Jump to content

Volunteer Update Emails


Recommended Posts

  • Member

2023 VOLUNTEER UPDATE #1 (26 Aug 2023)

First of all, thank you for volunteering for the 2023 Marine Corps Marathon's amateur radio team despite the serpentine sign-up process. We have heard you, and the IT team are already at work changing the system for next year: it will be simple, with only one sign-on and much less information to enter.

Next, I wanted to provide you with an update on behalf of the MCM Amateur Radio Leadership Team, who, in collaboration with the official MCM Organization, have been diligently planning MCM 2023. Race day is approaching rapidly, as of today, Saturday, 26 August 2023, there are only 63 days remaining until the marathon on Sunday, October 29.

The race course this year will be identical to last year's. We are currently working on an updated Operator’s Guide, and our plan is to have it available to you by the end of September. The Net Control Team has made some minor tweaks to the frequency plan (primarily corrections) after verifying every repeater used last year through over-the-air tests. In addition, they will perform a mile-by-mile test of every repeater. We are also exploring solutions for difficult locations we have encountered in the past. Please stand by for further details. The full, finalized frequency plan will be published with the Operator’s Guide. A Radio Check Day (times TBD) is scheduled for Monday, October 9th (a federal holiday), when people will monitor all repeater frequencies from the frequency plan, enabling you to test your radios and programming.

In a welcome change this year, boxed lunches have been discontinued. Instead, the MCM will provide an a-la-carte selection of prepackaged food for you to choose from at check-in via a “buffet line.” Shopping bags will be provided, but you may want to consider bringing something more substantial. We are working on procuring a menu of items to share with you.

The All Hands Training is currently slated to be back at the Armed Forces Retirement Home on Saturday, October 21st, from 0800 to 1500. We will make every effort to offer onsite assistance for last-minute radio programming help, though we cannot guarantee it at this moment. We will also strive to conclude the session before 1500.

We are still in need of more volunteers.

If you have any amateur radio friends who haven't volunteered yet, please try to recruit them. Also, please promote the opportunity on any nets you participate in and at your clubs; simply direct prospective volunteers to https://hamcommunity.com/mcm-register. For those who have club events coming up, if you would like to hand out printed MCM Volunteering flyers, we have plenty and will deliver them to you.

I look forward to working with you all on race day and hope to meet many of you in person at the All Hands Training. Feel free to reach out to me via the MCM Ham Volunteers Club or via email (kn4rpa@arrl.net) with any questions or concerns.

Final note, in coming days you will receive more technical emails, including links to this year’s operating guide.

73 and, again, thank you for volunteering for the Marine Corps Marathon!

Scott - KN4RPA




Edited Less than a minute after the initial post 



2023 VOLUNTEER UPDATE #2 (27 Sep 2023)

Dear MCM Volunteers,

The Marine Corps Marathon is fast approaching. We are just 31 days away.

First, a quick thank you to the MCM Amateur Radio Leadership Team, you've been working hard and I appreciate it.

Next, thank you for signing up as a volunteer, and though our volunteer numbers are improving, we still need a few more. Please continue to promote MCM 2023 to other hams, your clubs, and on nets; send prospects to https://hamcommunity.com/mcm-register.

The finalized 2023 Operating Guide is attached to this email. However, if you need to download it later:

you can download the latest version on Ham Community here.
the current version is also available on Google here.
Regarding this year’s frequency plan, the CSV files can be imported into CHIRP or RT Systems.

download the CSV frequency plan here.
A Radio Check Day is scheduled for Monday, October 9 (Federal holiday) from 1200-1400. Net control personnel will monitor race net repeater frequencies listed in the frequency plan, enabling you to test your radios and programming. Contact net control personnel on one of three repeaters: ECHO, HOTEL, or KILO.For the radio test, you should locate safely, near your assigned location. We will not be testing the simplex frequencies, only the 9 repeater channels.

As our volunteer numbers reach the critical number, we are focusing on assignments. Our goal is to have the first round of assignments out no-later-than October 9. Some changes will likely be made beyond October 9 (a minimal number).

The All-Hands Training is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 21, from 0800-1500. We are awaiting final confirmation for the facility – location details will follow in a few days. If you can help other operators by providing radio programming support on the day of the All-Hands, please contact me either via email (kn4rpa@arrl.net) or via the MCM Ham Volunteers Club.

In the meantime, it is time to start checking your equipment and planning your MCM outing, it is just around the corner.

73 and, again, thank you for volunteering for the Marine Corps Marathon!

