Reveille and retreat; do you remember what to do?
By 1st Lt. Caroline Lorimer, 452nd AMW/PA
/ Published May 15, 2007
MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, CALIF. --
The reveille and retreat ceremonies are meant to signal the beginning and the end of the official duty day. These ceremonies are steeped in history, and are time for all to stop and show their respect. However, many fear the time of reveille and retreat, because They are not sure of the correct protocol. There is no need to run for cover, because the instructions are fairly simple. So please take the time to refresh your memory, because we all tend to get a little rusty.
What do I do when reveille or retreat is played?
Whether in uniform or not in uniform: At the first sounds of reveille or retreat, stop where you are and turn to face the flag, or in a case where the flag is not visible, turn in the general direction of the flag and, if in uniform, stand at Parade Rest.
When do I come to attention and salute the flag?
In uniform: When the reveille or retreat music concludes, come to attention and render a salute when you see the flag being raised or you hear the first note of The National Anthem or "To the Colors."
Not in uniform: Do not salute if you are not in uniform. Come to attention and place your
right hand over your heart. Men should remove their hats with their right hand And hold it at the left shoulder while their right hand is over their heart.
How long do I hold my salute?
Remain at attention saluting the flag until the national anthem or "To the Colors" has finished playing, or until the flag has been completely raised or lowered.
What if I'm wearing my physical training gear?
You do not salute when wearing your PT gear. Follow the same procedures for those not in uniform.
What if I'm inside at an event?
In uniform: Stand up, face the flag and assume the position of attention. If the flag is not present, face the music and stand at attention. Do not salute unless under arms.
Not in uniform: Stand at attention with your right hand over your heart. Men should remove their hats with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder while their right hand is over their heart.
What do I do if I'm driving at the time of reveille or retreat?
At the first note of The National Anthem or "To the Colors," bring your moving vehicle to a complete stop and put the car in park. Everyone inside the vehicle, including the driver, should remain seated at attention.