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Expressing Time in Radiogram Text

posted Jun 20, 2014, 8:10 PM by C. Matthew Curtin   [ updated Jun 21, 2014, 12:56 AM ]
On tonight's net, an operator asked our training officer about the expression time in the text of a radiogram. Specifically, when the time is, for example, spoken as "twenty-three fifteen zulu," do we write
2315 Z
or
2315Z
which of course would be in the first case two words and in the second case one word?

This is a case where it's important for relay stations to adhere to the rule that we take the message exactly as we get it and we relay it exactly as we took it. If the originating station has a radiogram where the time is written as two words, then we write and relay two words. If the originating station used one word, then we use one word.

As the MPG says in its Introduction, the objective of our methods and protocols is,
to facilitate transmission of a properly formatted written formal message from point A to point B such that it arrives exactly as written on the original copy, group for group, character for character, space for space.

If we are to achieve the objective of relaying with fidelity we need to remember that we are not editors but handlers of the message. It's not our job to ensure that it makes sense. It's our job to get the message just as the station ahead of us has it and to help the next station in the chain to get it just as we have it.
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