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#1
Old 06-23-2011, 08:49 PM
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What the Navy base plays at sunset that's not "Taps"

I live near-ish a Navy base in the US. Many nights, I guess if the wind's blowing the right way and if we have windows open, we can hear what I'm guessing is a recording (but maybe not) of a bugler playing a particular song that is not Taps. It's always the same song. What song is it? Why do they play it?

They also blow a whistle at 7-something AM, at 11:30 AM, at noon, and at 3:30, which I guess corresponds to shift-start, lunch-start, lunch-end, and shift-end (there's also lots of traffic coming off the base after 3:30). But why a song at sunset, especially if it's not Taps, which I thought was traditional?
#2
Old 06-23-2011, 08:58 PM
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It's called Retreat.

Quote:
The bugle call sounded at retreat was first used in the French Army and dates back to the crusades. When you hear it, you are listening to a beautiful melody that has come to symbolize the finest qualities of the soldiers of nearly 900 years. Retreat has always been at sunset and its purpose was to notify the sentries to start challenging until sunrise, and to tell the rank and file to go to their quarters and stay there. In our times the ceremony remains as a tradition. When you are outdoors and hear retreat played, you face toward the flag if you can see it and stand at parade rest. If the flag is not within sight. then face toward the music.
#3
Old 06-23-2011, 08:59 PM
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"Retreat"

http://youtube.com/watch?v=6fgDxAASI_c

Last edited by zombywoof; 06-23-2011 at 09:00 PM.
#4
Old 06-23-2011, 09:25 PM
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To expand a bit, yes, it's Retreat. Retreat signals the end of the duty day, while Taps signals "time to go to bed". I live on an Air Force base, Retreat gets played at 4:30 pm (1630), and Taps at 10:00 pm (2200). Note, it's all totally symbolic...if your work sched is, for example, 12-12, as some are, you don't go home at 4:30, and no one comes round to make sure you're tucked in at 10.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:28 PM
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Thanks, all!
#6
Old 06-23-2011, 09:52 PM
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You're welcome! And, because it's a chance to talk about it, and when the hell else am I going to get to, and it's actually kind of interesting, and you asked...

It's rather an impressive an interesting sight on a military base when Retreat plays. It's actually got two different parts. First, Retreat. This means...if outside, stop what you're doing, put down what you're carrying, stop your car, straighten your clothing, etc. Then, the National Anthem. If military in uniform, stand at attention, and salute. If not in uniform/civliian, stand still, and place your hand on your heart. If in a vehicle, pull to the side of the road, and stop for the time it takes to play. For me, it's actually a nice thing to have a communal pause in the day to render respect...to the flag, to the country, to the people who are defending both, to the people who have died doing so...other's mileage may vary, but I like it.
#7
Old 06-23-2011, 11:33 PM
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There's also "colors" at sunset. Some bases play the national anthem at that time, others just sound the "call to attention", then "two". ("hand salute", then after the anthem "ready... Two!" The saluting hand is dropped back to your side on "two".)

Bugle calls and most of boatswain whistle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boatswain%27s_call calls seem to have fallen out of favor on board US Navy ships.

At the shipyards in San Diego, shift changes are signaled for the yard workers (civilian), but shift changes are not accompanied by any signals/whistles/horns at NAS North Island or MCAS Miramar.

Edit: Sorry. The OP mentioned "colors".

Last edited by mlees; 06-23-2011 at 11:34 PM.
#8
Old 06-23-2011, 11:44 PM
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Sorry, "two" is really called "carry on". http://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/l...s/16b-c-on.mp3

Other bugle calls here: http://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/bugle.htm

Last edited by mlees; 06-23-2011 at 11:45 PM.
#9
Old 06-23-2011, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucretia View Post
You're welcome! And, because it's a chance to talk about it, and when the hell else am I going to get to, and it's actually kind of interesting, and you asked...

It's rather an impressive an interesting sight on a military base when Retreat plays. It's actually got two different parts. First, Retreat. This means...if outside, stop what you're doing, put down what you're carrying, stop your car, straighten your clothing, etc. Then, the National Anthem. If military in uniform, stand at attention, and salute. If not in uniform/civliian, stand still, and place your hand on your heart. If in a vehicle, pull to the side of the road, and stop for the time it takes to play. For me, it's actually a nice thing to have a communal pause in the day to render respect...to the flag, to the country, to the people who are defending both, to the people who have died doing so...other's mileage may vary, but I like it.
It puts a little starch in my spine too.
#10
Old 06-24-2011, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucretia View Post
You're welcome! And, because it's a chance to talk about it, and when the hell else am I going to get to, and it's actually kind of interesting, and you asked...

It's rather an impressive an interesting sight on a military base when Retreat plays. It's actually got two different parts. First, Retreat. This means...if outside, stop what you're doing, put down what you're carrying, stop your car, straighten your clothing, etc. Then, the National Anthem. If military in uniform, stand at attention, and salute. If not in uniform/civliian, stand still, and place your hand on your heart. If in a vehicle, pull to the side of the road, and stop for the time it takes to play. For me, it's actually a nice thing to have a communal pause in the day to render respect...to the flag, to the country, to the people who are defending both, to the people who have died doing so...other's mileage may vary, but I like it.
There were always the knuckleheads who, when hearing the call to attention for the anthem, would run for the indoors so they wouldn't have to stand at attention and salute. Many of us took great pleasure in waiting for them to re-emerge and then escorting them to their OICs for disciplinary action.
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