Scott - KN4RPA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

MCM 2023 Update #3

MCM Leadership Team mcm@hamvolunteers.com  

Sun, Oct 8, 4:01 PM (2 days ago)

Dear MCM Volunteers,

With just three weeks left to the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM), we have important updates for you.

The All-Hands Training will be held in two weeks on Saturday, October 21, from 0830 to 1500 at the Dolly Madison Library, located at 1244 Oak Ridge Ave, McLean, VA 22101.

  • 0830 - 0900 Socializing with coffee and bagels
  • 0900 Training session begins. For those unable to attend in person, we will have a Zoom meeting available, and a recording will be made available afterward. Please click here (https://hamcommunity.com/events/event/2170-mcm-amateur-radio-all-hands-meetingtraining/) to check the MCM Volunteer Club Calendar for the Zoom meeting link.
  • Note that we have not yet received any offers to help with radio programming. If you can provide radio programming support on the day of the All-Hands training for other operators, please contact me. Historically, we have had volunteers available to assist other operators in programming their radios with the current year's frequency plan.
  • Regarding lunch, we encourage you to bring a light lunch; no lunch will be served. 

While our volunteer numbers are good, we still need more volunteers to ensure that we have enough on race day to cover all positions and account for any unforeseen situations that may cause volunteers to drop out between now and race day. Please continue to promote this event to other amateur radio operators, your clubs, and on networks. Direct prospective volunteers to https://hamcommunity.com/mcm-register. Registration will likely close soon.

We are diligently working on the assignments. Our current plan is to have the preliminary assignments available for everyone to view on Ham Community by ±Wednesday, October 11 COB. There may be some changes after this date, due to volunteers withdrawing for various reasons.

The Radio Check Day on Monday, 9 Oct (1200-1400) – tomorrow - is still scheduled, but knowing you don't have assignments, you may wish to try testing your radio programming from your QTH, or from a metro parking deck roof top.  If you do decide to drive into DC, try working from somewhere on East Potomac Park, or the National Mall area.  Of course, you can also try from somewhere in Arlington.  Please do not operate from Arlington National Cemetary or the Pentagon Reservation.  Local law enforcement will be advised radio operators will be in the area.  Look for NET CONTROL to be operating on one of the 3 primary RACE NET channels:  ECHO, HOTEL and KILO.

Here are two important tasks that need attention:

  1. Only for those few who have not yet registered on the Marine Corps Marathon official site (about seven of you). Please do so immediately. We cannot assign you without your registration with the MCMO. You can register at: https://xactllc.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer/?id=74121
  2. For anyone bringing a vehicle to the event, you must update your Ham Community Volunteer Profile with all your vehicle information, including Make/Model/Color/State/Tag #. We are already behind schedule in providing this information to the MCMO. Please verify that your information is correct as soon as you finish reading this email. Your profile link is: https://hamcommunity.com/hamvolunteers/registration/ You must be logged in to Ham Community to access your profile.

Feel free to reach out to me via the MCM Ham Volunteers Club (https://hamcommunity.com/clubs/30-mcm-ham-volunteers/) or via email at kn4rpa@arrl.net with any questions or concerns.

73 and once again, thank you for volunteering for the Marine Corps Marathon!

Scott (KN4RPA) and the entire leadership team

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Member

MCM 2023 Update #4

Dear MCM amateur radio volunteers,

If you have received this update in error (due to withdrawal or other) apologies.

We are now just 13 days away from the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM). Please find below essential updates and reminders to prepare for this significant event.

IMPORTANT: All-Hands Training Session

The All-Hands Training session is scheduled for THIS SATURDAY, October 21, from 08:30 to 15:00, at the Dolly Madison Library, located at 1244 Oak Ridge Ave, McLean, VA 22101. The first 30 minutes, from 08:30 to 09:00, will be dedicated to social interaction and light refreshments, including coffee and bagels. The formal training will commence promptly at 09:00. 

For those unable to attend in person, a Zoom meeting option will be available. A recording will be provided afterward for your convenience. The Zoom meeting link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82314027712?pwd=MVg2c0t1ZkUxZWZlM3Vwd2lmbzZIQT09. You can also find this link in the MCM Volunteer Club Calendar.

Radio Programming Support

We currently have three volunteers who have offered to assist with radio programming. Additional support in this area would be greatly appreciated. If you are able to contribute, please contact me directly (see below for contact info).

Initial Assignments

Initial volunteer assignments have been posted on the Ham Volunteers website, accessible at https://hamcommunity.com/hamvolunteers/opportunity/11-mcm-2023/. Please note that these assignments may be subject to change due to various circumstances, such as volunteer availability and priority locations.

