Call Sign Protocol

This is likely a silly question, but everything I know about radio protocol came from the Army, including the use of the NATO phonetic alphabet. So when I’ve been identifying my GMRS license call sign, I use that phonetic alphabet.

I was in a city in another state recently where I heard a lot of GMRS traffic and nobody does that. Am I doing the wrong thing? I’m so acclimated to doing it that way that I’d have a hard time not doing it that way.

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Hi @Yeoman. Both methods of call sign identification are acceptable. Keep in mind that GMRS is a very common radio service that is used by many different levels of radio user, many of which may not be familiar with the full phonetic alphabet, and many may not broadcast their call sign at all. In short, you have nothing to worry about by broadcasting phonetically if that is what you’re most comfortable with!

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Your Legal ID is how you identify your station, most radio services allows for ID once every 10 minutes of transmit and on the final transmission.
Legally, as long as you ID, it doesn’t matter if the other station copy’s it or not. The purpose of the ID is for YOU to identify yourself.
Most people are stupid, if you make a rule, they will not follow it.
If you ask them to learn something, they will not learn it.
For amateur radio people, many of them will request that their call sign be a form of their initials of their name, - mostly so they don’t forget it, but partially just because they want to own something and to them their initials means - I own it, its mine, its who I am!
If for someone reason someone requests you to identify - and I am guilty of this myself, a’s and k’s and c’s and d’s and e’s all sounds the same.
I ask for a phonetic alphabet pronunciation.
I personally know of one person that handles traffic on a regional level, that does not know the phonetic alphabet.
If you ask him to spell something he will say George - G E O R G E…
And this person is an official ARRL Liason.

Some of what you said may not correlate - I learned code a long time ago, if I was asked to spell George - I would say George Edward Oboe Romeo George Echo, where as these new kids on the block might say - Gulf Echo Oscar Romeo Golf Echo…

When you change the phonetics on them they can’t comprehend it is the same letter. So when I say my call sign, I just say - Dog Oscar - Dog - you know ruff ruff without the G. …

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