Could you give me a basic rundown of how radio callsigns work in practice?
Sure. I’m remarkably surprised by how little information is accessible on this on Google.
The tl;dr of call signs is that they’re numerically designated to specific personnel and often titled based on the unit.
Units will have a specially designated call sign. It’s usually based on the name of the unit, but not the letter, meaning Charlie company wouldn’t use Charlie or C. But if Charlie Company’s like…title mascot thing is Warriors, then the call sign might be Warrior, or something thematically related to warriors like Sword.
The highest ranking officer, in most cases a company commander, will be call sign number 6. So to call your officer it’d be Warrior 6. The senior NCO, typically a first sergeant, would be Warrior 7. 1-4 will usually refer to the various platoon leaders, so Warrior 1 might be first platoon. There might be an additional designation for the platoon sergeant, such as Warrior 1A, or the platoon sergeant might be Warrior 1. Depends on the unit. 5 would usually be the XO.
So a call sign list might look something like:
Warrior 1 - 1st Platoon
Warrior 2 - 2nd Platoon
Warrior 3 - 3rd Platoon
Warrior 4 - 4th Platoon
Warrior 5 - Company XO
Warrior 6 - Company Commander
Warrior 7 - Company First Sergeant
Not every soldier has a unique call sign and surnames are not used as call signs. You might have a unique codeword to refer to your specific section, but that’s about it. For units with less than four platoons, Warrior 4 might be delegated to someone else, maybe logistics or maintenance or something.
Supposedly saying “Actual” is supposed to indicate that the person speaking is the actual person speaking rather than a commo guy doing it in their stead, but I’ve got no personal experience with this.
Finally, a note to remember that all soldiers are trained to use a radio. There’s not always going to be a commo guy (probably a 25C) with complete control over the radio. Everyone should know how to use radio etiquette as well, which is another mythical TBA original post I’d like to make at some point.
I hope this is enough to get you started!