Why do pilots say 'Roger' when talking on the radio?
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Why do pilots say ‘Roger’ when talking on the radio?

Surely on more than one occasion, you have heard in a movie or television series the conversation between two pilots.

The dialogue they maintain is usually loaded with technicalities, however, among so much incomprehension on our part, we distinguish a proper name that is foreign to this vocabulary that stands out above the rest. The word is none other than ‘ Roger ‘.

t is not possible that most pilots respond by the same name, so one wonders what is the real reason why this word is so frequently used.

The answer is very simple: for decades, Roger has replaced the received word in the air communication code.

And why ‘Roger’?

At the beginning of the last century, communication on board was carried out through the Morse code.

It is not until the beginning years of the decade of the 30 when the international aviation adopts the voice radio as the standard of transmission.

Until this moment, the pilot informed his interlocutor of the receipt of a message through the letter R, which meant received.

The ignorance of the English language by many pilots, especially during World War II, and the danger that a misuse or misunderstanding caused misunderstandings, forced to adopt a word to avoid any confusion.

The word chosen as confirmation of the recognition of instructions at the international level was Roger.

So Roger became synonymous with received.

And ‘Roger Wilco’?

We already know what Roger means.

The next question is, what about ‘Roger Wilco’?

The answer is, if possible, even simpler.

In the line of simplifying the messages, Roger Wilco was chosen as an abbreviation of ‘ will Comply ‘, or, in other words, “I have received the instructions and I am ready to follow them”.

Although in 1957 the English alphabet changed the R to ‘Romeo’, Roger had already become a word deeply internalized by the pilots as synonymous with received, and in a most familiar expression in the cinematographic language.

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