The Amateur Auxiliary is an American amateur radio organization operated by the American Radio Relay League that is authorized and works in conjunction with the Federal Communications Commission. The Auxiliary consists of Official Observer volunteer amateur radio operators who monitor Amateur Radio Service frequencies. If the official observers hear something that, in their judgment, is in violation of FCC regulations, they will send a postcard to the amateur radio station describing the infraction. This is one way in which the FCC encourages amateur radio operators in the United States to self-police. The receipt of an Official Observer card is merely advice from another amateur radio operator and has no legal authority to it. Official Observers are trained to deal only with clear and unambiguous violations of FCC rules, and not become interpreters in areas that are controversial.
To become an Official Observer, the amateur must first be appointed to the position by their Section Manager. ARRL Field Services will send the amateur a manual which describes the Amateur Auxiliary, how the Official Observer is suppose to conduct business, and several technical details concerning FCC rules and regulations. The potential Official Observer also receives a self-paced test that they must pass to receive the appointment. Once the test is forwarded back to ARRL Field Services (and passes), the amateur receives their Official Observer appointment.