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Old 02-25-2013, 05:29 PM
JOERM JOERM is offline
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Alpha, Bravo, Charile. Military Alphabet Code and LEO Code Alpha, Bravo, Charile. Military Alphabet Code and LEO Code  
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Default Alpha, Bravo, Charile. Military Alphabet Code and LEO Code

The Army taught us the alphabet and number codes and we were told to strickly stick to it. I listen to the scanner and hear LEO's using words like, "Apple, Mary, Buddy" and pretty much what comes to their mind when reading off the license plate number. Just wonder why they don't use the military code. Seems like the dispatchers would appreciate it when they are writing down the letters and numbers.

1: Wun
2: Too
3: Tree
4: Fower

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Old 02-25-2013, 05:49 PM
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We stuck pretty close to the military style but I've been retired for 15 yrs. so anything may have happened in the interum.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:53 PM
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Twenty-two years in the Air Force, I can do the military phonetic alphabet in my sleep. When I got into civilian LE they use an LE phonetic alphabet based on first names, Adam, Boy, Charles, David, Edward, etc. When I first signed on I about drove the Dispatchers crazy, except for one who had some military time. I still have to be careful and double check my civilian cheat sheet on occassion and I still relaps to the Military version if I get in a hurry or........ get excited.......I'm old now so I don't get excited very often any more.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:59 PM
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Probably has to do with utility-the military phonetic alphabet was designed for NATO-the universal language for NATO is English. So you can call for fire from a Dutch battery, for example.
Police of course are dealing with local dialects-and they use what will work-as long as they are understood-then its OK.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:00 PM
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We used the first name system in Wyoming in the 60's and 70's.
Don't know what they use now.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:09 PM
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I never understood the inconsistency from system to system. When I listened to police calls 20-30 years ago I could hear a mix of phonetic codes. I always thought that some LE agencies just had a severe "not invented here" problem and blew off what everybody already knew just so they could insist on their own "improved" system.

There was probably a command staff officer in every agency who drove a desk and was in charge of communication protocol. He wouldn't have been doing his job if he didn't mess with standards.

At least they never used plant codes.

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:20 PM
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Sorry, but former military guys sound like dorks on the police radios when they insist on retaining military phonetic expressions and jargon. You're not in the military anymore. Adopt to the new culture, code and jargon. There's nothing wrong with "Adam" instead of "Alpha".

And speaking of jargon, the NIMS system advocates talking like a normal person. Ten codes are a thing of the past.

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When I got into civilian LE they use an LE phonetic alphabet based on first names, Adam, Boy, Charles, David, Edward, etc.
First names? Boy? Tarzan, Jane Cheetah....X-ray.....Zebra. I use "Xylophone" for X but people keep confusing it for Z!

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:41 PM
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I guess it all depends upon if you served in the military or not. It was a standard the military used, all branches, to have a universal and common protocol amongst the branches and our allies. Not so the LE community. It is/was a "ours is better" mind-set. But, that was all a long time ago.....both the military and LE. Frankly, I don't care what any of them use now.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:44 PM
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:49 PM
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Some agencies do use the military phonetic alphabet. 10-codes, other 'codes' and 'signals' can vary greatly from state to state. At the agency I retired from, we did not use '10-4' at all. Even now when I hear it on the scanner, to me, it sounds strange and amateurish, but I know it is second nature to most cops, and to them it sound professional.

We all get used to the our own agency's radio protocols, and when we hear radio traffic that is different, we find it odd, when someone else would find what we are used to is equally odd.

Where I worked a 'code' represented the manner in which your vehicle was operated ie: Code one, normal. Code 2, emergency lights only, Code 3, lights and siren. In Wyoming, codes mostly denote locations.

There are other differences from state to state, for instance, the way a mobile unit calls in to dispatch. How we did it in Oklahoma is the complete opposite of Wyoming. I've never gotten used to it.

What I find irritating at times, is the fact that most cop movies and TV shows are set in California. Therefore, most civilians think all police agencies are dispatched by California penal codes.

And to this day, I have never heard a police officer in the flesh call a suspect a 'perp'. If I did I'd probably laugh my butt off.

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:51 PM
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Spend two weeks in the field as a radio operator then come in and put your reserve badge on and strap into a patrol car. The dispatchers, for the most part, were good sports about it.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:26 PM
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Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:30 PM
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[QUOTE]We used the first name system in Wyoming[/QUOTE

We did also. things may have changed since 2001, who knows.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:30 PM
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We use military alphabet...as do some of the Federal LE organizations.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:36 PM
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Sorry, but former military guys sound like dorks on the police radios when they insist on retaining military phonetic expressions and jargon. You're not in the military anymore. Adopt to the new culture, code and jargon. There's nothing wrong with "Adam" instead of "Alpha".

