Some time ago we talked about the differences between the various radio models and which regulations must be respected.

This time we wanted to explain what should be the general rules for the correct use of the radio, in order to have clean and coordinated communication.

Article edited by EGL Airsoft.


Playing Airsoft, radio is a very powerful force multiplier. It allows you to communicate with your teammates at a distance, in a silent way, coordinating multiple teams even at a wide range. It makes it possible to perform complex maneuvers and, ultimately, gain a tactical advantage over the opponent. In fact, the maneuver inevitably lays the foundations for the success of the “focused” action.

To take advantage of all these advantages, however, it is necessary to master the correct way to use the radio. Otherwise, it becomes an almost harmful object: continuous and chaotic communications that do not respect the correct procedures, bring with them mental stress, distractions and frustration on the part of the players. They also waste time trying (often in vain) to put things right.

It therefore appears evident that radio is a powerful toolbut which more than others require an iron discipline of use.
Let’s therefore establish the first rule of use of the radio: however long the procedures seem or give you the perception of wasting time and being unnecessarily heavy, respect them! Only in this way will you keep the radio mesh clean and usable.


If we had to pick a second most important rule, this would be it. Unless you’re being mauled to death by a bear, you must never interrupt radio communications in progress.

If someone has made a radio call before you, wait for them to finish before making another one. If the transmitting stations (who calls) do not receive each other, it will be the task of the receiving station to manage the radio traffic, putting the communications that must wait at that moment in “STANDBY” (the radio traffic manager decides who to give precedence according to various evaluations, which we will not deal with here).


Another of the fundamental rules for using the radio correctly is that of the “3 Ps”.

The “3 Ps” stand for Thinks, Awards, Speak out. This rule therefore tells us how to use this tool, avoiding some of the most common mistakes. Think about what you want to say and come up with a quick, easy, and understandable way to say it; Press PTT (Push To Talk, the button to talk) and wait 1 second; Speak up by saying what you thought to say.

In this way one should largely avoid rambling, long or unclear sentences, as well as the unpleasant phenomenon of “cutting off” the beginning of the communication. Practically, if you press the PTT and talk right away, the first moments of communication are lost.

This can make the transmission unintelligible, causing a cascade of a repeat request, and ultimately lead to occupying the channel for longer than necessary.


Another of the most important aspects to master is the correct radio calling method. This, together with other slang terms (there are many, some of the most used are listed in the next paragraph), defines a series of standard “formats” for communicating.

Mastering these formats is important to have a common jargon and to all speak the same language.
The correct calling method is as follows: RECIPIENT FROM SENDER.
An example is therefore: DOC, DOC DA AQUILA (Aquila is calling Doc).
The recipient is repeated twice to get his attention and to compensate for any errors in pressing the PTT.


Calling according to the specific format will inevitably be followed by the recipient’s answer. this has various forms, but always contains the term COME FORWARDi.e.: “speak up”.

Some terms are of obvious use, such as RECEIVED, REPEAT And STANBY (stand by).
Another common term is INTERROGATIVE. It is used to introduce or indicate a question (for example: “QUESTION FOR DOC” (message follows), or “Do you receive me QUESTION?”).

Very common term is PASS/CHANGEserves to indicate that we have finished speaking and pass the floor to our interlocutor (not to be confused with END).
END it is used to indicate that the communication is over and the channel is free for pending communications. You never respond to an END.
AFFIRMATIVE and NEGATIVE replace the words YES and NO.

COPY/COPY it means that you are receiving and you understand the communication (“DO YOU COPY ME INTERROGATIVE” stands for “do you receive me in an intelligible way?”, “I DIDN’T COPY” stands for “I didn’t understand” etc.).

The last term we list is WILCO (to be pronounced VILCO). It means a whole sentence, namely: “I have received and understood the orders and I am about to carry them out”. After the “WILCO” no other communication follows, if not, at most, the “END” from the station that sent the orders.

There are many other terms, in total about twenty, but those listed are sufficient for effective and clean transmission.


Here are three examples of plausible communications. Capitalize the more purely radio jargon terms.

Eagle: Doc Doc FROM Aquila, you receive me QUESTION, CHANGE
Doc: HERE Doc, COME AHEAD Aquila, I receive you loud and clear
Eagle: Zulu1 position conquered, requesting new CHANGE instructions
Doc: leave a garrison on zulu 1 and get to zulu4 using purple path, enemies in path, SWITCH
Eagle: WILCO
Doc: good luck, END

Nigel: Doc Doc DA Nigel
Doc: COME AHEAD Nigel FROM Doc (note: note the different ways to start the conversation)
Nigel: I need immediate support on my position, PASS
Doc: NOT COPIED Nigel, NOT COPIED, REPEAT communication
Nigel: I REPEAT, I need immediate support on my position, OVER
Doc: RECEIVED Nigel, I try to send you the Aquila team, STANDBY 1 first (1 minute) for confirmation
Nigel listens as he waits for Doc to confirm that Aquila’s team is available. Meanwhile, Doc calls Aquila.

Doc: Aquila, Aquila DA Doc, COPY ME QUESTION?
Eagle: HERE Aquila, COME AHEAD Doc, I COPY you 3 out of 5 (Note: reception can be expressed on a scale from 1, very bad, to 5, excellent).
Doc: Nigel needs immediate support on his position, you must reach him ASAP, CHANGE
Eagle: RECEIVED, requesting Nigel position, EXCHANGE
Doc: Nigel is on bravo 6, I’ll transmit coordinates as soon as you’re ready, CHANGE
Eagle: ready, transmit coordinates, CHANGE
Doc: punto bravo 6, grid 655921 East, 5032338 North. Confirm, CHANGE
Eagle: bravo 6, grid 655921 East, 5032338 North, ETA (estimated arrival time) 15 firsts, CHANGE
Doc: correct coordinates, communicated when you are in the END area

Doc then proceeds to call Nigel
Doc: Nigel, Nigel DA Doc, do you get me, INTERROGATIVE, CHANGE
Nigel: I receive you Doc, COME FORWARD, CHANGE
Doc: confirmed Aquila in support, ETA 15 early. END

© EGL Airsoft – Reproduction reserved

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