ARRL Introduces "Fifth Pillar" at Dayton Hamvention®
On Saturday, May 17 at the Dayton Hamvention, ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, plans to announce that the League will expand its identity program to include greater emphasis on technology. Harrison explained that "Ham radio operators, and particularly ARRL members, closely identify with current and emerging radio technology. Today, we are naming 'technology' as ARRL's new fifth pillar." ARRL's other four pillars, the underpinnings of the organization, are Public Service, Advocacy, Education and Membership. "For hams, expanding the four pillars to include technology will reinforce one of the organization's guiding principles -- that ham radio is state-of-the-art, innovative and relevant," he said.
"Radio amateurs have entered a new era. More than a dozen Amateur Radio satellites are presently in orbit with more to come. Software is expanding the capabilities of their radio hardware and communication by digital voice and data is expanding rapidly among hams," Harrison said.
In addition to the new fifth pillar, the ARRL has launched a year-long ham radio recruitment campaign emphasizing the Amateur Radio Service as a scientific national resource. The campaign invites newcomers to discover ham radio in the 21st Century -- where hams are using science, technology and experimentation to explore the radio spectrum. "For more than 90 years, the ARRL has been at the forefront of technology, encouraging experimentation and education through its license training resources, publications and periodicals. ARRL provides its members with top-notch technical information services, trusted product reviews and radio spectrum advocacy," Harrison said. "The ARRL Laboratory is a centerpiece of ham radio technology, contributing to radio electronics experimentation, spectrum development and advocacy, and radio frequency engineering."
Harrison also noted that many hams attribute their affinity to "Amateur" Radio as launching their professional careers in radio engineering, satellite communications, computer science and wireless communications.
"This is less about defining a new course for Amateur Radio, but simply recognizing a course that has always been a precept of radio amateurs and the ARRL," he said. Referring to the federal rules and regulations for Amateur Radio, Harrison explained that one of the defining principles of the Service's very creation by the government is the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art. Harrison remarked, "Today's technology is nothing new to ham radio!"