Using The Rightr Pro-Word

Coast Guard Radio Operations

The net was finished and the net control concluded the session by giving his call sign and saying, “over and out.” Now maybe it is no big deal but to me it is worse then the sound of fingernails on a blackboard. (I am sorry but maybe some of you younger hams don’t know what that sounds like. The only way I can explain it is to say that most people find it very unpleasant and that is a gross understatement.)

Pro-words are those common expressions we use to express an aspect of communications. These words include over, wait, wait out, this is, out, I say again, and many more. We are fairly relaxed about the use of these words on the ham bands but having been trained, as I was, in military communications where the protocol is very ridged some miss uses can really grind against the grain.

Coast Guard Radio Operators from 1950’s

Over means I have finished with what I am going to say this transmission and I am listening for what you have to say. The communications are not finished with the word over.

Out means communications are finished and I do not expect any response to this transmission.

When the two are said together at the end of a transmission the expression would mean,”I have completed this transmission and waiting for your reply and the communications are completed and no answer is expected.)

Roger means I have received and accept responsibility for the message or information you sent. So saying roger out is an acceptable use of these pro-words.

Another legitimate pro-word that I can’t remember ever hearing on the ham bands and as a Radioman in the Coast Guard I never heard or used is the pro-word wilco. Wilco is a contraction that means will comply.The reason I never used wilco as a radioman in the CG is because I was not in a position to comply but roger I had received the message and will take responsibility to pass it on to another who is able to comply. Wilco out is a proper expression but roger and wilco are never used together.

In the movies and on TV you may hear “roger wilco over and out” which is a

Ham Radio Operator

really foolish erroneous combination of words. It would mean, “I have received the message and will accept responsibility to pass it to proper authority to comply, I will comply, I have concluded my transmission and will stand by for your reply,and this communications is concluded thus I expect no reply.”

Oh well that is just one of my little pet peeves that I had to get off my chest. Now it is off and I feel better.

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One Response to Using The Rightr Pro-Word

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