*Recognition Signals*
By: Stormhunter

You have to conduct a meet, but how will you signal you are a friend? This has been a topic of discussion recently on the board. This article will discuss two major topics-why you use recognition signals and some techniques for recognition signals.

When you are trying to meet another individual or force you need to arrange FAR and NEAR signals. Far and near signals are required to keep friendly folks from firing on each other and to make sure the group or individual you are linking up with is the right one. You can use radio signals (this were a Rubicon Signal Operating Instructions or knowing what frequencies to monitor comes in handy) either in plain text or agreed upon code words; visual or spoken recognition signals.  Security is always important and a method to change or rotate signals should be used.  It can be as easy as a set of 12 predetermined signals rotated every two weeks-you get the idea.  For this article I am going to concentrate on visual and spoken signals. Radio signals are an article unto itself!

Just about anything you can leave a mark with can be a visual signal.  You can use marking tape in various colors (found in most hardware stores); a surplus air ground panel (green on one side and orange on the other)-also known as a VS-17 panel; chem lights in different colors; infrared lights (to include an IR chem. light); colored lights on your flashlight; chalk or tape marks on a road sign or tree; bandannas worn by the friendly force (like gang signs); rocks or sticks in a pattern at a designated spot. The possibilities are near endless.

Spoken signals can be any pattern of words, phrases or numbers.  Usually you have a SIGN and a COUNTERSIGN-which translates into the SIGN is given by one person and you respond with a COUNTERSIGN.  This is where you can use those Hollywood Spy codewords you hear, (SIGN):“Do you have the time?”, (COUNTERSIGN):“I’m sorry, I don’t have a green watch” –or whatever!  It can also be a number combination.  For our purposes say today the number combination should equal 13, so one person would say 5 and another 8.  As long as it equals 13 you know its right.

Ok I get the theory, but so what?  Let’s fast forward in time.  A consensus has been reached and all good Rubies have decided that we would post a series of signals each month on the board.  We have also designated link up locations across the U.S.  We have decided we wanted some flexibility so we have come up with several signals. We have grouped them for day and night use as follows:

DAY:  FAR RECOGNITION SIGNAL is RED.   NEAR RECOGNITION SIGNAL is a DIAMOND and for a sign/countersign we use (SIGN):   “Liberty is our guardian”; (COUNTERSIGN): “Freedom is our victory”.  We also designated the number 3.

NIGHT:   FAR RECOGNITION SIGNAL is RED.   NEAR RECOGNITION SIGNAL is BLUE and for a sign/countersign we use (SIGN):   “Liberty is our guardian”; (COUNTERSIGN): “Freedom is our victory”.  We also designated the number 3. In the night we can’t see a shape so we substituted with another color.

Ok armed with that knowledge how does it work?

Let’s say that we have two teams that need to link up-Team Revere and Team Jefferson. Team Revere gets to the linkup site first. They conduct a thorough surveillance and secure the area.  They use THREE pieces if red tape to mark a nearby pole.  They designate the actual link up site with a   DIAMOND-they mark it in chalk on a nearby road sign.  Team Jefferson approaches the site and does a surveillance of the site before moving in and notices the three pieces of red tape. They realize that Team Revere must be there.  They look and see the DIAMOND on the road sign.  They know that Team Revere is ready for link up ops.  Knowing the other team is there, Team Jefferson will initiate the FAR RECOGNITION SIGNAL.  They put red bandannas on their arms and move in.  As they come upon the sign with the DIAMOND, a member of Team Revere from a covered and concealed location uses the sign “Liberty is our guardian”-speaking just load enough to be heard. Team Jefferson responds with the countersign “Liberty is our victory”.  Now everyone knows each other is friendly.

At night Team Revere could put out 3 red chemlites and a shielded red chemlite on the meeting site.  Team Jefferson approaches the site and gives 3 blue flashes.  Team Revere challenges them the same way.

Another example-lets say it’s not a team but just two individuals want to meet.  They agree on a site.  Joe arrives first in his car-he puts a 3 pieces of red tape on his car antenna, and marks a bench with a diamond drawn in chalk and sits down on the bench. Sam is walking up to the meet site and sees the 3 pieces of red tape so he starts scanning the area.  He sees the bench with the diamond mark.  He puts on a red ball cap and sits down at the bench.  Joe gives the sign and Sam responds with the countersign.

There are many ways to skin this cat.  The key is to establish a system; safeguard it and make sure the other folks know the system. We could establish a Rubie wide system that changes monthly and if we chose some signals that gave us flexibility like shapes and colors with a sign/countersign and a number then we could have a pretty good system.  If we wanted to go one step further then we could have a couple of standard signals that meant “danger”; “friendly”; and “link up site”.


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