By Robert L. Sutton
The Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) seal or logo identifies a unique and prestigious organization that is recognized by military personnel and their families and loved ones around the globe.
Proudly, the MARS seal is used to display membership in MARS. The seal can be found on the jackets, hats and name tags worn by MARS members everywhere. It can be found on the walls of our radio rooms, our business cards and on the MARS radio license that is proudly displayed on the wall for all to see.
The origin of MARS, as we know it, dates back to 1925 when it was known as the Army Amateur Radio System (ARRS). The name was changed later to the Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) in 1949.
In 1952, MARS included Air Force MARS as well as Army MARS. At that time, a call went out to all MARS members asking for submission of entries for a MARS seal or logo. The contest was open to all members with the stipulation that the seal design be circular in shape, representing the Army Signal Corps, Air Force Communications and Radio Communications in general. Eighty-seven entries were received from MARS members.
All proposed seals were carefully studied at MARS headquarters. The MARS chiefs finally narrowed the choice to seven. These were submitted to a joint MARS advisory committee. The chairman, Col. William D. Hamlin, appointed three members of the advisory committee to make a final selection. After several meetings and much study a composite, incorporating features of five proposed ideas, was recommended to the committee and adopted on April 7, 1953.
The resulting MARS seal is the composite of designs submitted by then Lt. Col. Philip Sansone, Pfc. Harold White, 2nd Lt. Robert Beremer, Staff Sgt, John Brewer, and Eugene Sydowski. In 1962, the Navy-Marine Corps MARS program was launched and the seal was modified to reflect that third entry and the concept of the joint services MARS program.
In 2009 the name of the organization was changed to Military
Auxiliary Radio Service in order to more clearly define the function of
the organization - retaining the MARS acronym.