“Young Radio Amateur” Badge was instituted at the end of 1966 by the Central Committee of the DOSAAF (Voluntary Society for Cooperation with the Army, Aviation and Fleet / Добровольное общество содействия армии, авиации и флоту, or ДОСААФ), paramilitary sport organization of the USSR. It was introduced on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the DOSAAF (created on January 27, 1927 as OSOAVIAKhIM – Society of Assistance to Defense, Aviation and Chemical Construction and known as such until January 1948) and the 50th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution as “as a token of encouragement for schoolchildren from junior secondary and eight-year schools who spend their spare time studying radio engineering and devote themselves to radio sport”. That unpretentious badge with minimalist design replaced its predecessor bearing the same name, i.e. “Young Radio Amateur”, instituted at the end of 1939 and awarded only within a year and a half – from the beginning of 1940 until June 1941.
The exact date the badge was instituted remains unknown to the author, but autumn 1966 seems to be the most probable one. At least, the very first record of the badge can be found in the “Radio” magazine (issue 1, 1967) that was taken into production on October 31, 1966 and passed for printing on December 12, 1966.
“Tentative programme of a hobby club for training “Young Radio Amateur” badge holders” was introduced by the Central Committee of the DOSAAF and endorsed by the ministry of education. It targeted teenagers who never practiced radio engineering before. Lessons at hobby clubs for young radio amateurs, two to three hours each, were held on a weekly basis and consisted of theoretical studies and practical exercises. In certain cases the latter were allowed to be performed at home. All radio devices planned to be constructed by pupils were to be discussed during lessons.
According to the Statute of the badge, it was presented to young radio amateurs who met at least one of the five following requirements:
- to acquire theoretical knowledge and practical skills on the fundamentals of electrical and radio engineering according to the “Tentative programme of a hobby club for training “Young Radio Amateur” badge holders”;
- to be participant of district, municipal, regional, territorial or republican DOSAAF exhibitions displaying devices constructed by radio amateurs;
- to take first, second or third place during radio sports competitions held at schools, hobby clubs, Palaces and Houses of the Pioneers;
- to take part in district or municipal radio sports competitions and be among the first ten winners;
- to be issued with a callsign of a short-wave observer and to register broadcast of at least 250 radio stations.
Knowledge tests were carried out by special commissions assigned by orders of school and extra-school institutions principals.
Badges were also awarded to young radio amateurs who never attended hobby groups but had knowledge and skills specified by the Statute. Those radio enthusiasts had to present a couple of personally constructed radio devices to the local radio or hobby club as well as to pass simple oral test on the fundamentals of electrical and radio engineering.
“Young Radio Amateur” badge was issued for a nominal fee by district and municipal DOSAAF committees upon nomination of radio clubs, sports and engineering clubs, principals of schools and extra-school institutions, radio sport referee’s boards as well as of organizing committees of radio exhibitions.
Young radio amateurs who have earned badges enjoyed the following rights:
- to become members of junior hobby groups of DOSAAF radio clubs;
- to possess an advantage in entering DOSAAF junior sports schools;
- to exploit metering devices installed in laboratories of DOSAAF radio clubs;
- to run hobby groups of novice radio amateurs organized in schools.
“Young Radio Amateur” badge was manufactured of aluminum and had pentagonal shape with its lower obtuse angle pointing downwards. Square with raised wide border filled with red paint and showing silver schematic symbol of transistor was placed in the upper part of the badge. Lower part of the badge had two quite crude capital letters “Ю” and “Р” standing for “Юный” (“Young”) and “Радиолюбитель” (“Radio Amateur”). The badge had flat reverse without any maker’s mark.
When worn, the badge was to be attached to the right side of the breast with horizontal safety pin fixed to the reverse.