And speaking of jargon, the NIMS system advocates talking like a normal person. Ten codes are a thing of the past.



First names? Boy? Tarzan, Jane Cheetah....X-ray.....Zebra. I use "Xylophone" for X but people keep confusing it for Z!
That would be OK if they didn't always have to add...A as in Adam...B as in boy C...as in...and on and on. It's hard to believe (I know) but the military method is much simpler.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:46 PM
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Phonetics on a PD channel was always Adam, Baker, Charley, David,,,,when I dispatched. Never was the Military style used. It's just the way it was done and the way it was passed along. That was 2 different dept's and a 911 center.

When I first started dispatching, 10-codes were in use. Every Dept. had their own variation of what each meant, though a few were common meaning between dept's.
The City PD had the greatest use of them,,something like a total of 60 separate 10-codes.
A few were rarely used,,some were administrative use. The others were constant & common occurance and became your language.
It was easy to dispatch using nothing but 10-codes, car numbers, street names & numbers, ect.
With 1 dispatcher to a primary dispatch channel (2 primarys) each loaded w/ 50+ cars,,you needed all the short cuts for air time you could get.
The system worked very well though. Kind of an organized chaos.

Then they went to 'plain language' dispatch when the change over to 911 went into effect. Gone were the 'CR Cards',,the card track and card boxes, time stamps, ect.
All on a computer key board now and everything stretched out in unsimplified plain language. Since the 'event types' (type of call) was in a plain language on the computer it was to be dispatched that way.

More than a couple dispatchers got the nick-name of 'story lady' for their wordy way over the air when we went to plain language.
..and later on,,every once in a while a veteran Officer made a newer dispatcher freeze by calling out w/a plate #, a location and a rapid string of 10-codes no one's used in the last 10 years..


No one likes to change
But it all worked out though.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:57 PM
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10-27 on Ron Wojohowitz, that's Robert Ocean Nora, Wojohowitz, common spellng...
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:57 PM
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At least they never used plant codes.

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Old 02-25-2013, 08:05 PM
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10-27 on Ron Wojohowitz, that's Robert Ocean Nora, Wojohowitz, common spellng...

I've done just that several times to, shall we say 'errant' dispatchers.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:06 PM
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Some years ago in a GA agency, we were mixed between the military system users and the "A as in Adam crowd". It didn't seem to fall along military lines; although, all the military guys were pretty consistent. I and my FTO who said to me "You will always use the phonetic alphabet" were both non-military. Many of the non-phonetic alphabet guys didn't use a system. They just made up as they went and said whatever came to mind. Sometimes m was Mary, sometimes Mark, or maybe Magnolia. I think it was the lack of uniformity that drove my FTO nuts and made him demand the other system from me. Just don't try to use it with the average customer service rep, which I recently tried when we had a bad connection and I thought it would help. It just ratcheted up the confusion level.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:17 PM
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I think it's mostly because the newer generation isn't taught to use proper radio procedure and if they are, they ignore it as much as possible and use slang. It used to drive me crazy because my initial job was as a dispatcher and we had a lot of that drilled into us. Along with knowing what a 2175 control tone was, and DC control of remote transmitters. And "Pro words".

Now the dispatchers are just radio clerks, they read the screen in front of them. Which has spread to the field since the dispatchers can't enforce proper radio procedure because they don't know it.

Not to mention that they can't even pronounce common street names. Which in the Northeast often are not pronounced as they are spelled.

We were once dispatched to Ronniekey street. Neither my partner nor I had heard of it and we both knew the city pretty well. In those pre MDT days I had to ask the dispatcher to spell the street.

"Ronniekey, Capital R-O-A-N-O-K-E, Ronniekey."

Oh, that.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:35 PM
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All I know is Tango Uniform and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. My fellow bussies like to say 10-4 a lot. I just use 10-9 ("please repeat, I didn't understand a !@#$%^& word you said.") and 10-3000 ("weapon on the school bus").
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:37 PM
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10-27 on Ron Wojohowitz, that's Robert Ocean Nora, Wojohowitz, common spellng...
Harris' name was Ron. Wojohowitz was Stan.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:42 PM
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I just wanna know why they changed.

Used to was Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox - and now it's Alpha, Bravo, Charlie (didn't change that one, for some reason), Delta, Echo, Foxtrot.

Why? Must have been lots of fun for the folks that had been doing it for years and years, when the change went in.

And, you know, Whisky Papa just don't sound the same as Willie Pete.

Sgt. Rock of Echo Company? Huh??
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:47 PM
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I think that even the military has changed over the years. Back in the '50's we used Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox,....Xray, Young, Zebra. It was a hold over from WWII and Korea so I don't know when it changed. I still fall back on that old memory when I have to use phonetics; understanding me is the problem of the receiver but most of them seem to pick it up.

