I have been a member of the ARRL for a number
of years. Some of those years were not consecutive, but even when I was not a paid up member, I always knew that I should
be. Now that I am an ARRL Section Official, I know that the rest of my years in the organization will not have any more gaps.
I have talked to some hams who don’t belong
to the ARRL and I always find their reasons for not joining to be more like excuses. Even if someone disagrees with the ARRL’s
position on one topic or another, the overall worth of the group and it’s membership is so vital to our avocation as
to be absolutely necessary. To put it bluntly, the publication QST alone is worth the price of admission. Add to that the
other periodicals like QEX and the various books and other materials that the ARRL makes possible, and the value quotient
goes off the scale. But that is not the real reason you should join this fine organization.
That is because the most important function of
the ARRL is to represent us in Washington D.C. and to the F.C.C. Their
efforts on behalf of every amateur radio operator, ARRL member or not, have secured our rights to the amateur bands instead
of having the spectrum sold off to special interests. This is an ongoing struggle, not only to retain the frequency bands,
but also to keep them free of the blight of uncontrolled RFI from various devices that the business world keeps thinking up
like RFIDs and BPL.
The ARRL also assists ham operators with a full
range of services, from advice on operating overseas to renewing your license. The organization has volunteers who can assist
with everything from successfully operating a new mode to getting a permit for your dream tower and everything in between.
Hams who remain outside the ARRL are missing the point entirely. There will always be more than one viewpoint on any given
subject, the important thing is to band together in spite of those differences to present a forceful presence to those who
would be only too happy to see us disappear forever.
The American Radio Relay League is our voice
and our strength. It keeps our hobby vital and refreshed so that there is always something new to master, some new mode to
try, some new antenna to build. Amateur radio would not exist without the ARRL and the ARRL will be stronger with YOU in it