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News > Commentary - Reveille and Retreat - old school Instant Messaging
Reveille and Retreat - old school Instant Messaging

Posted 5/13/2011   Updated 5/13/2011 Email story   Print story

    


Commentary by Master Sgt. Walter J. Anderson
First Sergeant, 75th Logistics Readiness Squadron


5/13/2011 - HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Yes! A loud bugle, which could be heard throughout the post, was used in the past to notify all soldiers in the camp of various events and times throughout the day. The Air Force use of bugle calls hails from our roots in the United States Army. The Army adopted the use of bugle calls from the French and English during the Revolutionary War. Although our use of the bugle call has changed over the decades its origin is deeply rooted in our military history.

In 1867, following much confusion in the Civil War, bugle calls were standardized by Maj. Truman Seymour, 5th U.S. Artillery, for all branches of the Army. On a standard day you could count on at least nine calls: Reveille, three Mess Calls, Fatigue Call (assembly of soldiers appointed to a work detail), Drill Call, Sick Call, Retreat and Taps. Various other calls were used for special events, some of those names, but not the music is still heard today: Officers Call, Mail Call and Guard Mount (personnel assigned guard duty to assemble, still used by security forces squadrons). Some have disappeared over the years: First Sergeant Call (report to headquarters with "Morning Reports"), Church Call and Fire Call.

Upholding these traditions has given us our current day versions of Reveille and Retreat. Signifying the beginning and end of the duty day, as well as paying respect to the United States flag as it is ceremoniously raised or lowered.

What is my role in upholding this custom?

MILITARY:

Reveille: Uniformed military members, to include the Physical Training, or PT, uniform, face the flag or the music and assume the position of parade rest on the first note of music. Upon completion of the sounding of Reveille, you should assume the position of attention and salute on the first note of "To the Colors." Hold the salute until the last note of the music is played. If in civilian attire, you should place your right hand over your heart in place of the salute.

Retreat: Uniformed military members, to include the PT uniform, face the flag or the music and assume the position of parade rest on the first note of retreat. Upon completion, you should assume the position of attention and salute on the first note of the national anthem. Hold the salute until the last note of the music is played. If in civilian attire, you should place your right hand over your heart in place of the salute.

CIVILIAN:

Reveille: Civilians should halt activity on the first note of Reveille and remain until both Reveille and "To the Colors" have played.

Retreat: Civilians should halt activity on the first note of Retreat and place their right hand over their heart on first note of the national anthem until the final note is played

If driving during Reveille or Retreat

If driving on a military installation, all vehicles in motion should come to a stop at the first note of the music and the occupants should sit quietly until the music ends. (Air Force Pamphlet 36-2241)



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