What is a tactical call sign and why on earth do I need one?

Hello my friend and welcome back to another post.  What is a tactical call sign and why on earth do I need one?  This was a question I received from one of my readers.  And it is also the topic of today’s post so grab a cup of coffee and have a seat while we visit.

So, what exactly is a Tactical Call Sign?  It is a name that you have chosen or has been assigned to you for security reasons.  When you are talking over a radio or even in person, it is sometimes prudent to not use your given name.  Your call sign could be just about anything, but it usually either reflects your character or maybe your position on a battlefield such as a sniper may be referred to as “Distant Thunder” and a communications officer may be referred to as “Air Bender”.  There are tons of names that you can use and it is limited only by ones imagination.  As I mentioned above some can be associated with one personality using names like “Thor”, “Bulldog” or even “Bad attitude”.  To be honest, the name should be one word if possible.  Names like “Radar” or “Hammer” are the best as they are easier to remember and use when you are in a hurry.

OK, so now you know what a tactical call sign is, so let’s get to why we need them.  Tactical call signs have actually been used for hundreds of years during war.  While they may not have had access to a radio, they used the names in written messages to their men so that if the enemy got their hands on it, they wouldn’t know who the message was meant for or who it was from.  You might say it was one of the earliest forms of encryption used on the battlefield.  It was also a very effective tool to have.

Some of my favorite names are “Thor”, “Hammer”, Bulldog” and “Reaper” as they have a dangerous sound to them for intimidating the enemy if they hear the name.  This is not to say that all call signs need to be tuff sounding, you could use things like “Tinkerbell” or “Daisy” as well, but they just wouldn’t have the same effect if intercepted.  Let’s face it, knowing you have someone called “Reaper” headed you way, versus someone called “Tinkerbell” just will not elicit the same emotions from you.  During SHTF and afterwards, you are going to want to be as covert as possible, so pick a good tactical call sign and stick with it.  You don’t want to advertise it to anyone but the ones in your survival group.  Think of it as their pet name for you.

You may also want to have several of them for different situations.  Let me explain.  If you are the head of a group and you need a name for other groups in the area to call you, you may want to use something like “Governor” or “Commander” and then have a different name to use when on tactical missions like scavenging for food etc. and you need to talk to your group over the radio.  The idea is to keep any enemy that may be snooping in on your conversations as confused as possible.

You will also want to give Tactical names to things and groups as well.  Like when you refer to your group on a radio or in conversation, you don’t want to just call them my group.  Most groups already have a name like “The Swamp Rat irregulars” or maybe even “The New Hope Militia”.  I even know of one group that is calling themselves “The Pitbull Militia” though I would never divulge who they are or where they are located and you shouldn’t broadcast your groups name either.  After SHTF hits, there will plenty of opportunity to let others know the name of your group, but I would wait until after SHTF for that.

Have some fun with coming up with your tactical call signs and encourage others in your group to do the same.  I would also give prominent locations such as your main camp or main locations like sections of the area.  Always remember to assume that anytime you are talking on any radio, that your enemies or non-friendlies are listening.    It’s all a part of your communications security plan or “Commsec”.  You will be glad you took the time to come up with them now rather than during or after SHTF.  Well I guess that is it for today and I hope you have enjoyed today’s post.  Until next time, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared!

-The Sargent-

3 thoughts on “What is a tactical call sign and why on earth do I need one?”

  1. While maybe not the best opsec, my family,(6 generations now) use middle names when we need to alert each other about a potential danger, threat or need to get full attention. Works well for us.


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