Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Pay respect where respect is due

(U.S. Air Force file photo)
Throughout the day, and especially during reveille, retreat and taps, all personnel on base are expected to pay respect to the flag.

By Lea Johnson

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — They sound three times a day, seven days a week. Bugle calls are an important military tradition, and it is important Airmen and civilians on Peterson Air Force Base know the proper procedures for these times.

Tech. Sgt. Scott Justice, 21st Space Wing protocol office, said reveille sounds at 7 a.m., retreat and the national anthem at 5 p.m., and taps at 10 p.m.

“Reveille, retreat, and the national anthem being played symbolizes who the Air Force and other services are. We protect the United States, and it should give everybody a sense of pride to hear them,” Justice said.

Unfortunately, not everyone acts prideful when the bugle sounds. People rush in and out of the commissary, and cars keep cruising down the street when the proper thing to do is to come to a complete stop and take a moment to pay respect to the flag.

The reveille and retreat ceremonies signify the beginning and end of the official duty day. “If (members) are in uniform, they should be saluting at both times,” Justice said.

Physical training gear is a uniform, Justice reminded, and those in PT gear should follow the same protocol.

Active duty members not in uniform should turn toward the music, remove any hats, and place their right hand over their heart.

Civilians have the same responsibility to pay proper respect during the raising and lowering of the flag. Like active duty members who are not in uniform, they should also stop what they are doing, turn toward the music, and place their right hand over their heart, Justice said.

Those in vehicles also play an important role in paying proper respect to the flag. Drivers should stop and put their vehicle in park when the music sounds. Everyone in the vehicle should remain at attention in their seat.

Taps signifies the beginning of quiet hours on base. There is no formal protocol for the daily playing of taps, Justice said. However, when taps is played at a military function, such as a funeral or memorial ceremony, members in uniform should salute and others should place their right hand over their heart.

Throughout the day, and especially during reveille, retreat and taps, all personnel on base are expected to pay respect to the flag as described above and in Air Force Instruction 34-1201.

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