By Staff Sgt. Stacy Foster
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
The first wave of military families is expected to move into Schriever’s new housing area beginning Summer 2009 and when they do, they can expect to hear the familiar sound of Taps echo across the base at night.
On March 16, in addition to Reveille and Retreat at 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. respectively, Schriever will begin sounding Taps at 10 p.m. each evening.
“With the addition of base housing here, we want to put this in place now so we can come in line with other military installations,” Chief Master Sgt. Lou Fischer, 50th Mission Support Group superintendent, said.
Each ceremony is firmly rooted in military history and provides an opportunity to show respect to the flag, country and fellow Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines from the past and present who have served their country.
Below is military protocol on paying proper respect to the flag according to Title 4 and 36 of the United States Code, as well as Air Force Manual 36-2203, Drill and Ceremonies.
Reveille signifies the beginning of the official duty day, and the raising of the flag. When Reveille sounds, military personnel in uniform are to face the flag or the music if the flag is not visible, and stand at parade rest. At the first note of “To the Colors”, they should come to attention and salute.
Civilian personnel on the installation should face the flag or music and place their hand over their hearts for “To the Colors”.
All vehicles should come to a stop and remain so until the last note is played.
Retreat signifies the end of the official duty day and the lowering of the flag. Individuals outdoors and in uniform should face the flag or the music if the flag is not visible, and stand at parade rest during the sounding of Retreat. At the first note of the national anthem, come to attention and salute, holding the position until the last note of the anthem is sounded.
If in civilian clothing, both military members and civilians should take the same actions as in uniform, with a few exceptions: Men will remove their hats with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder with the right hand over the heart. Men without hats and women stand at attention and place their right hand over their heart.
All vehicles should come to a stop and remain so until the last note has ended.
Taps began as a signal for lights or lights out at the end of the day. For these purposes, there are no formal protocol procedures required. However, the playing of Taps continues to be a part of a military funeral/memorial honors ceremony. Upon hearing Taps at a military ceremony, proper protocol dictates those individuals in uniform render a salute until the music is complete. Civilians should remove their headgear and place their hand over their heart.
If in the physical fitness uniform, saluting during these ceremonies is not required, however, members are encouraged to do so if they desire.
During all ceremonies regarding hoisting, lowering or passing of the flag, members and veterans of the U.S. military are authorized to render a salute while present but not in uniform, according to The National Defense Authorization Act of 2008.