations are grouped into nets according to requirements of the tactical situation. A Net is two or more stations in communications with each other, operating on the same frequency. Nets can be for voice and/or data communications. The types of nets follow:

Command Net (Command and control the unit’s maneuver).

Intelligence Net (Communicate enemy information and develop situational awareness).

Operations and Intelligence Net

Administration and Logistics Net (Coordinate sustainment assets).


Flash (For initial enemy contact reports).

Immediate (Situations which greatly affect the security of national and allied forces).

Priority (Important message over routine traffic).

Routine (All types of messages that are not urgent).


Heading–A heading consists of the following information:

  1. Identity of distant station and self.
  2. Transmission instructions (Relay To, Read Back, Do Not Answer).
  3. Precedence.
  4. FROM/TO.

Text–Text is used to–

  1. Separate heading from message with Break.
  2. State reason for message.

Ending–An ending consists of–Final Instructions (Correction, I Say Again, More to Follow, Standby, Execute, Wait). OVER or OUT (never use both together).


11-3. Soldiers should know how to prepare and use the Nine-Line MEDEVAC Request and the call for fire.

Nine-Line MEDEVAC Request–For a more detailed description (Table 4-3, FM 4-02.2): Line 1 Location of pickup site. Line 2 Radio frequency, call sign, and suffix. Line 3 Number of patients by precedence. Line 4 Special equipment required. Line 5 Patient type. Line 6 Security of pickup sight (wartime). Line 6 Number and type of wound, injury, or illness (peacetime). Line 7 Method of marking pickup site. Line 8 Patient nationality and status. Line 9 CBRN contamination (wartime). Line 9 Terrain description (Peacetime).

Call for Fire–The normal call for fire is sent in three parts, each of which has the following six elements. The six elements, detailed in the sequence in which they are transmitted, follow: For a more detailed explanation for calling for fire, see FM 6-30, Chapter 4:

  • Observer identification.
  • Warning order.
  • Target location.
  • Target description.
  • Method of engagement.
  • Method of fire and control.


11-4. The following paragraphs discuss common, strength, and readability prowords, as well as radio checks:

Common Prowords–Common prowords are those words used on a regular basis while conducting radio operations. They are NOT interchangeable, as the meanings are specific and clear to the receiver. An example is “Say Again” versus “Repeat.” “Say Again” means to repeat the last transmission, while “Repeat” refers to fire support, and means to fire the last mission again (Figure 11-1).

Strength and Readability Prowords–Certain strength and readability prowords must be used during radio checks:

Strength Prowords

  • Loud.
  • Good.
  • Weak.
  • Very Weak.
  • Poor.

Readability Prowords

  • Clear.
  • Readable.
  • Unreadable.
  • Distorted.
  • With Interference.
  • Intermittent.

Radio Checks–Rating signal strength and readability. An example radio check follows:

Radio Check What is my strength and readability?

Roger I received your transmission satisfactorily.


Preliminary Calls

Bulldog 19, this is Bulldog 29. Over.
Bulldog 29, this is Bulldog 19. Over.
Bulldog 19, this is Bulldog 29. Message. Over.
Bulldog 29, this is Bulldog 19. Send your message. Over.


Bulldog 19, this is Bulldog 29. Convoy Romeo 3, correction: Romeo 4 should arrive 1630z. Over.

Read Back

Bulldog 19, this is Bulldog 29. Read back. Convoy has arrived. Time 1630z. Over.

Say Again

Bulldog 19, this is Bulldog 29. Request a recovery vehicle to grid 329966. Over.
Bulldog 29, this is Bulldog 19. Say again, all before grid. Over.
Bulldog 19, this is Bulldog 29. I say again. Request a recovery vehicle. Over.

Roger versus Wilco

Bulldog 19, this is Bulldog 29. Request a recovery vehicle to grid 329966. Over.
Bulldog 29, this is Bulldog 19. Roger. Over.
Bulldog 19, this is Bulldog 29. MOVE TO GRID 329966. Over.
Bulldog 29, this is Bulldog 19. WILCO. Over
Bulldog 29, this is Bulldog 19. Roger. Over.

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