10
$\begingroup$

When pilots learn to talk on the radio they can generally learn that the word "roger," when used on the radio, is a way to acknowledge that a message was received. What is the textbook definition of the meaning of this word when used on the radio? Also, what is the origin of this word?

$\endgroup$
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Obligatory link $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Dec 18 '15 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ @TomMcW Yesssss! $\endgroup$ – ryan1618 Dec 19 '15 at 0:39
10
$\begingroup$

In the US, the "textbook" meaning is in the Pilot/Controller Glossary:

ROGER − I have received all of your last transmission. It should not be used to answer a question requiring a yes or a no answer.

The AIM 4-2-3 gives an example of using it to acknowledge instructions:

Acknowledge with your aircraft identification, either at the beginning or at the end of your transmission, and one of the words “Wilco,” “Roger,” “Affirmative,” “Negative,” or other appropriate remarks; e.g., “PIPER TWO ONE FOUR LIMA, ROGER.”

As a counterpoint to that, when I first learned to fly in South Africa I was told never to use Roger in transmissions because it doesn't tell the controller anything useful (obviously the FAA disagrees).

And as for the etymology, that's already been covered in another answer:

This usage comes from the initial R of received: R was called Roger in the radio alphabets or spelling alphabets in use by the military at the time of the invention of the radio

$\endgroup$
8
$\begingroup$

The word "roger" is used to acknowledge that a message was received, and goes back to the early uses of radio. From Wikipedia:

This usage comes from the initial R of received: R was called Roger in the radio alphabets or spelling alphabets in use by the military at the time of the invention of the radio

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ My understanding is "received and understood". Is that a common interpretation? $\endgroup$ – Simon Dec 18 '15 at 8:08
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think so, it does not mean "I will comply" for which wilco is a shortening of. It just means you have heard and (mentally) made a note. $\endgroup$ – Philip Johnson Dec 18 '15 at 8:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.