Message Handling Tutorial
Part One - The Essential Elements of Any Message.
The first essential element is:
Message identification & classification. Every message must be identified with a unique ID. In Amateur practice, the message number and the callsign of the originating station combine to be unique. Army MARS uses a "date-time" group that will identify a message, assuming only one message per minute originated by a particular station. This serves to record the date and time at the same time. The unique identification of a message is important in order to track the message from origin to delivery, and as a reference in case there is a question about the message, or if a reply is required.
Classification of a message generally means the "precedence". This is a designator which tells those handling the message what level priority the message carries.
The second essential element is the addressee.
In order to deliver a message, you must know to whom and where to deliver it. The addressee information must be clear, complete and accurate. If there is any doubt about how a message is addressed, check with the originator before putting it into the system. A simple clarification about where to find Captain Whatsisname could make a major difference in how fast the message gets there.
The third essential element is the message text.
The message text, of course is the whole point. Different message formats require that the text be organized in specific ways, but there are no general rules about the text. Even if you don't understand it, you still must transmit the message EXACTLY as received. If you suspect the addressee will not understand it, you may want to attempt to get clarification before sending the message, but if the originator says "that's it" don't quibble. Get the message moving.
Experience will tell you when to ask for clarifications.
The fourth and last essential element is the signature the source individual or organization.
This is a very important element and often overlooked. When the message is delivered, it must be clear to the addressee who the message is from and who is responsible for its content. This is important in case there is a question or a reply is required. Many messages will require both a name AND a title or position.
Download Traffic Handling Tutorial Part1.PDF
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