I was thinking about my amateur radio experiences over the years and things I have done to improve my skills and knowledge of amateur radio and it dawned on me “what is the point of being a good Ham anyway?”
I will give you a good example from my own experience. I have tried nearly every aspect of amateur radio except for satellite communications and EME. I was Digital Net Manager for NTS here in Texas and hold a brass pounders medallion for my NTS work. I am an Asst. RACES radio officer and Asst. EC for the city of Mesquite Texas. I have taken and passed ARECC level I, II, and III. I served two terms as president of the Ham Association of Mesquite and was head of the education committee for a year and net coordinator for the weekly information net for two years for that same organization. I have served as Asst. Section Manager under five Section managers. I am or have been an Official Observer, Chairman of the speakers bureau, VE, Technical Specialist, Official Relay Station, Official Emergency Station for the ARRL. The list goes on and on. I have even spent many hours calling nets on HF and VHF for NTS, and other organizations.
So what is the point? Well at this stage of the game the only unfulfilled goals I have in the hobby is to become Section Emergency Coordinator or District Emergency Coordinator for ARES in my area or Section Traffic Manager. This will never happen though because it is not in the cards for me.
When the Section Traffic Manager position became vacant a few years ago the appointment went to a fairly new ham that didn’t even know what the TCC was. I was available but I received no call. The same with SEC and DEC. DEC has become vacant several times over the past few years. I have thrown my hat in but it is always somebody that is a better political choice or a buddy of the SEC. When the last SEC retired I volunteered for that but It was better to have someone that has been a Ham for a little over a year as Section Emergency Coordinator. Well I guess it helps to be friends with the section manager, training and experience doesn’t.
So we come back to the question “what is the point in being a good amateur radio operator?” Well it is not about personal gain. Being a good ham brings the satisfaction of knowing you are the best you can be in the hobby. The knowledge that you have taken the time to learn and train for the time when you are needed to provide communications for those that can’t. Not only the little old lady that just lost her house due to a flood but the government agencies that can’t get on the same page with there radio equipment. The ability to bring others into the amateur radio community using your knowledge and enthusiasm for the hobby. The ability to take a newly licensed radio operator and guide him into a position where he can enjoy the hobby as much as you do. Those are some but not all of the reasons for being a good amateur radio operator.
So go out and be the best Ham you can be. Learn, Do, Teach. Bring new people into the hobby. Elmer the ones that are already here. Spread that infection that is know as love for the hobby and let the appliance operators seek the glory.
Ain’t that right Jay?