You know.. I try to be nice and stay off my high horse but this guy pisses me off with his attitude. I have never bothered him or chased him but instead I have tried to include him in our activities where it made sense. He also gave me a real case of the ass with his 60+ crap.. sorry for the attitude J by N3ZH on May 21, 2009 I have concluded I can not work and also be in Army Mars. I can handle one-time requirements that I do at my leisure - like on-line courses. General license? I already have Extra. The 4 fema courses - I already did them 2 years ago, but did them again in case something changed. It is all the new ongoing requirements: 1. The annual 12 weeks of Mars101 with on the air participation and final exam. I can not assure I will be available those 12 consecutive weeks every year. That's also 3 months out of every year I can't go on vacation or be sick. 2. Participate in an emergency exercise every quarter. I suppose that means there will be one each quarter, and I can't guarantee I will be available to participate given my work hours, regular days off, and the possibility of mandatory overtime. I may be out of town, on vacation - or working overtime - during that one exercise needed to stay in Mars. 3. Be NCS once per quarter - well this one is not a problem. When I leave Army Mars, I was going to join Navy. Without Navy Mars I'll need to wait for retirement to be in Mars again - and join the other retirees. Mars is being ruined. People are being forced out - including good people. In one state over 50% have left Army Mars. It now belongs to the over 65 retired folks who have time for a full-time-mars-job, if they have enough smarts left to pass the fema courses and tests. Army mars is going to be a small fraction of what they once were. Army mars may not be able to deploy at all - due to age of their members. Your not going to get the 60+ people to go into a Katrina. It is ironic that all the changes are to be able to deploy and the changes may leave them with nobody who can deploy. Army mars is already kaput. I am waiting to see if Navy Mars also becomes kaput. I hope Navy Mars survives. by WA3MEJ on May 22, 2009 Well unfortunately Air Force is not in much better shape than Navy it appears. Air Force in Maryland basically does not exist and I am told by a very reliable source that AF has lost their budget as well but nothing was said at dayton about that. As far as ALE.. well it is less than usable as far as I am concerned because I can do manually what it does with automation. It sucks up extra spectrum when it is not necessary and really is a dumbing down of the operators skills set. Its primary reason for existance would be that our customers (FEMA, SHARES etc) use it.. again they are NOT operators you have only to listen to their SHARES to see that. The largest number of stations checking into SHARES & FEMA are Army MARS anyhow.