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NEWS | Nov. 23, 2021

Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling offers Reveille, Retreat, Taps courtesies guidance

Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Public Affairs

As Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling continues to focus on Readiness, Partnerships, and Heritage, the base is bringing forward one additional initiative to focus on military heritage here on the installation.
On weekdays, the base will continue to play the Reveille bugle call at 7 a.m. and “To The Color” and the national anthem at 5 p.m. Beginning Dec. 1, JBAB will play Taps at 9 p.m.
Below are details on the associated customs and courtesies for all on the installation.
Reveille sounds with a bugle call at 7 a.m. to signify the beginning of the duty day. No rendering of courtesies is expected for this bugle call.
Retreat begins at 5 p.m. to signify the end of the duty day and is observed with the playing of “To the Color” followed by the national anthem.
  • At the sounding note of “To the Color,” all persons outdoors should turn to face the flag. If the flag is not visible, turn to the general direction of the flag or toward the direction of the music. Military members should stand at “Parade Rest” during “To the Color,” then come to attention at the first note of the national anthem. Military members in uniform should render a salute for the national anthem. Those not in uniform, to include all civilians, should remove headgear and place their right hands over their hearts. Service members and veterans may choose to render a salute even if not in uniform.
  • Unless mission essential, all members of Team JBAB participating in outdoor activities such as walking, individual and unit physical training and other activities, should stop their activity and follow the actions above to show respect for the flag.
  • It is customary and appropriate for those who are driving on base to safely stop and wait for the end note of the national anthem before proceeding. For safety of all on the road, people can also turn on their hazard lights when they stop. It is not advised people exit their vehicles. In the interest of safety and security, 11th Security Force Squadron members at the installation gates might not render these courtesies. 
Taps will play at 9 p.m. on base to signify the end of the day. No rendering of courtesies is expected for this bugle call.
The 24-note bugle call is said to have originated in the 1860s as a signal for the end of the day. In years following, it’s become a venerated tune played at funerals, wreath-laying ceremonies and memorials. The 2013 Defense Authorization Act designated Taps as the National Song of Remembrance. It is common to hear Taps played in the evening on military installations. According to Air Force Instruction 34-1201, Protocol, saluting is not required when played to signal the end of the day.