When I don't understand someone, I have a hard time not responding: "Say again, last transmission". Saying "Repeat" just gives me nightmares that some old artilleryman will hear me.

Bob

Looks like Alpo had the same thought I did.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:07 PM
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I just wanna know why they changed.

Used to was Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox - and now it's Alpha, Bravo, Charlie (didn't change that one, for some reason), Delta, Echo, Foxtrot.

Why? Must have been lots of fun for the folks that had been doing it for years and years, when the change went in.

And, you know, Whisky Papa just don't sound the same as Willie Pete.

Sgt. Rock of Echo Company? Huh??
Easy Company does have a better sound than Echo Company...

In my current role as an ROTC instructor, I taught a class on this a few weeks ago. Until 1941 or so, all services (or I guess both services) used their own phonetic alphabet. Then we adopted a joint alphabet which was immortalized by WW II movies. Then in '56 or '57 we adopted a NATO standard alphabet so all those Europeans could join in the fun.

Why don't LEOs use it? Why should they? As long as everyone can communicate, then does it really matter? The agency from which I am on Mil Leave used 10 codes and signals, then went away for a while, but has been back for over 10 years. I always liked that I could easily communicate with another officer that someone was wanted, armed, drunk, or had drugs without blurting it out. It allowed us to keep more control over a situation.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:51 PM
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My agency used sort of a mix. But honestly, with the last few years on the 800 mhz. radio band, communication was so cellphone-clear that much of it was unnecessary. Not like the old days of static-y VHF or UHF radio.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:08 AM
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I have never had to use any of the phonetic alphabets. But I remember spending hours as a twelve year old reading Dad's WWII Bluejacket's Manual and trying to memorize the Morse code, phonetic alphabet and learning knots.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:18 AM
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Several years ago I saw the anti-clarity alphabet code. Do not remember much of it but sort of like..
A=aeon, C=ceramic, D=Djibouti, M=mnemonic, O=oesophagus, P=pneumonia or psoriasis...
You get the idea. It's how you confuse the enemy when you spell out a word using the code. Try using those in an LEO situation.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:24 AM
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Should make all these whippersnappers learn morse, AND semaphore. Then make 'em shut up for a month or two.....
get off my lawn. That's Golf Oscar Mike Lima!
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:36 AM
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I'm all about the military phonetics. I'm the guy I'm most important to and that is why my opinion matters...... LOL
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:36 AM
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Ham radio uses the NATO phonetics as well.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:58 AM
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Those things acquired as a means of survival have a tendency to endure, especially in us military dorks. That's delta Oscar romeo kilo sierra.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K1500 View Post
Ham radio uses the NATO phonetics as well.
The NATO style has become the world standard. It is used by the LE community in the UK.

As for some of the modern radios, I'm not always convinced that they help that much, especially some of the digital systems that convert your voice into vocoder speech. Sure, it is spectrally efficient and easily encrypted, but is it any more understandable? I feel that vocoder speech lacks certain cues that we are used to in listening to somebody talk. I'm sure you get used to it, but a panacea for communication it is not.

The way the brain processes speech is pretty subtle at times and leads to apparently crazy answers. A few years ago there was some work done on intelligibility of comms bandwidth speech in narrow band FM systems and the results were surprising and often way out of line with what a signal to noise meter would tell you. When you get into the effects of strict radio procedure and using a phonetic alphabet things become very hard to quantify.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:38 AM
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I am glad that LAPD uses the Adam, Boy, Charlie system. Otherwise, the Adam 12 program would be called Alpha 12. Doesn't really swing. On MASH, the nurses were named after the old (pre NATO) military Phonetic Alphabet. Remember Nurse Baker?
All of the NATO country's did quite a bit of testing to make sure they chose the words that gave the best accuracy when used by people speaking different languages.
The Royal Navy used a phonetic alphabet as early as WW1. It was the Apples, Butter, Charlie, Duff system.

73,
Romeo India Charlie Kilo
Kilo 7 Mike Whiskey
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Those things acquired as a means of survival have a tendency to endure, especially in us military dorks. That's delta Oscar romeo kilo sierra.
Won't help you survive very long in a back alley in America when you need help and revert to some communications system you learned from another organization and the guy you're trying to communicate with doesn't understand you. It's all about effective communication and the "modern" law enforcement way of doing it is just as efficient as anything I've heard over the radio coming from guys reverting to military or other systems trying to communicate with conventionally-trained police guys.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K1500 View Post
Ham radio uses the NATO phonetics as well.
Actually, on ham radio you're likely to hear some very creative, very non-standard phonetics. I had a friend who's call was W0TLX...he used to indentify himself; "W0TLX; tangerines, lemons and ex-lax. Does that move you?" W0OJD was W-zero-old junk dealer...and so on.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:52 AM
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I remember my Daddy telling me about a young lady ham he knew in Georgia, whose call was WDPG. She was Dixie's Prettiest Girl.

