ARRL’s “Five Pillars”

ARRL's Five Pillars

Shouldn't membership be the "first pillar"?

While we’re talking about the ARRL, here’s another thing that just occurred to me.

While I was on the Media Hits page (see previous post), I noticed a link to the ARRL Five Pillars. As shown, the five pillars are:

  • Public Service
  • Advocacy
  • Education
  • Technology
  • Membership

Now, I have no beef with these pillars, but shouldn’t membership be first? After all, without membership you really don’t have any of the other four. I’d really like to see the ARRL put the members first. It would make the organization stronger and allow it to do even more in the other areas.

Also, if you page through the slide show and get to the membership section, there’s no mention at all of club services. This is yet another indication about how the ARRL really feels about clubs. There’s always lots of talk about how clubs are the lifeblood of amateur radio, but where the rubber meets the road, there’s really very little in the way of club support.


  1. I don’t know how the the pillar order was defined. Maybe they were looking to present ARRL to the world — the public at large, industry, FCC, as well as to other hams. The League might be criticized if it put “Membership” first, because it would look self-serving. “They only care about getting the dues and selling books.” Members legitimately want their interests first, but the other 4 pillars are in the interests of members, too. So you can’t win.

    My beef, if I have one, is that it took so long for “Technology” to be recognized as a pillar. It only got on the list 2 or 3 years ago, I think.

    What kind of resources would be more helpful to clubs? What percent of available funds should go to that support? Sadly, many (most?) clubs are slowly dying, and it’s not because of Newington.

    73 Martin

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