Preparatory Action Items

Review the Operating Guide.
Create a checklist for items to bring to the MCM.
Program your radios (see note below).
Breakfast and lunch options will be available, but they may not cater to all dietary needs. If the offered options are unsuitable for you, we recommend bringing your own meals.
Note on Radio Programming

While software solutions like RT Systems and CHIRP offer valuable assistance for radio programming, please be cautious as they are not infallible. Specifically, issues have been noted with the importation of CTCSS Tone or Tone Squelch frequencies. Refer to the Operating Guide to cross-check and correct any discrepancies.

Official MCM Smartphone Apps

The official Marine Corps Marathon apps are now available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play.


Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me via the MCM Ham Volunteers Club or via email at kn4rpa@arrl.net.


The entire leadership team is forward to seeing you at the All-Hands meeting and thanks you for your commitment to the success of the Marine Corps Marathon.

Best regards,  
Scott - KN4RPA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member

MCM 2023 Update #5


We are down to the wire.

We had a great All-Hands Training this past Saturday. There was good in-person and Zoom attendance. We had great questions and interactions. The Zoom meeting was recorded and can be viewed by those who missed the training or just want to review it. See the link below. The brief has also been posted to the files section on Ham Community. Also, in response to questions at the meeting and something I had planned to do anyway, PDF maps and a Google Earth KMZ file for all races have been posted.

Assignments have been posted to Ham Volunteers at https://hamcommunity.com/hamvolunteers/opportunity/11-mcm-2023/.On Sunday, check-in opens at 0200 and closes promptly at 0500. Everyone must check-in (with the exception of net control personnel). At check in you will get your wristband, MCM ARO vest, t-shirt, and food. The MCMO will be providing a Bagel, granola bar, cliff bar, Otis muffin, piece of fruit, sunnyD or juice, GoGurt, and PBJ for dipping for breakfast and an MRE for lunch. If you have dietary restrictions or these don’t appeal to you, be prepared to bring your own food.

Last minute assignment changes as necessary to fill critical holes due to “no shows” at check-in will start no later than 0515. We will attempt to contact those being relocated no later than 0615. The goal would be to only move you ≤1 mile if you would be reassigned.

As of now, please call or text the Race Operation Center (ROC) phone number – 520-462-6426 – with any critical issues such as needing to drop. Any routine issues can be handled via email or Ham Community. After 1200 on Saturday please direct all issues to the ROC phone number until the Race Nets open. I will most likely not be checking email or Ham Community after that point.

Feel free to reach out to me via the MCM Ham Volunteers Club or via email (kn4rpa@arrl.net) with any questions or concerns.

73 and, again, thank you for volunteering for the Marine Corps Marathon!

Scott - KN4RPA

Zoom meeting recording:
Passcode: &v4T0CF7

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Member

MCM 2023 Update #6 - After Action

2023 MCM Amateur Radio Volunteers,

Thank you for helping to make the 2023 Marine Corps Marathon a success! Without your dedication and support we would not have been able to complete our mission to the Marine Corps. We had ±100 amateur radio operators spread across the 26.4 miles of the racecourse.  Your timely and professional communications were essential to race operations and the safety of the runners and spectators.

This was a difficult year. There were a number of significant medical events experienced during the race. As you may have observed the DC and Arlington Gauntlet were exercised early. This was due to the higher than expected humidity, large number of medical issues being seen, and most importantly for the runner's safety. Your information and timely reporting made a difference. I know at times response was delayed. This has been noted, but your actions were still important and were necessary for the safety of the runners.

Regarding your feedback, even if I say things were noted, we need to hear it from you first hand. What went right, what went wrong, and how can things be improved. We need for you to provide us and the MCM with feedback through your After-Action Report.

The AAR form is available at https://hamvolunteers.com/mcm2023aar from now until this Saturday, November 4 at 2359 EST.

My intent is to provide a summary of the AARs back to you by Thanksgiving. Your reports will make a difference.

If you did not turn your vest into the ARO in the rear pace convoy or to an aid station please mail it back to the MCMO at:



QUANTICO VA 22134-5135

I look forward to working with all of you again next year.

73 and, again, thank you for volunteering for the Marine Corps Marathon!

Scott - KN4RPA 

  • Like | Congratulations 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Ham Mega Pad (XXXL)

Ham Word Cloud Pad (XL)

Ham Codes, Signs, Words (Medium)

Ham Band Edges mousepad (Small)

Ham Alliance

Ham Alliance - Billboard - 970*250px

  • Create New...