Mama told me that when we first moved here, back in '57, the local TV station was brand new and always having "technical difficulties". They are now WJHG, but back then they were WJDM, and folks said that meant "Wait Justa Damn Minute".
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:10 PM
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It's Alpha, Bravo, Charlie here for me too. We were told there is only one way to say phonetics and if we did it wrong we could do 10,000 push-ups.

They said it was derived from the most effective words to understand under not-so-good transmission. You didn't say Echo for E and Gecko for G for a reason. Charlie and Harley were not C and H respectively. There is a method to the madness.

So I did what I was told. When I transitioned to being a pilot, we used the same phonetics, but wow did I hear some goofy stuff on the radio. Especially from the heavies at their home airport...
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:06 PM
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Ham radio ops, also used the military style phonetics. It still drives me nut to hear some of the PD'S and Sheriffs use their chopped up phonetics.

When I am on the air (which is rarely) I still try to stick to the military style.
A alpha
B bravo
C Charlie
D Delta
E Echo
F Foxtrot
G Golf
H Hotel
I India
J Juliet, Etc Etc.

Kind-a reminds me of the huge influx of CB'ers we had in Ham radio some years ago and trying to substitute the 10 codes for Q codes.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LVSteve View Post
"The way the brain processes speech is pretty subtle at times and leads to apparently crazy answers. A few years ago there was some work done on intelligibility of comms bandwidth speech in narrow band FM systems and the results were surprising and often way out of line with what a signal to noise meter would tell you. When you get into the effects of strict radio procedure and using a phonetic alphabet things become very hard to quantify.
What did he just say??

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Old 02-26-2013, 06:04 PM
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Okay, I'll admit...I'm an old guy and I figure "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

The phonetic alphabet was developed for a reason. The words selected were selected because they were unique in the letter they represented.

Had an experience two days ago that proves my point. A guy called and was giving me an email address. He was spelling a word and I couldn't tell if he was saying "P," "B," "T," or "D."

Finally, he said, "'B' as in 'bomb'." I still wasn't sure, so I asked, "Did you say 'B as in bomb or T as in Tom?"

He replied, "Yeah, that's right."

Frustrated, I finally asked, "Is it 'Bravo' or 'Tango'?"

He said, "Oh...'T' as in 'tango.'"
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:59 PM
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I get the feeling a shooters phonetic alphabet might go something like this: Anschutz-Benelli-Casull-Detonics-Enfield-Fox-Greener-Husqvarna-Ithaca-Jericho-Kimber-Llama-Marlin-Nambu-Ortgies-Parker-Quakenbush-Remington-Savage-Tikka-Uberti-Volcanic-Winchester-Yankee (Hill MFG)-Xtreme-Zanotti

Sorry-had to do it
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:00 PM
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Phonetics are still around, somewhat...as are ten-codes. I remember having to memorize them in the academy. We were told to forget the military terms and use civilian (aka 'Adam, Boy, Charles, etc).

Ten codes are all but extinct in many areas. As it was explained to me, radio traffic is recorded as a log and could be used as evidence and if that happened, you didn't want to "code-out" a jury.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:01 PM
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LASD

A ADAM
B BOY
C CHARLIE
D DAVID
E EDWARD
F FRANK
G GEORGE
H HENRY
I IDA
J JOHN
K KING
L LINCOLN
M MARY
N NORA
O OCEAN
P PAUL
Q QUEEN
R ROBERT
S SAM
T THOMAS
U UNION
V VICTOR
W WILLIAM
X X-RAY
Y YOUNG
Z ZEBRA
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:03 PM
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As I understand it, the largest impetus for getting rid of ten codes and speaking "normally" on the radios was NIMS. Another pet peeve is writing reports in the third person. What was the purpose for that in the first place?
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:16 PM
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As I understand it, the largest impetus for getting rid of ten codes and speaking "normally" on the radios was NIMS. Another pet peeve is writing reports in the third person. What was the purpose for that in the first place?
It gives you two more witnesses.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:30 PM
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anybody use niner for 9
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:17 PM
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It gives you two more witnesses.
Haa haa, that makes about as much sense as any other reason I've heard!
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:38 PM
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My first MOS was radio operator Battalion qualified. 28 words a minuet. Got sent to the Engineers and ended up a heavy equipment operator. Here ya go son. That there's the stat button. What could I possibly screw up in the middle of South East Asia. I did manage to tip over an Allison Chalmers 24 ton dozer once.
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