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Weekday bugle calls begin at Middletown air station

  • Published
  • By Col. Chris Dutton
  • 193rd Special Operations Mission Support Group commander
Weekday bugle calls began recently at the 193rd Special Operation Wing's Air Station 3 in Middletown, Pa.

The first bugle call sounds at 6:55 a.m. and is followed by Reveille at 7 a.m., which signals the start of the official duty day. During Reveille no formal courtesies are required. 

The 11:30 a.m. Mess Call signals meal time and requires no formal courtesies.

The 5 p.m. Retreat bugle call, followed by To the Colors, historically began as notification to the sentries to start challenging until sunrise. It also reminded Airmen to go to their quarters and stay there. Retreat now typically marks the end of the duty day and formal courtesies require Airmen in uniform to face the flag or the direction of the music (if the flag is not in view) and render a salute until the music concludes.

Civilians and Airmen not in uniform should face the flag, come to the position of attention, remove any headgear with the right hand and place the right hand over the heart until the last note of the music.

Military members, veterans and retirees wearing civilian clothes may render a salute rather than placing their hand over their heart.

All personnel who are indoors may carry on with their assigned duties with no interruption for Reveille, Mess Call and Retreat.

When the music for Retreat/To the Colors plays, those on base operating vehicles should stop and place vehicles in park until the last note concludes.

Bugle calls are a time-honored military tradition intended to alert and regulate servicemembers' daily routines. First used by the French Army during the crusades, bugle calls evolved from Continental Army contacts with the French and English armies. The bugle call evolved from a basic drum call and was first used in the Americas by the militia during the Revolutionary War.